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Restorative justice for everyone: An innovative program and case study from Turners Falls High School in Massachusetts

from the article by David Bulley and Thom Osborne:

Restorative Justice generally exists as an alternative to traditional discipline. In most schools a student who acts out will be referred to the assistant principal or to the dean of students who then makes a determination: Is the student a candidate for restorative justice or should they be disciplined the traditional way of detentions or suspensions? Often this includes a choice by the student. In fact, as part of most restorative conferences, the perpetrator is informed that participation is voluntary and that at any time they can opt out and subject themselves to traditional justice. One problem with this system is that too many students welcome an out of school suspension.

Apr 17, 2014 , , ,

Restorative justice – a third way

from the interview with Chris Marshall:

Crime and punishment—few issues generate more heated debate. How we deal with criminals is a particularly contested area. Should we lock them up and throw away the key? Or should we attempt some kind of rehabilitation?

Apr 16, 2014 ,

Learning respect for a victim’s pain – a powerful speech to prisoners and criminal justice officials

from the article on Sycamore Voices:

When I first began the program I was recovering from a broken right wrist, it was a bad break and extremely painful. In greeting the residents I had to offer my right wrist – these guys have strong handshakes and a couple of times I actually winced in pain.

In order for me to be acquainted with the participants I had to offer something of myself, which hurt. In turn the guys learnt to not shake my hand hard and they developed a respect for my pain. Eight weeks on I can offer my hand without the fear of pain, as there has been a healing process.

Apr 15, 2014 , , , , ,

Victim participation in transitional justice mechanisms: Real power or empty ritual?

from the discussion paper David Taylor:

Since the Nuremberg trials, recourse to transitional justice (TJ) as a response to serious violations of international law has become the norm rather than the exception. Seeking the truth about the past, holding the perpetrators of violence to account, reconciling divided groups and (re)establishing peace are deemed vital for victims, affected communities, and for the future of both state and society. To achieve these goals, institutionalised mechanisms such as truth commissions and criminal tribunals have often been relied upon. And as the practice of TJ has gradually evolved, novel approaches and new principles have been accorded greater importance. Victim participation is one such example, representing both an approach and a principle. 


Apr 14, 2014 , , ,

Subsidised training programme: Victims' voices and restorative justice in the new EC Directive

from the announcement by IARS:

IARS is delighted to offer a subsidised, bespoke and evidence -based training programme for professionals, victims and other users of the criminal justice system on the Victims' Directive due to be implemented by all member states by 16th November 2015. The training programme is certified and it is the output of the two year EU funded project “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims And Empowering Professionals”,(RJE) that aims to facilitate the implementation of the EU Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.

Apr 14, 2014 ,

Restorative justice offers a way for peace to come from tragedy

from the article in the TImes Colonist:

One family sat across from the Greater Victoria woman whose dangerous driving caused the death of their brother, John Caspell.

Another woman, Shannon Moroney, sat on the other side of the glass from her newlywed husband, in jail for brutally raping two women in their Peterborough home.

Apr 11, 2014 , ,

Martin Wright reviews Forging Justice: A Restorative Justice Mystery

from the article by Martin Wright:

Police detective Claire Cassidy was disillusioned after twelve years pursuing young people – often the same ones repeatedly – in the decaying steel town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

Apr 10, 2014 ,

Defending restorative discipline

by Jeremy Simons

When I started working at Cole Middle School in inner city Denver in 2003, it was ranked dead last in the entire state of Colorado, with proficiency scores on standardized testing (CSAP) in the single digits. It would later be shut down by the state and turned into a charter school, which was also closed after 3 years, in a bizarre attempt at school “accountability.” 

Student misbehavior went hand in hand with the academic problems, with hundreds of students suspended every year and substitute teachers bullied out of the building by students. Local residents called the school a “gang factory.” Police cruisers were regularly parked outside with officers escorting students out between the elegant Doric columns supporting the main entrance, grand reminders of forgotten days when the school produced graduates rather than criminals. It was a sad example of what community activists and parents were just beginning to call the “school to prison pipeline”.

Apr 09, 2014 ,

St. Louis program helps police and public smooth over minor conflicts

from the article in the St. Louis Post -Dispatch:

If you think a city cop was rude, cursed at you or treated you unfairly, you might have a chance to hammer out your differences in a face-to-face chat.

St. Louis police are running a pilot program aimed at resolving bitter but relatively minor conflicts between citizens and officers. So far, the department has resolved 15 complaints through mediation since the program started in October 2011, said Lt. Scott Gardner, an internal affairs commander.

Apr 08, 2014 , , , ,

Rwanda genocide survivors back reconciliation

from the article from Aljazeera:

Frederic Kazigwemo was one of thousands of men who helped perpetrate the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Twenty years later, local residents elected him as Mbyo village's spokesperson.

Mbyo is a Reconciliation Village, located one hour's drive from the capital of Kigali. It's a microcosm of victims and perpetrators, Hutus and Tutsis, murderers and survivors, are neighbors. It's an attempt to rebuild the country.

Twenty years ago, a mass murder destroyed the Rwandan society. The genocide was sparked by the death of the then Rwandan Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana, whose plane was shot down on April 6 1994. In the hundred days that followed, some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by the Hutu majority. 

Apr 07, 2014 , ,

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