After establishing a restorative justice program in Redwood County and seeing the positive impact it has had, the Redwood County Board of Commissioners indicated it wanted to continue offering the program.
The challenge it faced was trying to find the funding to keep the program going.
The county board directed Mark Triplett, restorative justice coordinator, to see if there were other funding sources available.
So, Triplett got to work, and that work paid off recently, as the program was awarded a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation in the amount of $90,000 that is going to help keep the program intact for the next two years. A presentation of the award was made to those involved with the program by local Bremer Bank officials this past Tuesday.
“This is an exciting day for the restorative justice program, especially for the families we are working with now and over the next two years,” said Triplett.
The grant allows the program to continue through 2013 and 2014.
According to Triplett, the restorative justice program is an attempt to involve all who are affected by juvenile crime and social issues in the community. Through the use of peacemaking circles, all who are involved try ot address the harm and broken relationships crime and social issues can cause. The goal is to ultimately create a safer and healthier community for all residents.
The program allows juveniles the opportunity to repair the harm they may have caused while staying in the community, with their families and other community members who have a great interest in seeing those youngest community members make positive choices.
Triplett said a program likes this exists because of vital contributors, including the continued support of volunteers. Volunteers of all ages, races, genders and backgrounds are always going to be a key partner in restorative justice.
According to Matt Johnson, president of the Bremer Bank location in Redwood Falls, the Otto Bremer Foundation to humanitarian type programs in the region.
This (restorative justice) is a perfect fit for the foundation,” said Johnson.
Triplett also recognized Pat Dingels of the RADC who helped put together the grant, as well as the restorative justice advisory board.
According to Lon Walling, county commissioner, this funding is going to help provide for a program the county believes is a good fit for the community, adding it addresses the issues rather than just locking them up.
“It’s great to have a program that helps fix the problems and keeps the kids in the community,” said Al Kok-esch, county commissioner.
For more information about the program, one may contact Triplett at (507) 637-1139 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.