Restorative justice and dialogue: Impact, opportunities, and challenges in the global community
The restorative justice movement is built on a foundational vision of an entirely different way of understanding and responding to crime and conflict. In some instances, restorative justice is seen as a replacement for the criminal justice system. In others, it is seen as an option to use when the current situation has failed to bring about its intended purpose. Under other circumstances, restorative justice is viewed as complementary to the criminal justice system because it attends to issues that the traditional system neglects.
The United States Peace Index
The United States Peace Index (USPI) is the first national peace index and is the only statistical analysis that offers a comprehensive nation-wide measurement of crime and its costs to all 50 states.
The index uses five key indicators to measure peace: the number of homicides, the number of violent crimes, the incarceration rate, the number of police officers and the availability of small arms.
Twenty years of restorative justice in New Zealand
from the article by Fred W.M. McElrea in Tikkun:
As I look back over the last twenty years, the following aspects of the family group conference system stand out as being both innovative and of potential value to adult systems as well:
Review: Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice
While restorative justice is a theory that encompasses a set of values for how justice should be done, maintaining those values and the restorative focus can become difficult in day-to-day practice. People working in restorative justice organisations – whether staff or volunteers – make a myriad of decisions related to practices each day. Such decisions may be related to work with clients, work with other organisations or internal processes and interactions. How can they make these decisions while maintaining the integrity of their restorative justice programme?
Susan Sharpe seeks to answer this question with Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice. In the 62 page publication, Sharpe sets out a process that organisations and individual practitioners can use to develop an ethics framework to empower and guide decisionmaking. In doing so, she avoids the contentious issue of setting standards by developing the steps in a process that each organisation can use to develop a framework that has direct meaning for it and the various issues that it faces.
Restorative justice: making neighbourhood resolution panels work
from the article by Keith Cooper in the Guardian:
The coalition pledge to boost communities' crime fighting power is due to take a big step forward next year. By March 2012, the Ministry of Justice hopes to announce the first group of officially endorsed neighbourhood resolution panels. These will usher in a new era of "restorative-justice", allowing panels of volunteers – including offenders and victims – to decide how low level crimes should be dealt with. Proceedings will be overseen by a trained member of the public instead of a magistrate or judge; lawyers are barred. The panels conclude with a signed agreement to which all parties agree.
Law is more than a profession, it's a calling: "Making a difference" through restorative justice
from the article by Michael C. Deering:
Before entering law school, a soon-to-be attorney dreams of “making a difference.” He dreams of representing clients as he advocates for truth and justice, as he lends his voice to those who cannot speak, as he defends the innocent and the young, and sets the wrong to right.
Then, reality sets in. Dreams of justice and zealous representation give way to stress and the everyday rigors of law school. Reading, briefing, and writing overwhelm the student. After three years of arduous work, the student graduates. Facing bar preparation, job searching in an economy that causes seasoned attorneys to shudder, and a mountain of educational debt, the graduate accepts work wherever he can find it.
Twenty years of restorative justice in New Zealand: Reflections of a judicial participant
from the article by Judge Fred McElrea:
The following aspects of the family group conference system stand out after 20 years as being both innovative and of potential value to adult systems as well:
An introduction to the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program (NSRJP)
from the paper presented by Janet E. Briggs:
Restorative justice is not a particular practice or type of program, but rather a philosophy, or a set of principles. Restorative justice principles have been emerging in communities across the world. The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program (NSRJP), over the past decade has gained attention as a national and world-class leader through its innovative and progressive model. The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program is not intended to replace the current criminal justice system....
Crossing the divide
It has often been my experience that restorative justice can span the conservative-liberal divide. Concerns for victims and for reducing the costs of imprisonment are often common to both. The concept of offenders facing up to what they have done makes intuitive sense to many. Values such as responsibility, respect and relationship are often shared along the spectrum. What we mean by these values and ideas, however, and what motivates us to embrace them, are crucial issues.
The lessons to be gleaned from the movement against indeterminate sentencing in the U.S. are instructive. Eventually both progressives and conservatives came together to replace indeterminate sentences with determinate sentences motivated by a just deserts philosophy. The resulting lengthened mandatory sentences dramatically increased the prison population. While there was some confluence of policy positions, the underlying values and motivations of the various parties were quite different. The results have been in many ways catastrophic.
Essential values of restorative justice
from the blog Minds on Fire:
The purpose of restorative processes is:
- to empower victims by providing them a strong voice
- to demonstrate to offenders the harm they cause by their actions
- to provide a safe forum where the consequences of crime and remorse for criminal acts can encounter each other.