by Marcus Hill
Mail Staff Writer
Full Circle Restorative Justice received a $50,000 grant from the Colorado Judicial Department, which will help fund the group’s future efforts.
“It’s huge, it provides a full-time director position,” FCRJ Executive Director Patty LaTaille said. “It can create sustainability and a constant restorative justice professional in this community and have someone to be able to handle cases.”
LaTaille said the Colorado Judicial Department collected about $800,000 for the grant and recently disbursed it. It is the first year the funds were released. The grant runs from July 1 through June 30, 2017.
More than 100 hours of work went into getting the grant paperwork together, La Taille said.
LaTaille said thanks to the help of several FCRJ board members and volunteers, the process was quicker than it could have been.
The grant is “a validation of restorative work that FCRJ has been doing for over a decade,” LaTaille said.
LaTaille said FCRJ plans to provide a prison insight program at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex. It’s a victim-offender education program.
“We plan to bring a restorative justice curriculum to the inmates who will soon be released,” LaTaille said. “It provides a level of insight in empathy education to raise awareness and accountability to the offenders.”
The most effective use of restorative justice is to work with individuals before they are engaged in the legal system, LaTaille said. “We know timeliness is a factor to resolve issues in a positive manner,” she said.
FCRJ will host a meeting with directors and restorative justice program coordinators from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Chaffee County commissioners meeting room.