Second Judical District
201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202
October 29, 2020 Contact: Carolyn Tyler, Communications Director, email@example.com, 720-913-9025
DENVER—One year ago, the innovative Restorative Denver program began accepting clients. One year later, 55 adult cases were accepted and 26 cases have already completed this restorative justice program that has support of many Denver County Court judges, prosecutors, victim advocates, public defenders and community members.
“It’s inspiring to see victims and offenders resolve the harm caused by the underlying crime,” said Denver DA Beth McCann. “If these cases go through criminal courts, victims rarely feel the same sense of satisfaction and resolution that they receive through restorative justice. Restorative Denver allows offenders to avoid having a criminal record, while also increasing empathy and repairing the harm they caused to victims and to the broader community.”
The Denver District Attorney’s Office partners with The Conflict Center to administer the Restorative Denver program. To celebrate the program’s one-year mark, The Conflict Center is holding a virtual community meeting on November 18th from 5-6 pm to share insights, hear feedback, and discuss the impact of this alternative program with the community and press.
A broad array of misdemeanor charges are eligible for the voluntary Restorative Denver program. To date, the most common case referrals have been third-degree assault, child abuse and theft. In its second year, Restorative Denver will expand to accept appropriate felony charges such as theft, criminal mischief and burglary.
Restorative Denver serves a diverse group of offenders. Of the program’s offender participants, 63% were male and 37% were female. The program also served a racially diverse group of participants who were 42% white, 27% Latino or Hispanic, 25% African American, and 6% other. Participants ranged in age from 13 to 82. Finally, offenders who participated in the Restorative Denver were both appreciative of the opportunity and felt that it had a real impact on their lives. The following are quotes from three participants:
“I feel that I have brought some peace of mind to the person I harmed and his family. I feel that this process is also bringing closure to my family. The facilitators acted with compassion and fairness, and guided everyone in a non-judgmental way through the process.”
“I am excited to be a part of this program and to see the outcome. Participating in this program has changed the way I feel about myself.”
“What changed for me is that I actually have really enjoyed completing the items on my contract and that has benefitted my general outlook on certain topics.”