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County declares Conflict Resolution Month

D.J. DeJong
Mail Staff Writer

Full Circle Restorative Justice Director Molly Leach and Executive Director Patty LaTaille celebrated the Chaffee County commissioners’ approval Tuesday of a proclamation designating October as Conflict Resolution Month in Chaffee County.

Representatives of Full Circle Restorative Justice celebrate with Chaffee County commissioners Tuesday after the commissioners issued a proclamation designating October as Conflict Resolution Month. From left are Patty LaTaille, Full Circle executive director; Commissioner Keith Baker; Commissioner Dave Potts; Commissioner Greg Felt; and Molly Leach, Full Circle director.

LaTaille proposed the proclamation at a Sept. 11 commissioners’ work session, and it mirrors a statewide proclamation by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Full Circle serves the 11th Judicial District of Colorado and has been serving the Salida, Buena Vista, Fairplay, Bailey and Cañon City communities since April 15, 2006.

Restorative justice is based on a practical theory of justice and a growing national and global social change movement that endorses peaceful conflict resolution approaches to harm, problem-solving and violations of legal and human rights – while maintaining high levels of accountability, a press release stated.

Leach said recent data from the Department of Justice about Colorado’s Restorative Justice Coalition, which includes Full Circle Restorative Justice and other similar state programs, shows an 8.6 percent juvenile recidivism rate (a tendency to lapse into a previous pattern of behavior) of less than 1 in 10.

The average for youth going through the traditional legal system is a 70 percent or 7-in-10 rate of re-offense, she said.

In addition to the traditional conflict resolution practices of restorative justice, Full Circle incorporates therapy dogs in its processes, setting a precedent both locally and nationally.

The use of dogs supports an environment that optimizes accountability and assists in developing agreements and victim-led resolutions, Leach said.

She said Full Circle is honored that Chaffee County commissioners approved the Conflict Resolution Month proclamation, as promoted by the state of Colorado.

Because justice does not always mean punishment

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