by Mike Campbell
Mountain Mail Staff Writer
Leon Joseph Littlebird, Native American musician and storyteller, and musician Jeff Shook entertained about 60 people at the annual fund-raiser for Full Circle Restorative Justice Friday at the Boathouse Cantina in Salida.
The Littlebird concert raised more than $600 for the organization, Patty LaTaille, executive director, said.
LaTaille said, “Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. This is done when the parties involved meet cooperatively to decide ‘how to make it right.’”
The restorative justice service started three years ago in Chaffee and Fremont counties.
LaTaille said, “Victims of crime are given the opportunity to meet with offenders in the presence of trained volunteer facilitators in addition to family and other community members. The victims are supported in getting answers to their questions about the crime and the offender.
“This allows the offender to learn about the impact of the crime on the victim, family and the community.”
The program began working with offenders between the ages of 10 and 24. The age limit was recently extended to cover adult offenders.
“The offenders are held accountable for their choices and behavior in regard to the incident. In the restorative circles, a contract is reached for restitution or other pro-social action, which is agreed upon by all members present,” LaTaille said.
“This restorative justice dialogue often leads to a greater sense of closure and healing for all involved.
“Restorative justice is often regarded as a movement that holds offenders accountable but also offers a chance for forgiveness, reconciliation and the ability to move past the shame, leading to better connections to community.”
The process usually take place within 30 days of the crime.
The restorative justice option is offered to the victim by the district attorney, diversion or probation officer or a school administrator.
Full Circle is totally funded by fund-raisers, grants and private donations, LaTaille said.
For more information contact LaTaille at 221-3069 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.