Dear LCJP community member,
Harmed parties who participate in LCJP processes are remarkably courageous.While each of us reacts differently when we experience harm and violated trust, it is common to imagine the worst about the person who hurt us, and to feel uncertain about the possibility of resolution.
When Carla's* co-worker, Rob (19), stole her cell phone and money, her daughter, Allison, was furious. Carla (60) agreed quickly to the restorative process, but Allison (38) was reluctant. She moved forward as her mother's support person, stating that she hoped to see genuine remorse in Rob, and receive compensation for her mother's losses. Allison also wanted to let Rob know how it felt for their family to live with the fear of an impending emergency due to Carla's medical issues, and how their anxiety grew when mother and daughter could not communicate.
At the restorative justice conference, Rob struggled to speak, but conveyed how disappointed he was in himself. He was ashamed that he had been fired by his supervisor, who he regarded as a mentor, and embarrassed that his girlfriend knew what he had done. He had also experienced a taste of what Carla had felt. In the time since the theft, his own wallet had been stolen with his cash, social security card, and ID. Rob was about to be evicted from his apartment if he couldn't find work, but he hadn't been able to replace the lost documentation that would make him eligible for employment.
As the group discussed what Rob could do to repair harms, he reached under his chair and announced that he had written a reflection letter for Carla, in the form of a three-page rap. The group listened intently as Rob read his rap aloud. The carefully crafted lyrics expressed remorse and gratitude in a way Rob had been unable to share previously. Clearly moved, Allison cried, and others passed around the ubiquitous LCJP tissue box. In his contract, Rob agreed to write additional apologies-in rap form-to the officers involved in his case, and to make up for the financial loss through manual labor at Allison's house. As the process concluded, Allison spoke up to offer Rob a ride to the social security office to help him start the process of getting his documents replaced.
When you support LCJP, you give people an opportunity to connect in unlikely ways and restore a sense of trust and faith in each other, bringing resilience to our entire community.
Your donation goes further today! On Dec. 5, the $1 Million Incentive Fund increases the value of every dollar donated on Coloradogives.org.Please make your gift today!
*All names and specific case details have been changed to protect individual identities.