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Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland

from the article by David Orr:

...The European Forum for Restorative Justice was fortunate to attract numerous high profile keynote speakers, each of whom made stimulating and engaging contributions. David Ford, the Minister for Justice and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), made a thoughtful opening speech. He hails from one of the few political parties that have always tried to attract (and continue to try to attract) voters from both sides of the sectarian divide. In many ways, as Leader of the Alliance Party, he is something of an endangered species. He spoke about restorative justice as “a very human response to the harm that is caused to victims” and was clearly passionate and informed about the subject matter, aware of the potential for restorative justice approaches in response to many forms of offending, including serious crime. 

Jul 23, 2014 ,

‘Spiceman’ case sent to unique restorative justice program before sentencing

from the article in the Toronto Star:

Before Naveen Polapady is sentenced for assaulting and throwing spices at a man he says he believed was a thief, he and the man he injured will take the unusual step of talking it out — no lawyers present.

Polapady’s case was referred to a “vibrant restorative justice mediation service” at the St. Stephen’s Community House in Kensington Market, Crown attorney John Flaherty told the court Monday morning.

Jul 22, 2014 ,

Witnessing change

from the article posted by Prison Fellowship England & Wales:

Rachel*, a Sycamore Tree volunteer, told us of how listening to a victim’s experiences had completely changed the attitude and behavior of an offender.

“Tyrone* was an offender that stood out to me. I remember him saying:

“In my past life I was a taker. I was robbing banks, shooting people, drinking, being involved in adultery, blasphemy and coveting my neighbour’s women. My sinning was prolific and I enjoyed it, I actually revelled in it.”

Jul 21, 2014 , , ,

20 essential principles for corrections-based victim services

from the document prepared by Developed by the NAVSPIC VOD National Standards Subcommittee:

1. A confidential post-conviction facilitated process initiated only by crime victims/survivors, sometimes many years after the conviction of the offender(s). 

  • Victims/Survivors usually initiate a request for VOD a number of years after the conviction primarily because: 
    • They want to tell certain facts and feelings to the offender(s) convicted in the crime(s) against them. 
    • They want to ask certain questions of the offender(s). 
  • Survivors see VOD as a way to make meaning or sense of what happened to them, but only when the courageous choice to initiate the request lies with them, not the offender. 
  • Experience has shown that survivors may feel that offender-initiated requests to meet and talk, or to apologize, can be intrusive, re-traumatizing, and contain risk of inappropriate self-interest. 
 

Jul 18, 2014 ,

Restorative justice: Coming face-to-face with your burglar

from the article in the Western Daily Press:

As Coronation Street fans wait to find out if unlucky-in-love Gail McIntyre’s friendship with the man who burgled her house, Michael Rodwell, played by Les Dennis, turns to romance, restorative justice has been thrust into the spotlight. Jon Collins, chief executive of the The Restorative Justice Council,  describes how it works in real life.

"Being able to say the things I wasn't able to say in court was a turning point for me. It gave me the closure I needed to put it behind me and move on."

Jul 17, 2014

Another road to justice

from the article in Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

The group of men listens, mesmerized, as Lynn BeBeau talks about the last time she saw her husband alive.

"I told him the same thing I always did: `I love you. Be careful.' "

Her husband grinned back.

"Honey, don't worry about me. Me and God are like this." He held up two crossed fingers and smiled.

Hours later, the Eau Claire police officer was shot to death in the line of duty.

The hulking men in prison greens sit perfectly still as BeBeau fights back tears. They are murderers, armed robbers, drug dealers, child molesters.

Jul 16, 2014 , , , ,

Breaking a vicious cycle [Editorial]

from the article in the Baltimore Sun:

For far too many young people who get caught up in the criminal justice system, an arrest or conviction for even a minor, non-violent offense can become a one-way ticket to a shrunken future that slams the door on opportunities for the rest of their lives. Being arrested as a teen increases a person's chances of being arrested again as an adult, and teenagers sentenced to jail are more likely to be incarcerated later in life as well. Add to that the nation's harsh drug laws and stiff mandatory minimum sentencing policies and it's no wonder America locks up more of its citizens than any other country in the world.

Jul 15, 2014 , ,

Alternative sentence praised

from the article on stuff.co.nz:

The hardline Sensible Sentencing Trust has come out in support of a judge's decision not to jail a drink-driver who killed a New Plymouth woman.

Hogan Bolton, 31, of New Plymouth, was sentenced on July 4 to nine months' home detention following the death of artist and mother Carmen Rogers after she was hit in Brougham St on May 6.

His breath alcohol was 1297mcg. The legal level is 400mcg.

As well as making a $50,000 emotional harm reparation to the family he has agreed to appear in an anti-drink driving documentary.

Jul 14, 2014 , , , , ,

Families of slain Israeli and Palestinian teens turn to each other for comfort

from the article on the Jewish Daily Forward:

The families of murdered Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel and murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir are drawing comfort from an unexpected source: each other.

Jul 11, 2014 , , ,

After assault, woman finds hope and career in restorative justice

from the article on NPR:

Lorenn Walker works to help both victims and offenders after crimes are committed. She's a restorative lawyer from the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, where she focuses on violence prevention and works on reentry programs for prisoners.

Her work in restorative justice began after a personal encounter with crime, when she was assaulted 38 years ago.

Jul 10, 2014 ,

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