Study finds executions do little to heal victims’ families
from the article on PsychCentral:
A new study suggests that the primary reason people say they support the death penalty is based on an incorrect assumption — that the death of the murderer would bring satisfaction and closure to the victim’s family.
The study itself does not advocate for the death penalty or for life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). It is the first study, however, dealing directly with whether capital punishment affects the healing of murder victims’ loved ones.
On the defensive: The need for restorative justice
from the article by Anthony Cotton on The Wisconsin Law Journal:
In 1993, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to give crime victims certain privileges.
Those privileges include, but are not limited to, restitution, compensation, the right to confer with the prosecution and the right to speak at sentencing.
'Restorative justice' bill supported at public hearing
from the article on Guampdn.com:
A bill that would make certain crimes committed by minors go through a "restorative justice" process was strongly supported during a public hearing on Wednesday.
It's a type of mediation process between offenders and their victims.
Bill 216, introduced by Speaker Judith Won Pat, D-Inarajan; Sen. Tina Muña Barnes, D-Mangilao; and Sen. Aline Yamashita, R-Tamuning, would use the restorative justice process for juvenile crimes, with the exception of those involving serious crimes against people or property, crimes involving criminal sexual conduct or serious family violence.
Editorial: The best arena for victim redress?
from the article in the Sage e-bulletin from the Church Council on Justice and Corrections:
Can the justice system ever be the arena for victims’ redress if redress means true healing and moving on from trauma and its effects? A criminal justice system built on punitive measures and adversarial posturing exacerbates the victim wound and creates even more layers of self protection against active resolution of one’s own wounding and the wounding one does to another. Further the judicial system is the state’s arena, not the victim’s, for redress against crimes committed and therefore its capacity to adequately redress victims’ needs where those needs are most required is difficult at best. Victims are left with insufficient avenues to get to the root of needed healing. And incarceration that does not consistently include those rehabilitation options that contribute to victim redress, does not hold real solutions to changing behaviour or creating public and victim safety in the long term.
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?
Archdiocese walks with violence victims’ families through ‘ministry of presence’
from the article by Edison Tapalla:
In October 2012, the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco began the Restorative Justice Ministry for Victims and Families of Violent Crime.
Working closely with the city of San Francisco, the ministry helps the families of victims of violent crime navigate the period of time when a loved one is lost. In addition to helping with survivors’ loss and grief, the ministry also helps with funeral arrangements, translations, paperwork and – in cases of extreme need – expenses.
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.
Soliciting community involvement and support for restorative justice through community service
from the article by William R. Wood in Criminal Justice Policy Review:
In 2001, the Clark County Juvenile Court (CCJC) in Washington State adopted what it calls “restorative community service” (RCS). Prior to 2001, youth sentenced to community service had been assigned by to work crews to pick up trash, wash county vehicles and so on. Under RCS, however, the court switched its use of community service from work crews to nonprofit and public organizations, where youth generally worked alongside community volunteers.
Restorative Justice: Is the Message Getting Through?
From the article by Javed Khan:
It's funny how you find out that you're winning the argument.
I was watching EastEnders when I realised attitudes towards restorative justice were really shifting.
The episode showed Kat Moon meeting Ronnie Mitchell - the woman who had stolen Kat's baby - at the prison gates.
It was an intense and dramatic scene ending with Kat inviting Ronnie to stay with her, despite her continuing anger at the crime.
For years we have been arguing that victims want more than just punishment for their offenders - they want them to stop committing crimes and to understand the impact of those crimes. In some cases, victims even want a face-to-face explanation from the criminal about why they committed the offence.