Restorative justice and its effects on (racially disparate) punitive school discipline
from the paper by David Simpson:
....Finally, I investigated whether the implementation of Restorative Justice significantly reduced racial disproportionality in school discipline vis-à-vis African American students. In particular, I analyzed whether the disparity in black suspension percentage as compared to white suspension percentage—measured by the difference between black suspension percentage and white suspension percentage)—was reduced by a greater amount in schools that implemented Restorative Justice than in those that did not.
I confined my analysis on this point to only those schools that had white as well as black enrollment of over 20 students. I did so because otherwise small fluctuations in total suspension numbers and/or enrollment numbers would have improperly skewed my results.
First Nations Court opens in North Vancouver
The judge is out of her usual judging clothes and the court sheriff wears no gun.
It’s not immediately apparent — not at first — if these are just oversights, but when Judge Joanne Challenger turns from the convicted man to the packed public gallery and asks for any suggestions on sentencing and the hands go up, it becomes clear: First Nations Court is different.
Can restorative justice help balance the scales for African-American youth?
Darryl is a 12-year-old African American boy whose mother, Ariel, is a single parent. Ariel left high school after becoming pregnant with Darryl and has struggled to find anything but minimum wage jobs to support her family.
One day when he was out with another friend, Darryl and his friend snuck into the neighbor's house and stole a video game. The neighbors called the police.
One might conclude that the future does not bode well for Darryl. In fact, we probably would not be surprised if we were to learn later on that he was in prison. However, there is much more to his story, and much to learn from it. The police response ultimately resulted in a restorative intervention and provided Darryl with an alternative approach.
Latinos engaged in restorative justice
Latinos are highly represented among the incarcerated population, but they are not just standing by while this happens. Their efforts to implement restorative justice to bring healing to their communities are being noticed and being supported by promoters in this field.
Our justice system requires us to punish wrongdoers, what if there were a better way?
from the entry by Mikhail Lyubansky on race-talk:
For those of us living in the United States, “doing justice” is mostly synonymous with administering punishment. We may not literally follow the Biblical edict of “an eye for an eye”, but most of us still believe that “the punishment must fit the crime”. Indeed, many of us would be hard pressed to even come up with an alternative justice system.
Yet alternatives abound in the form of restorative justice.
Restorative Justice: Where are we now and where are we going? Getting real.
With the March 3 release of One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections in the wake of our current economic woes, many of those who work in our community's trenches are relishing the bittersweet moment as we utter, “I told you so”. Thirty years of struggling to control the impacts of rapid social migration, challenges to family structures, and the media's overriding influence, our nation has supported increasingly invasive punishments or wildly permissive privileges and excuses. And it should come as no surprise that the punishments have been disproportionately visited upon our most challenged populations.
As we look at the potential inherent in restorative justice to bring people to their senses in actively responsible ways—will this be done while also taking the time to address the structural harms we've incurred through unprecedented levels of social exclusion? Social exclusions that begin at pre-school, follow up through failure to graduate from school with marketable skills, into our courts and prisons, then aggravated by the continual lack of support for re-entry strategies that bring people back into the community prepared to support themselves and others in meaningful ways. While across town in an up-scale neighborhood another person undermines their colleagues' ability to support themselves and their family but is not held to account because they can afford to get away with it. Our current investment in justice leaves many of us cynical and frustrated. We are weary of adding new layers of unfunded mandates and increasing penalties to increase our neighbor's chances of having their daily lives better protected. A recent statement at our state's General Assembly session brought waves of self-conscious laughter when one representative commented that they were not aware that there were any misdemeanors left but they were all now classified as felonies.
Community justice: Not to you or for you, but with you
by Christa Pierpont. This is a selection of an article from a special online complement to the Summer 2008 issue of ACResolution, Vol 7, Issue 4. The Association for Conflict Resolution has given permission for it to be used on RJOnline. The complete article is attached.
....The “magic” of restorative practices comes from a principled belief that when there is a breach in relationships, people can re-story their lives (often in gifted ways), given an active and supported responsibility to do so. It is clear from the research report, Restorative Justice: The Evidence, (Lawrence W. Sherman and Heather Strang, Smith Institute, 2007) that individuals can transcend large and small wrongs in a highly satisfactory way with improved long-term consequences when restorative practices are used. Our next question was: Could this opportunity be expanded from individuals to a wider sense of cultural harms?
In particular, could restorative processes begin to address underlying racial anger and fears in our region without exacerbating negative economic realities? These questions grew out of dynamics we were discovering as we explored the history of public school education in Virginia. When the RCF studied school disciplinary statistics for public schools, we found a significantly higher rate of disciplinary action for low-income and minority youth. Efforts are now being made to reduce out-of-classroom placements and to transition to more restorative disciplinary practices, but it will take decades and funding to re-build skills for individuals who have given up on the public school system.
Is there a role for restorative justice in addressing public education issues in Mississippi?
This is in an interdisciplinary seminar, which will be conducted over the course of two semesters, and open to undergraduate honors students, law and graduate students. After a brief introduction into the concept of restorative justice, the first semester will be devoted to the study of existing data and research into other sources in order to gain a full understanding of the history of public education in Mississippi, with emphasis on how the issue of race has informed educational policy and the status of education in Mississippi today.
The second semester will consider potential remedies from a perspective of restorative justice.
Harvard scholar versus Cambridge police
by Lisa Rea
Most of us have heard all about the police incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home of Harvard Square. A Harvard scholar by the name of Henry Louis Gates was arrested at his home after a neighbor called the police concerned someone was breaking into the house. This occurred at 12:30pm after Gates had just returned to his home from an international flight to China.
South Africa's whites and restorative justice
We hear a lot in the news about racial conflict, and a lot less about racial reconciliation. But from South Africa to South Central Los Angeles, there are communities engaging in what experts call “restorative justice" to resolve the wrongs of the past and present.