- Showing 5 posts filed under: Country:USA [–] published between Jul 01, 2011 and Jul 31, 2011 [Show all]
Giving back: RCI’s Restorative Justice Program helps inmates help others
On a recent Friday morning, 13 inmates at the Racine Correctional Institution in Sturtevant diligently worked on their needlework, their nimble fingers pulling together tiny stitches or weaves. The fruits of their toil lay strewn about the tables: a Mickey Mouse look-alike, a doll, random bears and other stuffed animals, as well as scarves, hats and more slowly took shape.
Those bears and lamb pillows have made their way into little hands around the community, and those mittens and gloves will keep others warm this winter.
Charity Crafts is part of the prison’s Restorative Justice Program, through which inmates find ways to give back to the community, according to Tommie Thomas, RCI program supervisor.
Listening to crime victims: North Carolina restorative justice conference
by Lisa Rea
When crime victims speak about the effect violent crime has had on their lives you have to listen. On June 9th I moderated a crime victims roundtable during the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina coordinated this year by Campbell University Law School. The roundtable called "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" was sponsored by the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing. The four victims of violence who told their stories were Bill Pelke, chair, Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing (Alaska), Stephen Watt, Stephen Watt Ministries (Wyoming) , Bess Klassen-Landis, musician and teacher (Vermont), and Kim Book, executive director, Victims Voices Heard (Delaware). No matter how many crime victims panels I have moderated the stories are always riveting and often what I hear the victims say is new even when I am familiar with the stories. I learn something new as the victims move along in their lives---their own personal journeys.
Colorado mother wishes for meeting with son's killers
The 3-year-old boy affectionately known as "Biscuit" was sleeping in the back of a parked old Cadillac when the shooting began.
Fourteen bullets hit the car in the drive-by shooting outside a northeast Denver duplex. Biscuit was shot in the head and died. His brother, Calvin, four days shy of his 7th birthday, and a teenage cousin were unhurt.
Sharletta Evans — mother of Biscuit, or Casson Xavier Evans — came to forgive the gunmen, who were 15 and 16 years old at the time of the Dec. 21, 1995, shooting. But it took years for her to decide she wanted to meet them in prison, hoping for closure.
A new Colorado law encourages the state Department of Corrections to facilitate such reconciliation meetings. Yet it's a process that requires they be safe and don't backfire on victims. And prison officials say there's simply no money to make it happen in the near future.
Restorative justice implementation
Former gang members who have drastically transformed their lives from criminal activity to contributing to society in meaningful and positive ways are already moving about in groups of students to steer young people away from gangs and get them into programs that are more appropriate.
Creating statutes to deliver restorative justice
Many U.S. state codes, as yet, make no reference to restorative justice. Then there are several states with statutes that refer to restorative justice as a process that may be provided under various circumstances, without going into detail. However, a small but growing number of state statutes establish a comprehensive system for providing restorative justice services. Here is a sampling of the diverse approaches being taken by some states.
Colorado recently enacted one of the most comprehensive U.S. restorative justice systems so far. Title 19, Art. 2, Part 2, Sec. 19-2-213. Restorative justice coordinating council provides for a "restorative justice coordinating council" to be established in the state judicial department within the office of the state court administrator. This council is to “support the development of restorative justice programs, serve as a central repository for information, assist in the development and provision of related education and training, and provide technical assistance to entities engaged in or wishing to develop restorative justice programs.”