A few weeks back I experienced going through a restorative justice meeting.
It was probably the most intense thing I had ever experienced. It made me wish I had never committed the minor crimes that had caused the family of whose property I had trespassed so much stress and grief. This had started just a few months back when I had begun in my crimes. It continued about seven or eight times for a few months until I had received a call from the police stating that I had been involved in the crimes of trespassing and mischief. I went silent.
That’s when the guilt began. I was told that a restorative justice meeting had been set up and we would be told of the meeting’s date within a few days, but weeks went by without any knowledge of the meeting’s date.
I was given 30 hours of community service and had to help pay for any damage done. I still regret ever even thinking of doing it. After hearing how I affected their family the guilt had become even worse. I thought what I was doing wouldn’t affect anyone but it had greatly affected their family and I can hardly bear what I had done.
I feel that I should have turned myself in but I was a fool. I thought my actions would go without consequences.
Just to think none of this would have happened if I never had decided to do what I had done just for a quick adrenaline rush.
My stupidity in attempting to commit the crime repeatedly thinking I wouldn’t be caught was a major factor in the reason I am where I am today.
It was also a sign that if I don’t stop now I could end up in jail or worse.
I feel like it is the only way I can apologize and show it, and hopefully to anyone who reads this, they can learn from my mistakes and not do such foolish and stupid things. And to the family I have so very wronged, I am very deeply sorry for what harm I have caused you.
Name withheld by request
Editor’s note: This letter was written by a participant of the Restorative Justice program. The writer’s name has been withheld because it is a condition of writing and publishing the letter.
The Tribune doesn’t typically run unsigned letters to the editor but makes a special exception for the program.