We all learn from each other in the field of Restorative Justice Practices. A standard practice among facilitators and programs around the state is to debrief processes and share our learnings. 

This is a place where actual stories from the field will be shared. Please use them as learning tools and opportunities to better understand how restorative justice practices work.

Names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of participants.

Organizations and individuals submitting stories from the field may be acknowledged for their contributions.

If you would like to contribute a Story From the Field please send your submissions to info@rjcolorado.org

Stories From the Field

  •   A Bad Choice, A Good Officer, and Restorative Justice A Point of Choice

    I was in a pretty bad place when it happened. I had just had my first daughter about 5 months prior, and her father was away at Navy boot camp. I am not proud of it, but I was still partying pretty hard at that time. I missed my husband and I was dealing with the stress of being a new mom. I had just been at a party and I was on my way home and got turned around. I was too drunk to realize where I was, and I turned into a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood going way to fast. I didn’t come out of the turn fast enough and ran straight into a new Mercedes Benz sedan. I was in a small Honda Civic and my car was pretty much destroyed. The glass in the windshield of my car had been shattered in the accident. I must have hit my head on the windshield and passed out when it happened because I woke up disoriented and covered in my own blood. I got out of the car and started wandering, looking for help. There was a grocery store nearby, and I found myself in the middle of the store, lost, drunk, and covered in my own blood. I later on found out that I had wondered across a busy highway, and that I was lucky that I wasn’t hit by a car. The store manager found me and called the police. Officer John Winship arrived at the store, although I don’t remember that first meeting with him.

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  •   A Facilitator’s Reflections on Restorative Justice Conferencing in Vermont

    Provided By - Chris Dinnan

    I have worked for the Vermont Department of Corrections for over twenty-five years now, starting as a Volunteer Services Coordinator at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility, then becoming a Community Resources Coordinator for both that facility and for the Rutland, Addison, and Bennington county probation and parole offices, and now serving as a Community Corrections Program Supervisor at Rutland probation and parole. Over that time, I have been privileged to both observe and participate in the blossoming of restorative justice practices in Vermont. In total, I have facilitated/coordinated well over fifty such applications in cases ranging from broken windows to broken lives. My focus below will be on the broken lives end of that spectrum and how restorative practices have impacted and, in the future, may impact more sentencing outcomes.

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  •   Case Study on Restorative Justice Practices

    The RJ Council invites practitioners and programs to send case studies from restorative justice practices in the justice system, community and schools. Case studies help all of us learn and grown in our understanding of what works and does not work in the field. You can find more case studies on the Restorative Justice tab on www.rjcolorado.org .

    This is a case study from a district attorney’s office that illustrates the possibilities, impact and value of restorative justice practices for victims, community and offenders as well as diversion programs.

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  •   Ryan's Story

    Ryan had six prior convictions and lots of contact with the Police. Because Ryan committed his offense with three other teens who all admitted responsibility for what they did, Ryan slipped his way into a community group conference rather than getting a ticket for criminal mischief. In the past six months, since Ryan’s Community Group Conference, he has had no re-contact with the police. All twenty policemen in Ryan’s community know him by his first name and are very happy and surprised not to be picking him up any more. If he had been caught alone, the police said, he would have had another ticket under his belt.

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  •   The Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services Case Study

    Scott was a junior at CSU. He and some friends had been drinking together and were walking to a house party near campus. On the way there, one stomped on a sprinkler head on CSU grounds. Scott followed this action by kicking another sprinkler head, which immediately broke causing water to gush out. A witness flagged down a nearby police officer who found and cited Scott with 2nd degree criminal mischief.

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Debbie Wilde, Executive Director of YouthZone in Glenwood Springs, CO, discusses how Restorative Justice impacts communities.

Restorative Justice In Communities Works