Center for Restorative Activism
Here are some basic principles that help to frame what restorative activism is about:
The historical moment calls on us to identify and focus on root causes. I believe the historical moment boils down to a choice between continuation with the life-denying worldview based on separateness, and a life affirming worldview based on the direct experience of interrelatedness. The belief in separateness can be singled out as a root cause of the crises we face and this shows us what we are really up against.
Restorative justice: The new way forward
from Lisa Rea's article in Baylor University's Christian Refelction issue on Prison:
.... Some might argue that our prison system was never meant to positively affect victims and communities. I will not analyze the original purpose of prisons in society, but we know that prisons have become something far different than what they were intended to be. Most societies have incarcerated individuals who were deemed to be a violent threat to others, but the United States prison system today has grown immensely beyond this rationale. As a result, the American state and federal prison population has expanded dramatically.
A review of the Youth Justice System in Northern Ireland
One of the most positive developments to have arisen out of Northern Ireland’s recent history is the expansion of rich and varied restorative practices. Restorative approaches have been used to respond to offending and anti-social behaviour, family disputes, disruptive behaviour in schools and children’s homes and in helping prisoners reintegrate back into their communities. Early teething problems have been largely overcome and professional practice in restorative justice in Northern Ireland is now internationally recognised.
Youth justice report claims restorative justice would be more effective than courts
The government is being urged to deal with the majority of young offenders in England and Wales through restorative justice conferences rather than the courts, in a report on youth justice hearings.
The report, called Time For A New Hearing, is based on an international comparison of how young offenders are dealt with and found that restorative justice conferences are more effective than courts in reducing reoffending.
How to turn a child offender into an adult criminal – In 10 easy steps
from the paper by NZ Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft:
The theme of this paper is probably similar to many others about youth justice, except that it is approached from a perspective that is deliberately contrary to all but the most committed devil’s advocate.
No reasonable person would ever suggest that the goal of a youth justice system is to promote criminality as a career choice for young people. However, blatantly inverting 30 years of accumulated youth justice wisdom provokes useful discussion. It is also hoped that this deliberately polemical approach will help us identify what is essential about any youth justice system and focus our attention on the principles that are most important when addressing youth offending.
The need for a new kind of justice in youth crime
As the two leading providers of restorative justice for youth in Sonoma County — Restorative Resources and RECOURSE Mediation Services — we know what works when dealing with youthful offenders, and why. The restorative justice practices used by our non-profit agencies are firmly focused on repairing harm done to people and relationships, rather than imposing a punishment disconnected from the needs of those harmed. Restorative justice gives victims a voice in how they want things to be “made right.”
The evidence shows that in communities, including school communities, restorative practices build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision-making. When there is wrongdoing, everyone affected by the behavior gets to play an active role in addressing the wrong and making things right. This goes far beyond punishment; it makes real, positive change possible.