Justice-based Programs


Addressing harmful behavior and reducing risk for reoffense

Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership offers two responsive justice-based programs. These programs work with individuals after a crime occurs to 1) identify harm and create a system of repair, or 2) support accountability for those (re)entering the community after incarceration. 

Community Group Conference


This program saved me...

"Breaking or running from the law is never the answer. There is no doubt in my mind that this program saved me. I would have just been another teenager in the world with a bad name and a record.”

- Community Group Conference participant

Why restorative justice?

“I support restorative justice because it requires offenders to take responsibility for their actions, listen to the victims, and take active and concrete steps to make amends to the victim and community.”

- Estes Park Police Officer


When offenders come face-to-face with those they have impacted, and hear the harm they have caused, many begin to develop empathy for others. This motivates offenders to accept responsibility for their actions and commit to repairing the harm — resulting in better decision-making in the future.

Six people seated in chairs in a circle engaging in conversation

How Community Group Conferencing Works

Community Group Conference is a process that brings together victim, offender and community following a crime or wrongdoing. This allows the individuals to identify the harm that was caused and collectively develop a system to repair that harm.

1. Referral:

Cases can be referred directly by Estes Park Police Department, Estes Park Municipal Court, District Court and Larimer County Court. Juveniles and adults are considered for status, petty, misdemeanor, and low-level felony offenses. Program participation is voluntarily and offenders may opt out of the process at any time. If an offender chooses to not participate, the case is sent back to the referring agency and appropriate charges are filed.

2. Intake:

Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership (EVRJP) staff will explain the process and establish eligibility. Offenders are required to accept responsibility for their actions in order to participate. Once eligibility is established, the case is assigned to volunteer facilitators.

3. Pre-Conference:

Facilitators hold separate pre-conferences with the victim(s) and offender(s) to gather information and prepare participants for the conference. Inconsistencies and attitudes that might cause participants to feel unsafe are addressed. Facilitators determine appropriate community members to invite, and arrange a time for the conference.

4. Community Group Conference:

The conference typically takes two to three hours and includes victim, offender, victim support, offender support, community members and a representative from law enforcement. Participants share their stories to identify harms that have occurred. A contract is then developed that assists the offender in repairing those harms — while also holding him/her accountable. EVRJP staff monitor the offender’s contract by checking in on progress and verifying completion of individual contract items.

5. Post-Conference

Upon successful completion of the contract, a post-conference is scheduled and all of the original participants are invited to attend. The purpose of the post-conference is to discuss successes and challenges, reflect on experiences, and bring closure to the process. Successful completion of the program results in no criminal conviction on the offender’s record. Offenders who fail to complete their contract, or who reoffend while in the program, are sent back to the referring agency and charged appropriately.

Benefits of Community Group Conferencing
  • Victims are empowered, given a voice in the process, and provided the opportunity for a more meaningful outcome
  • Offenders hear the full effects of their actions, take personal responsibility, and are held accountable for repairing harms
  • The community is included in resolving community problems; it sees fewer repeat offenders and ultimately taxpayer money is saved
  • Creates new and strengthens existing partnerships between law enforcement, community and individuals.

Community (Reentry) Circles


I know I will be successful...

“Reentering society can be difficult, but with the assistance of the Circle Group I know I will be successful. Their guidance has been invaluable to my growth, and I have no doubt that I will be a positive member of society.”

- Community Circle Core Member

Celebrate their success...

“I’d much rather support someone as they begin a new life than have them continue to struggle with old negative habits or mindsets. It only benefits our community to welcome them back in this supportive manner, to help them contribute in productive ways, and to celebrate their success and growth.”

- Community Member Circle Participant


People reentering the community after incarceration face numerous obstacles. With assistance from a circle of community members who support and hold the Core Member (previously incarcerated person) accountable, those obstacles can be overcome.


How Community Circles work

Community Circles serve those who are paroled into the Estes Valley following incarceration. Referrals can be made by parole officers or by self-referral. If an assessment determines that the program is appropriate and the referee agrees to participate, circle participation becomes a part of their parole plan. The individual is then considered the circle’s
Core Member.

Participants in the circle include the Core Member, community members, a representative from law enforcement and two trained volunteer circle keepers. Community participants must
successfully complete training and agree to perform the outlined duties of a circle member. Each member commits to participating for the duration of the process, encouraging growth of

Community Circles meet for one hour, initially on a weekly basis, for up to a year. Meetings become less frequent as the Core Member progresses in their reintegration. During each meeting, circle members develop agreements that address needs in six life areas: employment/education, family/marital, associates/social interaction, substance use, community functioning and personal/emotional. These agreements help the Core Member build positive momentum and confidence through coaching, support and accountability.

Who is served

Any person reentering the community following incarceration will be considered. Priority is given to those who show desire and motivation to change their behavior and lifestyle in order to become productive members of society. Core Members must take responsibility for their actions and commit to living a crime free lifestyle.

Benefits of Community Circles
  • Core Members receive support and accountability in meeting long-term goals in the six life areas
  • Core Members are less likely to reconnect with negative influences or engage in past negative behaviors, and are thus less likely to commit new crimes
  • Core Members learn about healthy functioning within a community and are connected with resources that support their success
  • The community helps ensure prior offenders become productive, taxpaying members of society; it sees fewer repeat offenders and improves overall safety
Group of six seated in a circle formalizing a plan