District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies
From the Office of the District Attorney:
SANTA FE – The District Attorney’s office and all but one of the Defendants charged with felonies have reached a resolution to the Obelisk cases that will further reconciliation in the community.
“It was my promise upon assuming this position that our office would do our best to divert non-violent and first-time offenders from costly and unnecessary incarceration,” District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said. “The Obelisk case defendants meet the criteria I set out for diversionary programming. We have reached a resolution after months of careful investigation and negotiation between defendants, their attorneys, and my office that ensures justice while working toward community healing.”
The pre-prosecution diversion program consists of a combination of community service hours and a new approach rooted in restorative justice principles, which has been shown in other communities to lead to better outcomes for victims and those otherwise adversely impacted by crimes.
The restorative justice process engages the defendants and the victims of crimes, together, to shape a resolution that is agreeable to all parties. Restorative justice has been used throughout the world, from the most serious crimes to conflicts between students.
The defendants have agreed to participate fully, which includes acknowledgement of their actions, and participation in any resolutions that arise as part of the restorative justice process. Should any of the defendants fail to participate fully, or complete the terms of the program, their cases will be placed back on the Court’s docket for prosecution.
The restorative justice process will be led by Common Ground Mediation Services. The District Attorney’s office has offered $1,500 in seed money toward the process and the remainder will be paid by the defendants. The program will last a minimum of six months and must be completed within two years. The intake phase of the process will identify community members, city employees, police officers, and other adversely affected parties who will be invited to participate in the program.
“Both the presence of and the toppling of the Obelisk left people within our community deeply hurting. I am pleased that we are pursuing a method of justice that will begin to heal those wounds,” Carmack-Altwies said. “This is a new and innovative way of dealing with harm in the community that will move us closer to reconciliation.”