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.
The challenges of teaching in the third millennium
….Thank you for your editorial “Holding Your Breath Won’t Win You Points,” which highlights teachers’ leadership role in the community and the enjoyment they can derive from leading extra-curricular activities.
….Teaching in the Third Millennium is a multi-layered, multi-faceted job. Not easy at all, because you are working with so many unique people and you can’t rely on routine when working with inquisitive youth. Below, I’ve made a list of what’s difficult about a teachers’ job nowadays – not to complain about the work I love, but rather, to showcase what we do.
Restorative justice community/classroom conferencing: A guide for parents and teachers
It may seem surprising, but many children and youth often misbehave, not because they are trying to harm or disrupt the well-being of others or because they are “bad kids,” but because they are simply trying to meet a personal need, albeit in a negative way. “Children’s behaviours are determined, for the most part, by how they feel about the current state of their physical and psychosocial needs.”
Nova Scotia spends $500K on 'restorative justice' bullying program in schools
from the article by Kris Sims in Sun News:
Nova Scotia is spending $500,000 to expand anti-bullying campaigns in schools, hoping "restorative justice" methods modelled after native sentencing circles can curb the problem in the province.
"Students will largely avoid the stigma of being 'sent to the office' or being suspended. We should not underestimate the negative side-effects of a child's experience at school if that experience involves multiple trips to the principal's office or suspensions from school," reads a government handout on the approach.
Dalhousie offers restorative justice option for students
from the article on updatednews.ca:
Dalhousie University students who end up in trouble with the law now have a way to try to right the wrong without having to go to court.
The University, police and the province’s Justice Department have set up a restorative justice program just for students of the school. It’s the first program of its kind for university students in Canada.
First restorative justice Human Rights Board of Inquiry
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission will be holding its first restorative board of inquiry Monday, Sept. 17.
The commission has significantly restructured its investigation and adjudicative processes over the past year. This includes approaching the resolution of human rights disputes from a restorative justice perspective.