Prison Fellowship Colombia has adapted its primary restorative justice program, Sycamore Tree Project, to meet the needs of prisoners, their families and communities. Because the country has been devastated by its decades-long internal conflict, the process of bringing offenders and victims together can be complex. But it has also been successful – and transformative for many.
Executive Director Lacides Hernandez says that the success of restorative justice initiatives in Colombia – a place where violent crimes are so extensive – shows that it can be implemented for all types of crimes.
“We dared to propose the encounter between the victims and offenders inside a prison” said Hernandez. “In a context like Colombia, taking victims of homicide, kidnapping into a prison – it was crazy.”
He describes the program’s success and the reassurance that it brings to him and his staff about the power of restorative justice.
To hear the whole story, watch the video below in Spanish with English subtitles.
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