Restorative justice handles punishment
From the article in the Courier Islander:
Five Campbell River residents including one juvenile found themselves in hot water after they were identified as the vandals who targeted the new Splash Park with graffiti and broke a bench almost as soon as the popular attraction was opened.
"The community in general was greatly annoyed at these events with many people taking to social media and local newspapers to voice their displeasure at the actions of those involved," said Troy Beauregard, Staff Sgt. and Operations Commander of the Campbell River RCMP.
Truth and reconciliation conference sheds light on residential schools
from the article on Wetaskiwintimes.com:
It has been a long time coming, but the healing process for the First Nations people of Canada and the government of the country has begun.
On past decades and decades of silence, of being controlled and being abused, First Nations people can finally break their silence of the injustice they have suffered.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was created to unearth the pain and suffering that the Aboriginal community had gone through from the result of the residential schools that the government started in the 1870s. This past Thursday and Friday, the commission came to the Hobbema community to hear the stories of those who endured the torture of these residential schools.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and restorative justice in British Columbia: Exploring the potential
From the Master's dissertation by Terri Kalaski:
This paper will explore what influences a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (hereafter ‘RCMP’) member in British Columbia (hereafter ‘BC’) to refer a file to restorative justice (hereafter ´RJ´).According to the Canadian Inventory of RJ Programs there are RJ programs for youths and adults available in every province and territory in Canada. While this information reveals RJ programs are present throughout Canada it is not clear how or if these programs are utilized by RCMP or in what context. We know that RJ was identified as a national strategic priority for the RCMP in 1997 and removed from the priority list in 2002 although questions remain as to how or if the change in priority has impacted the use of RJ within the RCMP. There is no national RCMP policy regarding the use of RJ. Given the scope of the RCMP’s policing agreements across Canada, it is reasonable to assume that acceptance of RJ practice by the RCMP would provide a strong impetus for the remainder of policing agencies in Canada to embrace RJ as a legitimate element of the justice system.
Restorative justice: A primer and exploration of practice across two North American cities
From the white paper published by the Adler School Institute of Public Safety and Social Justice and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:
...The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it provides a brief overview of the philosophy of restorative justice, the range of practice, and the evidence base behind the practices. Second, it provides an overview of how restorative practices are currently being used in two very different metropolitan contexts, Chicago, IL and Vancouver, B.C., Canada. This case study approach is used to draw out the different ways that formal systems and policies encourage or limit the potential of restorative practices. Third, it recommends expanded research, policy, and practice agendas that could further mainstream and align restorative justice in more formal ways. Ultimately, we hope this paper will be a useful primer and tool for practitioners, researchers, advocates, lawmakers, lay people and justice professionals alike. We highlight the core elements and philosophies of the practice, provide an initial analysis of how those characteristics and philosophies are currently being implemented, and discuss ways in which they can be expanded.
The problem with restorative justice
from the entry on Kwe Today:
....What I would like to write about is what I considered a major fundamental flaw of restorative justice. In particular, this type of justice is credited for being closely related to Aboriginal justice and sometimes the two are considered one in the same (which is one of the first problems).
Play teaches community about restorative justice
....Theatre on the Beat, an Ontario-based group will put on the play, called Forgiven/Forgotten, in conjunction with the Mennonite Central Committee.
“It is a play that deals with an inmate who is coming out of jail and the community is in turmoil because of it,” said Ryan Siemens, reverend at Grace Mennonite Church. “It asks questions on how can we best deal or integrate an inmate in the healthiest way.”
Siemens is the chair of two restorative justice committees -- Person to Person and Circles of Support and Accountability. Person to Person is a prison visitation program the Mennonite Church has been involved with for 38 years and Circles of Support works with high-risk offenders who have been released back into society.
Restorative justice essential for First Nations
from the article on CBC News:
Nishnawbe Aski Legal Services in Thunder Bay hopes the Honourable Frank Iacobucci's report will lead to more community-based justice programs within First Nations.
The former Supreme Court justice said this week that the mainstream legal system is failing Aboriginal people.
A Thunder Bay lawyer who works with Nishnawbe Aski Legal Services said a big part of the solution is to help First Nations deal with criminal behaviour in a way that works for them — something called restorative justice.
"First Nations people approach conflict and conflict resolution very differently,” said Mary Jean Robinson.
Restorative practices in schools and communities
….A growing international body of research demonstrates that restorative action-based practices in schools contribute to safer and more productive learning environments for both staff and students. In 2004, The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales evaluated a large-scale pilot restorative justice project designed to reduce unwanted behaviors (eg. bullying and victimization, poor attendance) and school suspensions. The comparison study utilized surveys and interviews with 5,000 students, 1,150 staff members, and 600 outside participants. Schools that used restorative action reported:
- Fewer students who felt that bullying was a problem in their school, and
- Fewer instances of racist name-calling and bullying, such as hitting, kicking, theft, verbal threats, and skipping class to avoid bullies.
Restorative justice & violence against women
One of our BCSTH members asked me to do some research on restorative justice and its role in cases of violence against women. Here is a summary of my research process.
Sentencing circles for lawyers
If sentencing circles are fine for the criminal justice system, why shouldn’t they be an option at Law Society of Upper Canada disciplinary hearings?
In a recent case involving lawyer Terence John Robinson, an LSUC hearing panel had the task of deciding whether to allow a sentencing circle for him. Robinson, a member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, has been in hot water in relation to a 2009 conviction for aggravated assault. He subsequently admitted to conduct unbecoming a licensee but wants to return to his criminal law practice representing aboriginal clients. The panel then invited submissions on whether to hold a sentencing circle for him.