from the post by Virago on KiwiBiker forum:
This makes for some interesting reading: http://aranakenny.blogspot.co.nz/
It's worthwhile clicking through some of the links to get all the details, but in a nutshell:
A Victoria University employee, doing caretaking and security work, steals a student's cellphone while working. Seven months later, the victim tracks the phone down using smart-phone technology, and hands the evidence to the police. The culprit is arrested and charged, and he admits the theft.
Restorative justice and transformative justice: Definitions and debates
When it comes to defining RJ, it seems as if the only consensus is that there is no consistent definition. In an attempt to broadly define the concept, Braithwaite writes that “restorative justice is a process where all the stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice and to decide what should be done to repair the harm.” That is, since crime hurts, it should also have a chance to heal.
Review: Crime, Punishment, and Restorative Justice: From the Margins to the Mainstream.
by Eric Assur
This is a unique and thought-provoking book from cover to cover. It is not a review of the brief history of restorative justice (RJ). Rather, it is a projection of just where RJ can take the discipline of criminal justice administration and practice. The author, not your usual academic, dissuades the reader from even using the word paradigm in discussing his ideas. He proposes and supports an integration of contemporary criminal justice approaches with restorative justice elements.
After a death, a time for restorative justice?
An interview with restorative justice advocate, Sujatha Baliga.
Imagine victim and offender sitting across from each other in a small room containing a circle of chairs. There are no bailiffs or guards, just two people, maybe a lawyer and some family members, talking. They discuss ways to right old wrongs that allow both parties to move forward after a crime.
It may sounds like a fantasy, but Sujatha Baliga, who heads the Restorative Justice Project at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, says the practice works, even with the most severe crimes.
Restorative justice, globalisation and the logic of empire
from the chapter by Chris Cunneen in Borders and Transnational Crime:
At the beginning of this century, restorative justice had come to receive a relatively high degree of acceptance in many jurisdictions. By 2002 it found its way onto the United Nations (UN) agenda, when the Economic and Social Council adopted the Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programs in Criminal Matters. Restorative justice increasingly appeared to be the answer to a range of crime control problems, ranging from local issues like juvenile offending to international crimes and human rights abuses in transitional societies.
For problems as diverse as child misbehaviour at school and ethnic cleansing and genocide, restorative justice was seen to offer a viable strategy both for satisfying victim needs and for reintegrating offenders. From seemingly humble beginnings as a localized justice strategy to taking a place on the UN’s agenda, restorative justice appeared as an alternative to retributive justice.
Restoration is a metaphor
In an earlier blog entry I discussed the importance of metaphor and promised to say more about how this applies to justice. Here, finally, are more thoughts on metaphors and justice.
....Our justice language is full of metaphors. Some, such as the “war on crime” or the adversarial system as a boxing match, are easy to identify. But others are much more subtle and unconscious. For example, we often treat justice as a commodity: justice is spoken of as “received” or “given.”
'Justice' can take different forms: Traditional punishment isn't always the best way
....Charleston accused McCarthy of paying only “lip service” to restorative justice. McCarthy insisted Charleston doesn’t even understand what that term means. “You need to get a book and look it up,” he said.
That might not be a bad idea for many of us. What are they talking about? Howard Zehr wrote the widely cited, best-selling “The Little Book of Restorative Justice” for people “who have heard the term and are curious about what it implies.”
I’m not into remorse
Lots of people will ask me about offenders feeling remorse when they go through a restorative conference. Trainee facilitators will ask whether or not I thought a client showed remorse during a pre-conference. People curious about the process will ask if those who have committed crime actually show remorse. The most difficult conversations occur when I talk to a victim of crime about participating. They may ask if the offender has shown remorse in my meetings with him/her.
In sentencing criminals, is Norway too soft? Or are we too harsh?
....“Western Europeans regard 10 or 12 years as an extremely long term, even for offenders sentenced in theory to life,” he said.
Today, there are more than 41,000 people serving life without parole in the United States compared to fifty-nine in Australia, forty-one in England and thirty-seven in the Netherlands. That’s according to a study released this spring, which found that we are “in the minority of countries using several sentencing practices, such as life without parole, consecutive sentences, juvenile life without parole, juvenile transfer to adult courts, and successive prosecution of the same defendant by the state and federal government.”
A different justice: Why Anders Breivik only got 21 years for killing 77 people
from the article by Max Fisher on The Atlantic:
Although Breivik will likely be in prison permanently -- his sentence can be extended -- 21 years really is the norm even for very violent crimes. The much-studied Norwegian system is built on something called restorative justice. Proponents of this system might argue that it emphasizes healing: for the victims, for the society, and, yes, for the criminal him or herself.