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.
Restorative justice element needed in sacrament of penance
from the article on CatholicIreland.net:
Purely verbal approach to repentance is not enough says President of Maynooth.
As Catholic churches all over the world stayed open last night and today to celebrate “a festival of forgiveness” through the ’24 hours for the Lord’ initiative, the President of St Patrick’s College Maynooth has said there is a real need for restorative justice in the sacrament of Confession.
‘What We All Want is Respect’
from the article by Candace McCoy:
What’s next for police-neighborhood relationships in New York City? All parties know that aggressive stop-and-frisk practices must change. A federal judge said so.
In Camden, young ex-offenders spread antiviolence message
from the article on philly.com:
Wilson Rodriguez thought he had something worthwhile to say, but he wondered why a young audience would listen to a 21-year-old parolee convicted as a teenager in the bludgeoning death of a sleeping homeless man.
He told more than a dozen youngsters in an event hosted by the Camden Board of Education he and his friends "did something horrible and someone ended up dying."
New Peacemaking Court will help ease relationship conflicts
from the article in Oakland County Legal News:
A dream has come true for Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Timothy Connors who will oversee a new Peacemaking Court thanks to a yearlong grant from the state’s Court Performance Innovation Fund.
“This is an alternative—a way of thinking, a way of talking, a way of acting that in my opinion has great validity toward achieving justice,” said Connors, who has already begun to oversee the new court.
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.
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.
What I’ve learned as a Neighborhood Court facilitator
From the article by Judith MacBrine on The Davis Enterprise:
On June 6, I facilitated my first Neighborhood Court session. I am one of seven trained facilitators. I was drawn to Neighborhood Court because it uses restorative justice principles to resolve crimes — i.e., identify and repair the harms — as compared to our current punitive justice — i.e., identify the broken law and punish the offender.
With all of the problems associated with the criminal justice system — cost, overcrowding, lag time, recidivism, discrimination — I am thrilled to help find another way to justice. I didn’t expect, however, to be personally impacted by the process.
Oakland activist helps troubled young men heal from trauma
From the article by Matt O'Brien on Contra Costa Times:
It might seem strange, to those with a dim view of them, to witness young men with gang affiliations and juvenile records gathered in a ceremonial circle and disclosing their deepest regrets. But for George Galvis, this is the way people are supposed to resolve their problems. Everyone, he said, wants their voices heard.
Faith groups and restorative justice
A government minister, Jeremy Wright, recently raised hopes of a new approach to criminal justice for England and Wales based on restorative justice. Disappointingly, it is being introduced half-heartedly. The Opposition is attacking it for the wrong reasons; the voluntary sector seems to have no clear strategy for making it happen, and it could fall into the lap of profit-oriented companies. But faith-based groups could fill the gap and help to transform the system.
Restorative justice is based not on ‘returning evil for evil’ but on healing the harm, and where possible enabling the victim to tell the offender the effects of the crime on him or her, and to ask questions. This can be an eye-opener to the offender. Unlike the adversarial criminal trial, the process encourages empathy on both sides, although of course it doesn’t guarantee it.