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Showing 10 posts filed under: Policy [–] published between Oct 01, 2009 and Oct 31, 2009 [Show all]

Restorative justice is a chance to heal, listen

From Mark Hare's column in Democrat and Chronicle:

Several days ago, I wrote about the demographic crisis in many city neighborhoods that is a breeding ground for violent crime. Despite a two-year drop in homicides and violent crime, there is trouble ahead if those neighborhoods are not restored.

That's where the idea of restorative justice comes in.

With the advent of harsher sentencing laws in the 1970s, coupled with increased poverty, huge numbers of young men were swept off city streets and into prison. Incarceration rates put stable marriages and families further out of reach, and led to even more poverty — with all that implies. Young men are still being incarcerated, and large numbers of parolees are being released back to the neighborhoods, but they are unprepared either for jobs or family life.

Partners in Restorative Initiatives, a 9-year-old local agency, could be part of the solution.

Oct 22, 2009 ,

Different discipline for kids based on their race? Opponents call plan 2-tiered double standard, officials call it 'restorative'

from Drew Zahn's article in

A school district in Arizona has come under fire after a newspaper columnist highlighted the district's newly adopted racial policy and called it a "two-tiered form of student discipline: one for black and Hispanic students; one for everyone else."

Arizona Republic columnist Doug MacEachern drew attention to a decision made by the Tucson Unified School District's board over the summer to adopt a "Post-Unitary Status Plan," which includes the goal of reducing suspensions and expulsions of minority students to reflect "no ethnic/racial disparities."

"TUSD principals and disciplinarians (assuming such creatures still exist) are being asked to set two standards of behavior for their students," MacEachern commented. "Some behavior will be met with strict penalties; some will not. It all depends on the color of the student's skin."

Oct 21, 2009 ,

Restorative justice instead of suspensions

from the City Insider column on

The San Francisco school board adopted a policy Tuesday night that will require school administrators to consider alternatives to suspension and expulsion when children violate school rules.

While suspension and expulsion are mandatory in certain cases -- for bringing a gun, knife or bomb to school, selling drugs or committing sexual assault -- principals have leeway in determining punishment when students get into fights, repeatedly disrupt class or damage school property.

Oct 20, 2009 ,

I love my job!

from Giles Charle's post on Restorative Justice at West Oakland Middle School:

I am very happy with my job, even though I don't make very much money and I have no idea if it, or anything like it will exist next year. I do believe that Restorative Justice provides some crucial answers for us as we move towards our true potential as peaceful cooperative beings.

With that said today was rough, I had more kids in lunch detention/thinkery then I new what to do with. Thanks to Mr. Brooks the co-principle of West Oakland Middle School (WOMS) we were able to sort out the students who understood what they did and were ready to take responsibility and head back to class from the kids who needed a little bit more reflection time before they would be ready.

Oct 16, 2009 , ,

Crime victims may get a say on punishments

from Lottie Ray's article on

The Isle of Man's criminal justice system is facing changes this year.

The Department of Home Affairs is considering introducing a Restorative Justice pilot scheme, which would give victims a say in how offenders are dealt with, to the Island.

Oct 15, 2009 ,

Good news from Canada on Circles of Support and Accountability

from Bruce Cheadle's article in The Canadian Press:

The Harper government has agreed to fund a program aimed at keeping convicted sex offenders from committing more crimes - apparently reversing an earlier rejection of the acclaimed project.

Some $7.4 million in federal funding will be provided over five years for Circles of Support and Accountability, the office of Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan confirmed Thursday.

"By deciding today to fund this program, our government is taking concrete action to make our communities safer," spokesman Chris McCluskey said in an email.

The five-year deal will help the largely volunteer organization double the number of sex offenders in the program to about 300 next year, and more closely monitor results to determine what works best with offenders once they've served their sentences.

Oct 12, 2009 , , ,

Forget it, Roman? Polanski and the politics of what we remember

from Gareth Higgins' post on The Film Talk:

A friend suggested I should comment regarding Roman Polanski’s arrest and the attempt to extradite him to the US to face charges stemming from his admitted sex offence against a 13 year old girl in 1977.   I’m reluctant to do so, because the issues are complex and probably better handled in conversation where dialogue partners might arrive at a truth together, so I’d like to invite such a conversation in the comments below.

Oct 09, 2009 ,

Federal prison-overhaul plan dismissed as amateur, alarming

from Janice Tibbetts' article at

Canada's blueprint for overhauling federal prisons is an amateur and "alarming" document that ignores human rights, gives the false impression that crime is rising, and provides no costs for flawed policies that would flood penitentiaries with more inmates, says a new report.

The study attacks the Harper government for its speedy, wholesale adoption of the 2007 Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety that made more than 100 recommendations, based largely on the premise that prisoners don't have automatic rights; they earn them.

Oct 08, 2009 , ,

Party's over for bonfire vandals

from Jonathan Dodd's article in

TEENAGERS who trashed a Chapel-en-le-Frith landmark were given an opportunity to make amends under a new 'common sense' approach to policing.

Earlier in the summer, up to 20 teenagers were caught at the top of Eccles Pike. They had been drinking and started a large bonfire on the National Trust-owned land, using wooden supports from around memorial trees to fuel the blaze.

But rather than resorting to court action, Derbyshire Constabulary was able to deal with the incident under its new Restorative Justice scheme.

Oct 02, 2009 ,

Restorative justice urged to deal with sexual crimes

from Fiona Gartland's article in

The criminal justice system is not suitable for addressing most sexual crimes, the director of abuse victims’ charity One in Four has said.

Speaking at the Children At Risk in Ireland (Cari) 20th anniversary conference in Dublin, Maeve Lewis said restorative justice must be explored as a way of dealing with sex offenders.

Oct 01, 2009 ,

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