Guardian Charity Awards 2013 winner: Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability
from the article from the Guardian:
YHCOSA works to rehabilitate and reintegrate socially isolated sexual offenders, with the aim of making sure they don't reoffend. Trained volunteers form "circles" of four to six members who meet with a "core member" once a week for around a year, discussing their offences, concerns and ideas for the future.
Tending deep wounds
In October, Prison Fellowship South Africa held its last scheduled Sycamore Tree Project® (STP) course for 2013 in Pretoria Women’s Correctional Centre. The 18 prisoners and six victims addressed many issues related to crime and the harm that it causes. For one, the programme offered an opportunity to address the deep wounds of racism and violence from her country’s past.
Editorial: The best arena for victim redress?
from the article in the Sage e-bulletin from the Church Council on Justice and Corrections:
Can the justice system ever be the arena for victims’ redress if redress means true healing and moving on from trauma and its effects? A criminal justice system built on punitive measures and adversarial posturing exacerbates the victim wound and creates even more layers of self protection against active resolution of one’s own wounding and the wounding one does to another. Further the judicial system is the state’s arena, not the victim’s, for redress against crimes committed and therefore its capacity to adequately redress victims’ needs where those needs are most required is difficult at best. Victims are left with insufficient avenues to get to the root of needed healing. And incarceration that does not consistently include those rehabilitation options that contribute to victim redress, does not hold real solutions to changing behaviour or creating public and victim safety in the long term.
Restorative justice pilot scheme to begin at 10 courts
from the article by Owen Bowcott on the guardian:
The first victim-led, restorative justice programmes are due to begin in crown courts across England and Wales this month in an attempt to cut reoffending rates.
Requests for face-to-face meetings following a crime are normally initiated by the offender under restorative justice schemes. But a new pilot project in 10 crown courts will reverse the process, enabling victims to approach offenders before a sentence has been imposed.
From death row to restorative justice
from the article by Marina Cantacuzino:
Restorative justice is a system that fundamentally views crime as injury rather than wrong-doing, and justice as healing rather than punishment. Whilst visiting New York, Minneapolis, Hawaii and Texas (thanks to receiving a Winston Churchill travelling fellowship) I've uncovered some remarkable US-based programs that bear this out. But as founding director of The Forgiveness Project, a UK-based charity that delivers a restorative justice programme in prisons, I'm also surprised by how often the death penalty is central to the conversation.
Leeds victim’s chat with masked burglar
From the article on the Yorkshire Evening Post:
A woman who came face-to-face with a masked burglar in her kitchen has told how she invited him to sit down for a chat.
Viv Hulland calmly asked the intruder, who was wearing a balaclava, to take a seat after he broke into her Leeds home in the middle of the night – just hours before she was due to attend her mother’s funeral.
The teenager woke Ms Hulland and her husband, Keith, as he forced his way into their house in Chapel Allerton.
Ms Hulland, 54, called the police from their bedroom but the couple then bumped into the culprit as they went to let officers in.
Brick attack boys come face-to-face with victim
from the article in Worcester News:
Boys who threw bricks at passing cars in Worcester have met face-to-face with the lorry driver they almost killed.
The “remorseful” primary school children, one aged 11, the other 12, met with the driver accompanied by their parents following the potentially deadly brick attack on the A4440 Crookbarrow Way in Worcester.
Teenage Wigan victim of gang attack finds peace after meeting attackers in Restorative justice scheme
from the article on mancunianmatters:
A teenager from Wigan who was attacked and left with a catalogue of injuries in May has found closure after meeting with her attackers.
Brave 14-year-old Amy Clarke, from Aspull, went with her mother to meet the group after police referred their case to Wigan Council’s restorative solutions team.
Amy was attacked when walking along with her friend earlier this year.
Inmates pack more than 15,000 meals for hungry kids
from the article on the StarTribune:
When sign-up sheets went up recently at Stillwater prison for inmates to pack meals for hungry kids, the 50 volunteer slots were filled within five minutes. So officials increased the number of inmate volunteers allowed.
On Saturday, 131 of them assembled meal packets for an event led by the prison’s Restorative Justice Offender Council and Trinity Lutheran Church in Bayport.
Actions and consequences: How restorative justice can help victims move on
from the article by Javed Khan:
If you were a victim of crime, would you want to meet the offender?
What would you say to them?
A burglary victim might, for example, want to talk about the inconvenience, the hassle of sorting out the mess and replacing what has been stolen.
They could spell out that some things - just objects to an outsider - are completely irreplaceable, and how sentimental value outweighs any financial cost.
But we all know that actions have unintended consequences, and burglary isn't just about what's been taken, it's about what's been left behind too.