Dad hurt in east Hull water pistol attack: 'Restorative justice is no deterrent'
Humberside Police is extending its restorative justice programme and claims it is an effective way of dealing with some offences. But a father who was burnt in the face with a chemical while crossing the road in Southcoates Lane, east Hull, says the approach provides little deterrent.
Giving victims more of a say in how criminals are dealt with sounds like a good idea, but for Richard Scerrie it has been a frustrating experience.
The disabled father-of-two was burnt in the face when he was hit by a chemical fired from a water pistol by a gang of youths in east Hull.
But Mr Scerrie remains frustrated by his experience....
Even practice doesn’t make perfect — and that’s OK
“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” G.K. Chesterton
I've used that quote as a guide for some time now, and nowhere more frequently than in my work promoting and practicing restorative and transformational approaches to conflict and harm. This was especially apparent to me this week, a week that both began and ended with me accompanying others along a restorative path with few markers other than my own experiences in the work and their desire to do things differently....
People, not projects
by Lynette Parker:
Recently, I've done some work for the North American Mission Board’s LoveLoud Initiative to develop resources to help churches use restorative practices to meet the needs of those impacted by the justice system. In the text for one training session, I wrote:
“When talking to men, women, and children affected by crime, it’s important to remember they are people, not projects. The idea of a healing community is to build a safe place of welcome and inclusion where people can share their pain, trials, concerns and needs without fear of being judged or rejected.”
Project Turnaround earns kudos
When it comes to exceptional service and notable results, Timaru's restorative justice programme is leading the way. The Ministry of Justice-funded programme, known locally as Project Turnaround, ranked No 1 out of 22 national providers in a recent survey.
The simple matter of saying sorry: Language skills and restorative conferencing
from the article by Pamela Snow:
...In Australia, all states and territories have enshrined approaches to the processing of young offenders that embed three core principles:
- adolescents are not “miniature adults” and should therefore be treated in accordance with their developmental needs;
- wherever possible, it is desirable to divert young people away from formal convictions, whether community-based or custodial, and accordingly,
- detention is an option of last resort.
Restorative Justice listening . . . to bare witness
from the blog article by Kris Miner:
That is an intentional typo. I’m going to try to explain the kind of listening that works best in Restorative Justice Peacemaking Circles. Not listening to respond, not active listening so you can reframe and respond. The kind of listening that is free of judgement. Listening that could be called ‘bearing witness’ to another person. What does to bear witness mean?
People are not programs
from the blog article by Hal Pepinsky:
...From victim-offender mediation trainings and practice, I learned that regardless of formal structure and training, people will apply their underlying habits and perspective as mediators to doing “restorative justice.” Many advocates and practitioners of this model of responding to conflict in practice share my observation that in practice, many mediators concentrate on following the detailed letter of what to say and do, as they have been instructed to do, and in so doing, acts more like judges or arbitrators who interpret and implicitly tell parties what is what, what they need to do, and have a fixed notion going into mediation as to terms of an appropriate agreement. One prime example is requiring “offenders” explicitly to apologize to “victims.” Another example, one that has even formally been introduced into some theories and practices of “restoration,” is the belief that “offenders” must be “shamed” into overt remorse for their actions, and that a good agreement requires that “offenders” somehow “right the wrongs” they have done, both for their sakes, and for the sake of “repairing the harm” to meet “victims’” needs.
Circle with diverse members, harmed, harmer and community role models.
from the blog article by Kris Miner:
What a fortunate place I have, having kept 1,000′s of Circles in a range of contexts. I’ve also been fortunate to train a few hundred in the process, allowing me to hear stories back on what worked well, and what was a lesson.
It is soo important that Circles have a diverse mix of perspectives. This takes time, in training youth or community volunteers about the dynamics of participating in Circle. However, by training others, you yourself will be learning more about the fundamental belief systems that make Circles work.
Compulsory Mediation within Civil and Criminal Law: Good, Bad, or Just Plain Daft
From the article on ILennon: A Comment on Legal Developments:
...Mediation is a process which carries with it undeniable successes, and which when used in the right circumstances is a altogether good thing, providing access to justice, a speedy and affordable process and a way of resolving disputes in a manner designed to restore and preserve relationships. “In all dispute resolution methods there is always pressure for change”[i], one such change mediation faces is the possibility of being made a compulsory precursor to litigation. This paper takes a short but critical look at the possible outcomes if a statutory requirement meant that mediation become compulsory within Civil and Criminal claims.
Approaching juvenile crime head on
From the article by Leila day:
When people get into trouble with the law, they normally don’t have a chance to have a conversation with their victims. To explain what happened. Hear about the damage they caused. Say they’re sorry. But there’s a growing trend to try and make that happen, so both parties can move on.
Restorative Justice brings together the accused, the victim, supportive parties, and authorities. All at the same table in a safe space. It’s an old idea and it’s international. In fact, in New Zealand, where it was originally used by indigenous Maoris, it's a mandatory part of the criminal justice system. Here, in the U.S, these community conferences are increasingly being used in prisons, schools and as an alternative to juvenile detention.