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The sociological imagination: Restorative justice

from the article by Ariel Hsieh:

The concept and practice of Restorative Justice have been around for centuries and focuses on addressing the needs of victims, offenders, and the greater community in response to harmful or criminal acts. In contrast to the traditional American legal system, referred to henceforth as conventional justice, restorative justice allows a framework for victims and/or communities to be directly involved in the reparative process, encouraging offenders to take responsibility for their actions by seeing how their actions have harmed others. In recent decades, we have seen the manifestation of the mentality that we as a society should be “tough on crime,” particularly on the causes of crime, in our attitudes regarding crime prevention. 

However, consistently high rates of recidivism and reconvictions through the conventional system suggests a particularly frightening conclusion: that the criminal justice system itself contributes to crime in modern societies. While aspects of criminal justice such as inadequate rehabilitation programs and insufficient resettlement resources for life post-incarceration have been blamed for contributing to crime among convicted criminals, there is another more fundamental explanation that is rooted in the way in which society frames the connections between victims, criminals, and society. 

Apr 22, 2014 ,

'We shook hands... I got upset and started crying. Then Glenn broke down'

from the article on No Offence!:

When a passing cyclist intervened as a drunk racially abused two Asian women in Nottingham city centre, it changed both men's lives.

Shad Ali, punched to the ground and kicked in the face, ended up in an operating theatre. His assailant Glenn Jackson, eventually snared by CCTV footage, ended up in prison.

Almost seven years on they met at HMP Featherstone, Wolverhampton, for the first time. They embraced and wept before sitting down to share their feelings about the incident and its aftermath.

Apr 21, 2014 ,

Circles: Healing through restorative justice

from the article by Laurel J. Felt:

“Who or what inspires you to be your best self?”

This is hardly the question that most Angelenos would ask at 9:30 in the morning on a gray, rainy Saturday. But for the 80+ adults and youth who gathered on March 2 at Mendez Learning Center in Boyle Heights, this introspective query kicked off “Circles,” a rich, daylong exploration of Restorative Justice.

Apr 18, 2014 ,

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

from the article by David Bulley and Thomas Osborn:

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 ,

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