The City of Fort Collins’ Mediation and Restorative Justice Programs is celebrating 20 years of service to the Fort Collins Community assisting thousands of residents.
The City’s Mediation and Restorative Justice Programs (MRJ) began their work with residents in October 2000, helping hundreds of residents address community conflict situations while avoiding going to court and repairing broken relationships. Typical conflicts include neighbor disputes, animal control issues, and landlord-tenant disagreements.
The Mediation program responded to a total of 638 conflict situations and helped 39 mediations from 2018 to 2019. Over 94 percent of people who participated in mediation told the program that they believe it is a beneficial service that the City offers. The City’s Restorative Justice (RJ) program works to provide a diversion from the courts for youth who commit crims and also began in 200 as a Fort Collins Police grant-funded program.
Shoplifting and other theft, harassment, assault, trespassing criminal mischief, and other offenses are typical incidents the RJ program works with. Furthermore, the program aids youth in making positive changes in accountability, self-esteem, and connection to adults in the community and their families.
The Restorative Justice program combined its resources with the Mediation program in 2013 under the City’s Neighborhood Services Department back in 2013. Both programs have cross-trained their volunteers and staff in addition to developing new services to provide effective processes for any situation.
The Mediation and Restorative Justice Programs are both supported by over 60 trained volunteers who donate 2,500 hours per year of their time to the combined programs. Volunteers and staff at the Mediation and Restorative Justice office are eager to offer alternatives that will aid in effectively resolving conflict and avoiding traditional court and law enforcement processes.