I am sorry for breaking into your house
Mar 17, 2011
Editor's note: This letter was written as part of the Marathon County Restorative Justice Program, which connects juvenile and young adult offenders with crime victims. Victims work with the offender to resolve the issue and determine restitution.
Though this letter is published here anonymously, the identities of both J and Mr. M. were verified by Carrie Vergin, executive director of the Restorative Justice Program.
Dear Mr. M.,
Hi my name is J. I was the individual who entered your house without your permission and stole your stuff and disrespected your house. I would first like to start by saying that I am truly sorry for the pain and trouble I caused you. My actions were completely unacceptable. There is no reason why you should have had to experience something like that.
At the time, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd, getting heavy into drugs and not caring about anything or anybody. Every day for about two or three weeks, two of my buddies would meet up and go inside people's houses and look for money or expensive items that we could take and sell to get money for more drugs. We would knock on the door first to make sure no one was home -- then we would find a low window or door that we could break and climb through. We would quickly go through all the rooms, take what we wanted and run out the door.
....Let me tell you, that day changed me completely. I almost threw my life away, and all for drugs. I completely turned myself around. I went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and treatment programs to quit using and they worked. I have been clean for about a year now. I don't hang around the same people. I'm getting off probation in two more months and graduating high school next year. I have my life back on track and have plans to be a chef in a few years.
I hope my actions don't make you think of me as a bad kid, but if you don't except (sic) my apology, then I completely understand. Just know that when I say I'm sorry, I mean it.