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Letter to the editor: Support Restorative Justice Pilot Project

Posted: Friday, Apr 12th, 2013

I am writing in support of HB 13-1254: The Restorative Justice Pilot Project.

Colorado’s extremely successful Restorative Justice programs are showing a 50 percent drop in recidivism, and high satisfaction rates among victims, offenders, communities, and officials within the Law Enforcement and Corrections fields.

Now H.B. 13-1254 is needed to chart the actual cost savings and human-life enhancement brought about through this initial investment, and to expand the reach of this powerful tool.

Colorado stands ready to be a pioneer in an emerging national trend toward cost-savings and community-healing through Restorative Justice. We spend about $50,000 per year, per inmate, to keep someone in jail – and there is no single factor more determinative of incarceration than a prior incarceration.

Restorative Justice looks at juvenile crime as an issue involving families, communities, relationships and feelings. It nips criminal activity in the bud more effectively than adjudication and possible incarceration, and provides a more healing and thorough response to teenagers in trouble.

The 12th Judicial District is one of four pilot sites in this proposed Bill, for expanded use of Restorative Justice to divert juvenile offenses from prosecution. Please give your full support to this important bill.

Alice Price

Judy McNeilsmith

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