Both juveniles and adults may be referred to the Restorative Justice Program for misdemeanor and felony cases. Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Deputies/Staff assess whether or not a restorative justice process is appropriate for those involved and make referrals to the program instead of issuing a summons or making an arrest. The Community Group Conference is a pre-court diversion.
The Community Group Conference process brings together the parties most impacted by a crime- victim, offender, community and law enforcement. The process is victim focused, meaning that the needs and concerns of the victim are given highest priority in the process. Restorative justice conferences seek to repair the harm done to victims and the community while reintegrating offenders back into the community. The process provides the opportunity for victims to be heard and their needs addressed, offenders to move toward accountability and responsibility, and the community to be involved in the process.
During conference, each participant is given the opportunity to talk about their involvement in the incident, how it has affected them, how they would like harm to be repaired and how the offender is accepting responsibility to repair the harm they caused. A contract is developed and agreed upon by participants. When that contract is successfully completed, the case is closed and no charges are filed. Should the offender not complete the contract in time, the case is referred back to the referring employee for charging decisions to be made .
Conference participants are:
- Victim- along with their support system (parent, if a minor, friends, family, advocate)
- Offender-along with their support system (parent, if minor, friends and family)
- Community member
- Referring law enforcement employee-Deputy/Detective/Animal Control Officer