Restorative Justice Diversion emphasizes the recognition and repair of harm caused by crimes, while lessening involvement of participants in the criminal justice system. Restorative Justice has been shown to reduce re-offense rates by up to 50% and yields much higher satisfaction rates among participants than the current criminal justice system.
Our Diversion programs use several different restorative processes through which victims are heard and understood, offenders take responsibility for harm, and loved ones and community members offer support. We bring together affected parties including the person harmed, the responsible participant, and when appropriate, representatives from the community to create an actionable plan to repair harm. Our goal is to empower participants to take ownership, build empathy, and restore relationships with self, family, and community through meaningful action.
Victim-Offender Dialogue is a facilitated process where participants meet face-to-face to address the personal nature of the offense, take responsibility for their actions, and repair harm.
These mediations revolve around issues such as simple assault, harassment, theft, property crimes, and other similar offenses. Services are free and voluntary for victims. Victims are not contacted until an intake process has established the ability of the offender* to be available, honest, and accountable for dialogue regarding the incident.
* While the word “offender” is commonly used in the criminal justice system, we intentionally use positive strength-based language with our participants.
“I was thankful to participate in this program. It gave me the chance to talk to the boys that damaged my property and let them know how I felt. It was also good to hear about them and I was glad they apologized to me.”
— Victim, Homeowner
“I’m glad there is a program like this in our community. I believe it is a good way for our youth to learn from their mistakes.”
— Victim, Business Owner
What Are Circles?
Circles are a Restorative Practice that bring together community members in a facilitated environment to share thoughts and feelings in a brave and safe space.
CRP utilizes the Circle model to address specific incidents including traffic and substance (alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco) violations.
ReThinking SubstancesReThinking Substances is an evidence-based, voluntary Restorative Justice program designed for youth and young adults with a first-time ticket for underage possession of alcohol, marijuana, or tobacco. ReThinking Substances teaches accountability and impact awareness, and includes a personalized action plan for each participant to address the impact their decisions have on self, family, and community.
“It was easy to see from the first second I walked in the door that you guys all genuinely care and want to do all you can to help. I learned a lot from the circles and meetings and I honestly can say that the program really helped me.”
— Participant, RTS
“I liked this program because it showed me that relationships can be repaired and trust can be brought back.”
— Youth Participant, RTS
Traffic CircleTraffic Circle is a program for youth and young adults who have received traffic infractions and misdemeanors. This process teaches accountability and impact awareness, and includes a personalized action plan to address the impact their decisions have on self, family, and community. Participation is voluntary and meetings are led by staff or a team of trained volunteer mediators from the community who facilitate the dialogue.
“I was surprised to see my son being so confident and comfortable in this process. Support was awesome.”
— Parent, Traffic Circles
“I think this program has opened my eyes and given me an opportunity to better myself.”
— Youth Participant, Traffic Circles
“I was able to learn and actually reflect upon my decisions.”
— Youth Participant, Traffic Circles
Our Program Funders
Resources for Restorative Justice Diversion
The Colorado Restorative Justice Coordinating Council (RJ Council)
The Colorado Restorative Justice Coordinating Council (RJ Council) was formed via HB07-1129 by the Colorado State Legislature. Our mandate is to provide training, technical assistance, and education related to Restorative Justice in the state of Colorado, support the development of Restorative Justice programs, and serve as a repository of information for those programs.
FAQs for Restorative Justice Diversion
Participants can be referred from the court, police officers, or school officials. Participants are provided our contact information from the referral source. Once referred, participants have 10 days to contact our office and set up a meeting by calling (719) 589-5255. If participants do not contact us within 10 days they may be sent back to the referral agency.
Participants can be referred from the court or directly from police officers. Participants receive our contact information from the referral source and then have 10 days to contact our office and set up a meeting by calling (719) 589-5255. If participants do not contact us within 10 days, they may be sent back to the referral agency.
This ultimately depends on what agreement was made with the judge before being referred to our program. Most often, successful completion of the Traffic Circle means that the ticket is completely dropped, and no points will be held against you on your license. However, we cannot promise that for every participant since those final decisions are made in the courtroom, not in our program.