“‘The lens that we’re looking through is that we want to hold people accountable for their actions. That’s part of recovery – taking accountability for the harms that you’ve caused,’ Mellishrencken said. ‘But not punishing people in such a way that it destroys any opportunity they have to be successful later in life. That can be difficult for people to see.’
Cornell added that the group is in favor of accountability, but they want to do so in a way that is trauma informed and that is fair. She said she thinks the trauma-informed work that has been conducted in the community has changed the way people look at these situations.
‘If you tell someone to make different decisions, you have to also give them tools, resources and opportunities to make different decisions; otherwise it’s not fair,’ Cornell said. ‘I think that’s something we can all get behind; we want everybody to have a fair chance. People just don’t realize the inherent unfairness in some of our systems.’
Wurth explained that the LEAD program allows a community member to be referred for pre-booking diversion for crimes that are non-violent instead of being arrested and taken to jail.”