Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
Taos Pueblo Alternative Systems Protect, Invest, Restore, Empower (ASPIRE) is a collaborative, multi-entity approach to serving all community members through legal and restorative justice models that integrate to tribal workplace and spiritual opportunities. ASPIRE is an approach born of the Taos Pueblo Justice Plan, completed in early 2023, which reflected years of community engagement to design models that would meet community needs and embrace cultural and spiritual values. In ASPIRE, entities work together in three key ways: (1) building justice system capacity in supportive programming (e.g., probation services, community safety group, code review, evaluation of existing wellness and recovery justice programs), (2) identifying barriers and creating pathways to workplace opportunities (e.g., conducting data gathering to identify barriers and understand individual goals, creating supportive services to build skills, supporting individuals through workplace pathways leading to long-term employment and engagement), and (3) supporting families and individuals in cultural and spiritual needs (e.g., integrating trauma-informed programming, providing trauma training/support, engaging youth programming, providing spiritual guidance). ASPIRE is a sustainable, flexible program model that builds on existing resources and current programming, offering the structural connections, data systems, referral networks, and evaluation that will build restorative justice systems and connect clients to valuable, impactful opportunities within Taos Pueblo. ASPIRE represents the spirit of the Taos Pueblo Justice Plan, which seeks to offer opportunities for restorative healing and purposeful contributions from all Taos Pueblo community members. The grant funds will be used to build out the structure needed to support long-term Taos Pueblo Justice Plan goals, increasing needed support for individuals and families through probation programming, educating community members in needs, involving community members in a restorative model of justice, building relationships between justice systems and the community, supporting cultural and traditional means of restorative programming, and creating coordination between justice systems and long-term opportunities for workforce integration and service.