GREELEY -- As the Weld County District Attorney’s Office prepares to launch its new restorative justice program, additional volunteers are needed.
“The community response has been amazing,” said District Attorney Ken Buck. “However, a program of this magnitude needs a large pool of volunteers to make it work. And this is something we truly believe in. Restorative justice is a way to help juveniles truly understand the effects of their actions and bring about more effective and efficient justice.”
So far, the program has just a bit more than 20 volunteers, and at least 20 more are needed, including additional Spanish speaking residents.
Volunteers can serve as facilitators, surrogate victims and community panel members, depending on their interest and time availability.
Volunteers will receive training and be asked to donate at least three hours per month, or more if they are willing.
Restorative justice has been around for many years, including past programs in Weld County, but it is now returning as a program of the Weld County District Attorney's office. The initial effort will be for juvenile offenders only and should be in place this fall.
“Through the use of restorative justice circles, juveniles accused of certain crimes will be able to meet with their victims or with a surrogate victim and a community panel,” Buck explained.
“Together, the group will discuss the ramifications of the crime and come up with an appropriate consequence.”
Studies across the United States and many other countries show those who participate say that restorative justice is fair, helpful and satisfying and results in fewer reconvictions.
Those are interested in applying to become a restorative justice volunteer should contact Community Relations Director Pamela Dickman at email@example.com or 970-356-4010, ext. 4702.