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Wyoming Restorative Justice Council

Rick Prince is the President of the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council as well as a facilitator with the Wyoming Board of Parole’s Victim Offender Dialogue program.  He is also the Senior Associate Pastor and Vice President of Harvestime Ministries in Rawlins, Wyoming. Rick's journey to Restorative Justice actually began in 1998 when, as a teenager, he was arrested and convicted of theft and burglary.  Rick served five and a half years in the Colorado Department of Corrections with three years of mandatory parole. In 2006, he completed his sentence and moved to Wyoming.  In 2010 Rick and his wife began participating in prison ministry in Rawlins Wyoming.  By 2011 he had finished his educational requirements through Harvestime Ministries and he received his ordination.  In 2012 Rick was voted in as the Senior Associate Pastor and Vice President of Harvestime Ministries. Rick first discovered Restorative Justice in 2012 and immediately began researching everything he could find. He had his first training in Colorado with Restorative Justice Services in Fort Collins.  He soon began speaking about RJ and was interviewed by the Wyoming Public Radio.  This led to an invitation to join the not yet developed VOD program.  Rick was trained and certified as a facilitator for this program. In 2015 Rick began working on the creation of the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council. He surrounded himself with an amazing team of professionals and by November 2016 the Council became a recognized non-profit organization.  Rick continues to lead the Council as they seek to advance Restorative Justice throughout Wyoming.

Jen Miner - A native of northern Illinois, Jen obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from Aurora University and later a Master of Science in Criminology from Indiana State University. She is a founding member and current Vice Chair of the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council and has been instrumental in the formation of a Casper nonprofit board as well, Natrona County Restorative Justice. Jen’s experience includes working for the Wyoming Department of Family Services as a social worker and the Wyoming Department of Corrections as a probation officer. She currently manages the Casper Police Department’s Youth & Adult Community Service Program and is Chair of Natrona County Restorative Justice.

Randi Losalu is a founding member of and the Secretary for the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council. Additionally, she is both the program manager and a facilitator for the Wyoming Victim Offender Dialogue program, giving victims of severe violent crime the opportunity to face their offender in a safe and secure manner after thorough preparation.  Randi is also the Victim Services Coordinator for the Wyoming Board of Parole providing post-conviction victim services to those victimized by Wyoming adult felony offenders.  She provides information, notification, and advocacy through the Victim/Witness Notification Program ensuring and assisting victims prepare for and have a voice at parole hearings.  She has focused her efforts on expanding post-conviction services available to victims of Wyoming offenders through developing and offering restorative justice programs including the Offender Apology Letter Bank program and the Victim-Offender Dialogue (VOD) program.  

 

Mrs. Losalu has received the “Partners in Advocacy” P.E.A.C.E Award from the Wyoming Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Outstanding Advocate Award from the Cheyenne Police Department, and the Innovation Award from the Wyoming Division of Victim Services.  She currently chairs the Association of Paroling Authorities International Victims’ Committee, helped to establish a Wyoming Restorative Justice Council, and is on the planning committee for the Wyoming Joint Symposium on Children and Youth (formerly the  Crimes against Children Conference).  Speaking engagements for her include the Wyoming Annual Victim Services Conferences, National Institute of Corrections Network Meetings, Victim Offender Dialogue Summit, National Association of Victim Assistance in Corrections Conference, and the Association of Paroling Authorities International Conference.  Prior to working with the Board of Parole, Randi lived in the Kingdom of Tonga during her Peace Corps service wherein she developed a restorative justice program.  She has also worked for the late Senator Craig Thomas in Washington D.C.  She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in both Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Wyoming in 2003, and is currently in the process of obtaining her Masters of Social Work through the University of North Dakota. Randi resides in Cheyenne with her husband and three children.

Cassidy Drew is a recent member of the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council. She is currently a Victim Advocate at the Advocacy & Resource Center in Sheridan, WY. She provides comprehensive victim services to victims of all violent crime in Sheridan County. Services include (but are not limited to) ongoing support, information, safety planning, emergency shelter, and criminal justice advocacy. She started her work as an advocate in September of 2015, and as of February 2017 completed the Core Rural Advocacy: Training of Trainers. She is a skilled communicator with an enthusiasm for partnership and collaboration.

 

Cassidy grew up in the Chicagoland area with an active interest in social justice, arts, and the big city. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Minor in Women and Gender Studies from DePaul University in 2014. She was an active participant in organizing around Sexual Violence Awareness on her college campus. Cassidy was first introduced to the work of Restorative Justice through a few inspirational professors who conducted class in a Peace Circle process and expanded class consciousness to include alternate modes of conflict-management and communication.

 

Shortly after graduation, Cassidy set out to work for the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource in Lake Andes, SD as an intern and part-time Shelter Advocate. After six months of hard work and an incredible culture shift, she moved West, landing in Sheridan, WY where she lives full-time.

Christal Martin first became interested in Restorative Justice after a class she took for her Criminal Justice Degree. After much research and writing a report she was able to reach out to the Victim Offender Dialog Program in Wyoming so she could begin Preparations to meet her mother’s offender.  After a year of prep she was able to meet the offender face to face and found that the program was very beneficial and sent a request to be on the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council and shortly after was asked to become a WRJC board member and contact for the Sweetwater County area.

Christal is the founder and Executive Director of Sweetwater Against Trafficking and currently teaches prevention classes for Sweetwater Against Trafficking. Her goal in life is to help those that have been a victim to a crime have the voice they deserve and inspire them to continue growing in a healthy manner.

Katie Hughes In her work at the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence against Sexual Assault as the Rural Program Capacity Specialist, Katie aims to hold space for marginalized populations to lead the movement to end violence and oppression in their communities by providing opportunities for healing and connection, helping to create the environment for sustainable and supportive programs to grow, and engages Wyomingites in challenging the social norms that create the space for violence to occur. Her passion for advocacy is framed through a human rights perspective and she received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies focusing on human rights from the University of Wyoming in 2010. 

 

In working with rural Wyoming communities as they respond to instances of intimate partner and sexual violence, Katie began to notice that something was missing in our response. It seemed like we were trying to help survivors heal and find justice without understanding what healing and justice meant to them. It also felt like communities were responding to individual occurrences of trauma, without addressing the community impact trauma has, and the need for healing that addresses the root causes of violence and creates the space for primary prevention and social change. Katie searched for other communities who were looking for a different way of responding and learned about Restorative Justice. She was trained in Community Group Conferencing in 2017, and Ending Relationship Violence through the Circle Process 2018, which honored traditional indigenous wisdom and way-of-being in circle together. Katie has found Restorative Justice to be transformative in the way that it allows us to embrace and confront the complexity of how violence occurs in our communities while inherently recognizing the dignity and worth of every being and our collective need for healing and justice. 

 

Katie lives and works in the wildly beautiful, rural highlands in Southeast Wyoming. She finds joy in the small things: warm socks, good books, and cuddles from her children. 

Tony Garber is a Regional Manager for the Wyoming Department of Corrections, Division of Field Service (Probation and Parole) and has been with the Department for 32 years.  He became involved with Restorative Justice in 2000 when he attended a week of training through the National Institute of Corrections.  WDOC implemented a pilot in Sheridan County and he was heavily involved in a grassroots effort to educate the community and implement Restorative Justice principles in that area.  A 501c3  organization was developed and over the course of several years, Victim/Offender Dialogue, Victim Impact Panels, conferencing in schools and basic inmate re-entry services were implemented as a result.  Tony believes Restorative Justice just makes sense and the hope is that he can help promote and advance RJ across the State of Wyoming.

L’Dawn Olsen comes to the work of restorative justice ancestrally. A descendant of the Eastern Shoshone tribe, the Shoshone along with many Indigenous Peoples’ ancestors engaged in restorative justice as a way-of-life. In simple sayings that survived colonization such as “All are my relations” and “Walk in beauty,” this life philosophy speaks directly to human beings as co-creators, responsible for making-the-world.   

“If a person born whole is acting out in harmful ways,” L’Dawn speaks of restorative justice, “in Indigenous ancestral thought, the question would be asked: how, where and when did they fracture? How did we as fellow human beings fail him or her in their journey of life? How can we help them restore the whole and the good through accountable? How can we help them become whole and good again—for and to others, themselves and the world?”  

“To throw away a human being is to recreate and add more violence and harm to the world,” L’Dawn adds. “In the words of David Keenan, Chief of the Teslin Tlingit People, ‘There is no such thing as a dispensable person anywhere in this country. We must stop treating them as such’.

It is with this reverence to ancestral Indigenous thought and lifeway, L’Dawn works as the Equity and Inclusion Specialist for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; and serves on the Wyoming Restorative Justice Council.

Thomas Grisell