In Colorado, it is against the law to possess, consume or purchase alcohol if you are under 21 years of age.
Beginning January 2014, Center for Restorative Programs will be offering Rethinking Drinking, a program designed for juveniles – 20 and under – with a first time ticket for underage possession of alcohol.
The program uses a restorative justice approach to teach young offenders accountability, to develop an awareness of the impact their behavior has on their families and the community, and to take responsibility for their actions. In several jurisdictions, this program is offered as an alternative to a first Minors in Possession charge. The course, which includes two 3-hour sessions, must be attended by the juvenile and two parents or guardians. Following the class sessions, each youth will have five weeks to complete a personalized action plan to further address the impact their decisions have on self, family, and community.
CRP’s Rethinking Drinking program is modeled after a similar program run by Resolution Works in Denver, Colorado. In the first eighteen months of Resolution Works’ program, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported that of the 241 juveniles who participated in the program, only one failed to complete the course and only three, or approximately one percent, received a second Minors in Possession ticket.
Juveniles, 20 years old and under, can be referred to the program by:
- Law Enforcement
- City or District Attorneys
- School Officials
- Probation Officers
- Community Members
Center for Restorative Programs also offers Rethinking Substances circles designed for juveniles – 20 and under – with a first time ticket for underage possession of marijuana. For more information on this program, please contact CRP at (719) 589-5255.
Program information adapted from Resolution Works – yourresolutions.org