Promote justice … eat jam
EL JEBEL ” Promote justice, eat jam. That’s the rallying cry of a local nonprofit organization that’s promoting an alternative approach to crime and punishment called restorative justice.
Restore/Rocky Mountain Restorative Justice is holding a sort of ongoing bake sale to raise funds. Kim Wille, the organization’s executive director, harvested copious amounts of fruit from trees in the midvalley this fall and turned them into 30 varieties of jams and jellies. She estimated she’s filled 600 pint and half-pint jars and has enough fruit stockpiled to create inventory that will last into next year.
She has made straightforward flavors like peach jam and apple jelly. There are wild combinations like jalapeno, apple and mint, and apricot ginger jam.
Some of Wille’s concoctions reflect the areas where she harvested the fruit. The Floyd Pear Pepper Jelly used pears from Floyd Street in the El Jebel Mobile Home Park. Floyd Crawford, the late founder of modern El Jebel, planted numerous fruit trees throughout the area.
Her Hook Spur Plum Ginger is named in honor of the plums she reaped from a friend’s small grove. Wille said she picked 10 pounds of plums in one day from trees that had piles of bear scat heaped beneath them.
Wille has been a cook in the valley for 31 years. She owned and operated The Last Stand at the Iselin ballfields for 14 years and managed numerous other restaurants. She said the jams and jellies can be used while barbecuing or as sauces ” not just for spreads.
The Justice Jams and Jellies sell for $10 for a pint and $5 for a half-pint. They have sold via word of mouth. To purchase some, call Restore at 704-0247.
Wille said the sales are designed to help create a year-round financial base for Restore. The top fiscal needs for the organization include training for volunteers and an administrative assistant.
The nonprofit organization promotes alternative sentencing in the courts. Offenders meet with victims and other affected community members in mediated gatherings. “We listen to each person’s story about the crime and how it affected them, respectfully and one at a time,” Wille said.
A unique sentence, often including community service and restitution, is determined by the group. If the offenders don’t complete the sentence, the case can be referred back the courts.
The idea, Wille said, is to create constructive and rehabilitative rather than punitive sentencing.
Restore currently is looking for volunteers to participate in the gatherings, formally called “circles,” and it is also seeking two members for its board of directors.
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