Prison for teen who lit "agender" youth's skirt on fire thwarts healing
from the article by Sue Burrell on HuffPost:
The news of Richard Thomas' seven-year prison sentence raises fresh questions about how the justice system intervenes in dangerous, but clearly adolescent behavior. Richard, age 16, was prosecuted in a California adult court after setting on fire the skirt of 18-year-old "Sasha" Fleischman, who was asleep on a local bus. Sasha identifies as "agender" meaning neither male nor female. Three days after the incident, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Richard as an adult, alleging assault and aggravated mayhem as hate crimes. The charging decision completely bypassed the juvenile court system....
‘Restorative justice’ brings closure to Hopkins High School racial insensitivity dispute
From the article in the Golden Valley Patch:
Prosecutors have dropped misdemeanor charges against two Hopkins High School students who protested alleged racial insensitivity at the school, and the district has overturned the students’ suspensions, according to a joint statement from the school district and the students' attorney.
The actions follow a “restorative justice” process initiated to bring closure to a February confrontation between black students and school officials that led to a student walkout in May.
Detroit Tigers' Delmon Young pleads guilty To Midtown aggravated harassment
Back in April, Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was arrested for allegedly striking a man outside a Midtown hotel—and he also allegedly uttered anti-Semitic remarks, prompting him to be charged with a hate crime. Today, Young has pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment in the second degree and will have to "complete 10 days of community service and participate in a mandatory restorative justice program at the Museum of Tolerance New York," according to the Manhattan DA's office.
Growing past hate: 'Restorative justice' helps heal pain from teens' vandalism
In March of 1994 members of the Temple B’nai Jeshurun in Des Moines awoke to find neo-Nazi graffiti scrawled on the side of their synagogue. There were no immediate suspects, but there was anguish, anger and outrage.
Martin Luther King and life after hate
....“The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.” [Martin Luther King]
Celebrity chef backs new Scottish Police hate crime scheme
Celebrity chef Tony Singh is backing Lothian and Borders Police pioneering new scheme for tackling Juvenile Hate Crime.
The Edinburgh based TV regular launched the scheme with Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, and LGBT Youth Scotland’s Schools Development Manager, Cara Spence, at LGBT Youth Scotland, Leith, on Monday 12th December.
Partnering with police to do restorative justice
from the article in PeaceBuilder:
....“Chief Wetherbee called me throughout the week at SPI,” Larson Sawin recalls with a smile. “I suspected he’d be wary of the ritual components of SPI, but the coursework caught his imagination. He said the days went so quickly, five o’clock would roll around and he felt like the day had just started.”
At first, some of his SPI classmates were skeptical that police – often considered a fundamentally coercive force – could play a positive role in RJ processes. If only they had known the full scope of what was happening in Massachusetts.
Judicial system fails in hate crime
from the article by Ian Gillespie in the London Free Press:
....How do you respond when you're targeted simply because you're you?
That's a hate crime -- when someone is victimized because of their race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or physical and mental abilities.
And while any crime is awful and traumatic for its victims, hate crimes are particularly repugnant because they're attacks against the essence of a person.
That's why last week's court decision involving an attack upon a gay man is so lamentable.
Why I don't support hate crime legislation
Community based forms of restorative justice that empower those who are targeted by violence and work to eradicate the bigotry that leads to such crimes in the first place are a much more valuable change to work toward than empowering our current criminal justice system even more. Violence targeted at members of oppressed communities must be recognized and addressed, but harsher prison sentences are not the way.