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The Children, Youth and Family Services Division of Larimer County's Department of Human Services has won the statewide John Inmann Program Award from the Colorado Forum on Community & Restorative Justice. The Children, Youth and Family Services Division was nominated for this award due to their efforts in integrating restorative and community justice in child welfare cases.

Restorative justice is a systematic response to crime that emphasizes healing the wounds of victims, offenders and communities caused or revealed by the criminal behavior. The principles and values are aimed at repairing harm by helping an offender understand they have harmed a community of people. Every case is individual and 'community' could include the victim, the victim's family, the offender's family, and other groups. Restorative Justice programs aim to transform the traditional relationship between offenders and their communities.

Larimer County's Children, Youth and Family Services Division has developed creative programs to define how Restorative and Community Justice is incorporated in Larimer County. In his nomination, Tim Walsh cited several examples:

  1. Community Volunteers at many levels, including co-facilitation at family decision making sessions.

  2. Victimized youth participation in the Community Garden Project, helping to build self-esteem and skills.

  3. Bringing agencies together, sharing resources and integrating youth services (The HUB, Larimer County's a juvenile assessment center, is staffed by a variety of agencies).

  4. Creating community vision for construction of a facility serving youth with short time-framed programs.

  5. Continued development, bringing in nationally known restorative community justice practitioners to assist in development of models, staff training, and interagency cooperation.

The Colorado Forum on Community and Restorative Justice has established the John Inmann Award to recognize visionary restorative community justice programs or organizations that demonstrate the values and principles, community partnerships, collaboration, teamwork, and spirit as an organization.

Formed in 1998, the Colorado Forum on Community and Restorative Justice provides information, technical assistance, training and support to victims, offenders, communities, service providers, professionals, advocates, individuals, private and public agencies, and organizations in Colorado and nationally.

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