When legislation last year cleared the way for a pilot program in restorative justice with the Colorado Department of Corrections, Sharletta Evans — who had testified on behalf of the measure — embraced the opportunity to go first, the Denver Post reports. She and her older son Calvin Hurd, who was 6 in 1995 when gunshots peppered the car where he sat sleeping with his brother, who was killed at the age of 3, began more than six months of preparation for a direct dialogue with Raymond Johnson.
Beyond a sheer willingness to participate in restorative justice, the offender has to meet a three-part test for acceptance based on demonstrating accountability, genuine remorse and willingness to repair harm. Whatever impact the meeting has had on Johnson, the public won’t know for a while, if ever. The corrections department declined requests to interview him pending conclusion of the process, which includes debriefing of all parties and assessment of the outcome — something that may take until the end of the month. From initiation to completion, every aspect of the sequence remains victim-driven. “This is not a short process,” said corrections spokeswoman Katherine Sanguinetti. “We don’t want this to be a venue for the offenders. This is about the victim, for the victim.”