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Face-to-face way to empower victims

from the op-ed by Mark Burns-Williamson in The Yorkshire Post:

Burglaries, anti-social behaviour and low level crime including noise nuisance, affect lives and destroy confidence. They mean people live in fear in their own homes, cause untold damage to victims and can also ruin the lives of those committing these offences.

Victims can feel devastated and left wondering why they were targeted, while the offenders seldom stop to think about the implications of their actions and can and often do go on to reoffend.

This is where restorative justice can come in to present an alternative approach....

Jan 30, 2015 , , , ,

The image of God in each of us could change how Christians view prison reform

from the entry by Elise Amyx on Institute for Faith, Work & Economics:

On Monday, January 26th, faith leaders gathered in Washington D.C. to discuss restorative justice as a Christian approach to the criminal justice system.

The United States is home to more incarcerated citizens than any other nation in the entire world. With 25 percent of the world’s prison population behind bars in the U.S., prison reform is an issue of rising bipartisan support in Washington. It’s also a huge concern among Christian social justice advocates, especially since there is a strong link between incarceration rates and poverty rates and reform may greatly improve overall human well-being.

Jan 29, 2015 , ,

The Better Government Competition seeks ideas to reform America’s troubled criminal justice system

By Matt Blackbourn of Pioneer Institute of Public Policy

We are living in an era defined by unprecedented human and fiscal costs wrought on by our nation’s criminal justice system. 

At the end of 2013, approximately 1 in 35 U.S. adults were under correctional supervision in some form, and 1 in 110 adults were incarcerated in prison or local jail, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Overcriminalization and excessively harsh sentencing have devastated communities across the U.S., with a disproportionate impact on minorities and urban residents. For most states, the costs of corrections have exploded to unmanageable levels, leaving officials with overcrowded and understaffed prisons and a sluggish, largely ineffectual court system. 

Hergo: 3 testimonies. Conferencing in Belgium

from the announcement on European Forum for Restorative Justice:

In Belgium, Judges of the Juvenile Court can propose a Hergo as a response to serious crimes. During such a conference, the underage offender (and his parents) and the victim, both with their personal supporters, look for redress towards victim and society. The minor also plans what he intends to do to prevent recidivism. A police inspector is present at the meeting. A neutral facilitator has preparatory talks with all parties concerned. He chairs the conference. Afterwards, the Judge ratifies the plan for redress during a session of the Juvenile Court.

Every year, about 100 minors and the same amount of victims receive a proposal for a Hergo from one of the Juvenile Judges in Flanders. One in three cases leads to a real conference.

Jan 05, 2015 , ,

‘Peace hubs’ aim to save kids from crime stigma

from the article by Rod Watson in Buffalo News:

VOICE-Buffalo’s effort to create “peace hubs” in churches, mosques, synagogues and other neighborhood anchors could resolve low-level conflicts before they ever reach police. It’s part of a “restorative justice” effort to turn around wayward youth before they get ensnared in a criminal-justice system staffed by many who don’t understand the neighborhoods they patrol or the young people they prosecute.

It’s not an effort to coddle criminals; it’s an effort to save kids.

Jan 02, 2015 , ,

DSW adopts new approach to loss prevention

from the article by Christine Kern in Integrated Solutions for Retailers:

DSW, Inc. has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Corrective Education Company (CEC), to incorporate the CEC Restorative Justice Education solution into its Loss Prevention program.

DSW Inc., headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, operates 431 stores in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. DSW also supplies footwear to 370 leased locations in the United States under the Affiliated Business Group.

Dec 31, 2014 , , ,

Restorative justice may provide additional justice mechanism for victims of sexual crime, study shows

from the article on Physorg:

According to the findings of a recently published study, restorative justice could provide an additional justice mechanism for victims of sexual crime which can support the needs of victims, offenders, and their families, in the aftermath of sexual crime in Ireland.

The study entitled "Sexual Trauma and Abuse, Restorative and Transformative Possibilities?" based on 149 interviews with victims, offenders, judges and others, and a review of the global literature found that "all cohorts of participants are in favour of restorative justice in sexual violence cases as an additional justice mechanism for victims of sexual crime, as all participants recognise the considerable gaps that exist in current justice provision for victims of sexual crime in this state"....

Dec 30, 2014 , , ,

Positive results for "What would you do?" campaign

from the article on Restorative Justice Council:

During International Restorative Justice Week 2014 the RJC partnered with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Why Me? and the Chris Donovan Trust on What would you do?, a campaign to raise awareness of restorative justice. Figures published by the MoJ indicate that the campaign was an overwhelming success, reaching  6.5 million people on Twitter and 4.2 million people on Facebook.

Following the campaign 70% of people said they would consider taking part in restorative justice. Remedi – the biggest UK employer of restorative professionals – received a significant increase in enquiries from the public as a result of the campaign.

Dec 29, 2014 , ,

Tania's story

from the article on Restorative Justice Council:

When Tania [not her real name] was robbed on a busy street, her confidence was destroyed. Here, she talks about why she decided to take part in a restorative justice conference with her mugger, and what it gave her back.

“I was on my way to the local shops when I felt what I thought was someone bumping into me. It took me a few seconds to realise that someone had grabbed my handbag and I was dragged, screaming, along the pavement. I tried very hard to hold on to it but I couldn’t and the man took off up a side road. It was broad daylight and so there were quite a lot of people around. A lady who had seen everything contacted the police straight away and several people tried to follow the mugger...."

Dec 26, 2014 , , ,

Editorial: Restorative justice and Christmas

by Dan Van Ness

The first use of the term “restorative justice” is usually traced to a collection of articles by psychologist Albert Eglash in 1958. Ann Skelton has traced Eglash’s source for the term to a 1955 book, The Biblical Doctrine of Justice and Law. It refers to restorative justice in a discussion of the intersection of justice and love in Christian teaching:

Dec 25, 2014

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