- Showing 4 posts filed under: Country:USA [–] published between Mar 01, 2010 and Mar 31, 2010 [Show all]
Courage to repair
from the editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
A racist prank perpetrated outside the University of Missouri's Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center 11 days ago has evoked a reassuring response.
The two undergraduates — Zachary E. Tucker and Sean D. Fitzgerald — tried to make a mockery of the bitter history of black servitude. They scattered cotton balls outside the culture center under cover of night.
But their crude handiwork was greeted with sharp and universal condemnation. Both students were identified and suspended from school.
Last week, they were arrested. The Boone County prosecutor is weighing whether to pursue criminal charges.
Calling a circle....
What does it mean when we say, “We’re calling a circle?” In the context of restorative practices I take it to mean that we are clearing a space where community can enter. It may or it may not choose to do so. But sitting in circle is the best we’ve got to silence the din and distraction of daily life and risk finding out that beneath whatever differences we may have on the surface we are connected deeply by what we have in common.
Authentic community is rare and it is safe. It is the opposite of that place we mostly inhabit filled with masks, anxiety, invisibility, power and imbalance. Circles done well open a place for empathy, respect, empowerment, and direct communication for authentic ‘human being.’ Restorative circles are used for sentencing, for reconciliation, for healing, for celebration, for talking and for educating.
Restorative justice stops fights, keeps kids in schools
Juan Salazar used to be one of those students who got into trouble for fighting at North High School. Now he uses words instead of fists.
"If someone bumped into me, I started saying something," Salazar, a senior, said. "It always led to a fight."
It also always led to a suspension.
What role should crime victims play in plea bargains?
Prosecutors represent the state, not crime victims, and they're charged with seeking justice, not convictions. But the Houston Press published a feature questioning whether prosecutors should be required to notify crime victims or get their sign-off before entering into a plea deal. The Harris County DA's Office says "There is no obligation to give advance notice to all victims of plea bargains," a policy which has the Mayor's crime victim advocate Andy Kahan hopping mad.