Full Circle Restorative Justice (FCRJ) is celebrating it’s 14th year as a nonprofit serving Chaffee, Custer, Park and Fremont Counties (11th Judicial District). FCRJ provides alternatives to traditional criminal justice/dispute resolution by focusing on restorative justice (RJ) practices. We offer confidential facilitated meetings between parties when a crime or dispute has occurred allowing the person, business, or organization harmed to have a voice in the outcome through dialogue with the offender. The outcome of these dialogues includes a description of how the harm will be repaired. FCRJ monitors and works with the offender(s) and gives updates to victims. FRCJ’s services are provided for youth and adults. FCRJ partners with the District Attorney’s office, law enforcement, schools, and businesses who refer cases for restorative justice.

FCRJ’s caseload has more than doubled between 2018 and 2019. Data collected from October 2014 through June 2018 from restorative justice programs for youth in Colorado showed that, of youth who successfully completed a restorative justice program, only 8.2% reoffended either during or in the one year after completing the program. The recidivism rate is nearly 50% for youth who are incarcerated in Colorado’s juvenile system. Restorative practices work and make a tremendous impact in our community. Youth who become system-involved are more likely to be incarcerated as adults. FCRJ’s work interrupts this school-to-prison pipeline.

FCRJ serves the community with training for youth and adults. FCRJ trained youth mediators and partners with the Salida High School which launched a peer mediation program. In this program, youth mediate disputes between students, as well as, between students and school teachers/staff. FCRJ provides Non-violent Communication training to Horizon Exploratory Academy and to Salida High School peer mediators.

FCRJ provides facilitators for the Restorative Justice Education Program at the BV Prison. RJEP evolved from the Prison Insight Program curriculum by Jennie Curtis, providing incarcerated individuals the opportunity to develop empathy for those they harmed and explore their action’s impacts to the community and themselves.

Due to our increased caseload, trainings are conducted by FCRJ annually for volunteers, qualifying them as facilitators, co-facilitators, and community members for restorative justice conferences. Our staff of 2 part-time employees administrate our various programs, supervise monthly trainings for volunteers who continue to hone this craft, fundraise to support programs, coordinate with referral sources, and field requests from those organizations who increasingly desire restorative practices.

The demand for RJ and restorative practices continually increases. FCRJ needs more resources to serve our community. FCRJ is an independent nonprofit – not part of any governmental entity or private umbrella-organization. As such, we rely on the support of the community we serve.

Please, support FCRJ generously on Colorado Gives Day (12-10-2019) and throughout the year by going to fullcirclerj.org, which provides the FCRJ link to Colorado Gives donations.

Submitted by the Full Circle Restorative Justice Board of Directors:

Ken Matthews (attorney), Magdalena Rosa (public defender), Talmage Trujillo (lead teacher Horizon Exploratory Academy), Scott Hughes (Fun Street Family Arcade), JD Longwell (Poncha Springs Trustee), Bowman Russell (youth member), and Zech Papp (Salida Airport Manager)