The Support and Accountability Conference
After considerable preparation, our program works towards a meeting called a Support and Accountability Conference (SAC). Staff invites the offender, victim, and various support people to gather and assess the impact of the crime. With an understanding of who was affected and how, the group works towards a customized plan of repair to meet the victim's needs and hold the offender directly accountable. The plan might include restitution, verbal or written apologies, mentoring, service hours, or a wide range of other options. The SAC takes place either at the program's offices or at an off-site venue of some significance (e.g. a shop-lifting case may be held at the mall). The SAC is the heart of the program, and it can be a powerful occasion for learning and reparation.
In some cases, the SAC is set aside for other options, especially if one party is unable or unwilling to attend a face-to-face meeting. Most importantly, program staff seek flexible options that meet needs, achieve accountability, and maintain a safe and respectful environment.