Lawmakers in Colorado Consider Restorative Justice Option

A recent bill introduced in the Colorado House Judiciary Committee would allow people accused of crimes the opportunity to make amends with victims instead of imprisonment, The Denver Post reports.

According to the article, the bill, House Bill 1032, emphasizes “restorative justice”. This favors restitution instead of an offender being sent to prison. It also encourages dialogue between victims and offenders.

Under Colorado law, restorative justice is already an option for juveniles during their advisement, plea entry, sentencing, or probation. However, if passed, the bill would make many of those stipulations mandatory. It would also give adults an option for restorative justice. Furthermore, the bill would instruct the Colorado Department of Corrections to employ a policy to create victim-offender dialogues.

Bill supporters believe the option would encourage those convicted of crimes to take responsibility for their actions. Supporters also say that prison doesn’t always prevent people from reoffending. Those in favor of the bill think it would be beneficial for offenders to engage in dialogue with victims for both to see the other’s perspective. However, critics have issued concerns that defendants could possibly admit guilt before they’re convicted of a crime under the option. According to Doug Wilson, the head of the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, those who select the restorative justice option should be given protection so that any information divulged about their case can’t be later used against them, and hopes such provisions will exist in the bill, if passed.

The Colorado criminal defense lawyers at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. have successfully handled hundreds of criminal law cases. If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Colorado, contact our attorneys today to learn about your legal options. Call 719-475-2555 to schedule a free consultation today.

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