Restorative justice programs are growing across the country and across Colorado. Visit the State of Colorado's website for a list of programs listed by county that provide restorative justice services.
One Denver Metro-based restorative justice program is the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) of Denver. This organization was created as a response to the 1993 “Summer of Violence” in Denver. The organization operates on the following 3 tenants of restorative justice:
- Accountability – allows offenders to accept responsibility in the presence of those who were impacted by their actions
- Competency Development – allows offenders to learn empathy, effective communication and conflict resolution skills
- Victim and Community Empowerment – allows those impacted by the crime(s) to communicate their feelings, and have a voice in how the offender can make amends for his or her actions
Bethany’s questions to the readers of this blog:
Would you consider participating in a restorative justice meeting after having been affected by a crime?
Have any of you participated in such a meeting in the past? If so, was it a positive experience?
Would you encourage your child to participate in a restorative justice program if he or she committed a crime?
Please feel free to leave comments on the blog or email Bethany directly with your thoughts.