- Showing 9 posts filed under: Policy [–] published between Feb 01, 2010 and Feb 28, 2010 [Show all]
Economic analysis of interventions for young adult offenders
This report summarises an economic analysis of alternative interventions for young adult offenders. It concludes that, for all offenders aged 18-24 sentenced in a Magistrate’s court for a non-violent offence1 in a given year:
- Diversion from community orders to pre-court RJ conferencing schemes (following a police triage service in which police officers make an immediate assessment of the need and likely benefit from a community intervention) is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £275 million (£7,050 per offender). The costs of RJ conferencing are likely to be paid back within the first year of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of over £1 billion.
- Diversion from custody to community orders via changes in sentencing guidelines is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of more than £12 million (£1,032 per offender). The costs of changing sentencing guidelines are likely to be paid back within three years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £33 million.
- Diversion from trial under adult law to trial under juvenile law following maturity assessment is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £5 million (£420 per offender). The costs of maturity assessments are likely to be paid back within five years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £473,000.
'Pizza thief' walks the line
From the Los Angeles Times article by Jack Leonard:
If he ever returns to prison, Jerry Dewayne Williams knows he'll probably never get out.
To stay clear of trouble, he has left behind the Compton neighborhood where police knew him and cut ties with friends from wilder days. Once a hard partyer, the 43-year-old says he prefers the company of a mystery novel or a "Law and Order" episode on television.
Williams is one of more than 14,000 felons who, under California's three-strikes law, face a possible life sentence if they commit another felony. But few, if any, grasp the reality of that threat better than Williams.
Ministering to sex offenders
interview by Saul Gonzales for PBS' Religion and Ethics:
GONZALEZ: First started by Canadian churches in the mid 1990s, COSA’s work with sex offenders centers on small discussion circles that meet weekly. In the circles, four to six volunteers from the community are matched with one sex offender, called a core member. In this circle the offender is named John.
JOHN: And I screwed up and I made some bad choices because I become careless and I become complacent, and that is something that anybody that’s in my situation cannot do.
GONZALEZ: The circles are intended to get recently paroled sex offenders to take responsibility for the crimes they’ve committed and provide them material and moral support as they attempt to reenter the community.
JOHN: I can talk about anything, anything.
JOHN: Anything. I told them things about me that I wouldn’t tell my closest friend.
The world is not as it should be: Punitiveness as a response to societal change
....As a policy, three strikes does a lot more than provide harsher punishment. It also takes discretionary authority away from the judiciary, who traditionally have had the flexibility to vary sentences in response to judgements about the nature of crime, the victim and the offender. In the United States, studies showed a long-term trend toward increasing skepticism and lack of confidence in the legal authorities. This in turn had led to:
- A tendency to ignore judicial orders and the law;
- Greater tolerance of vigilantism or extralegal behaviour of citizens;
- Jury behaviour which nullifies the law.
Conservative criminal justice policy and restorative justice
....[I]f we win the election, we will be missing a great opportunity if we do not seize the moment to move Restorative Justice to a much higher place on the agenda of criminal justice reform.
It‟s very simple: if I become the Prisons Minister, I will be a strong advocate and supporter of RJ.
Another warning about US prison policy: Justice Kennedy laments the state of prisons in California, U.S.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy criticized California sentencing policies and crowded prisons Wednesday night, calling the influence that unionized prison guards had in passing the three-strikes law "sick."
In an otherwise courtly and humorous address to the Los Angeles legal community, Kennedy expressed obvious dismay over the state of corrections and rehabilitation in the country. He said U.S. sentences are eight times longer than those issued by European courts.
Public speaking tips: Reaching everyone in your audience when speaking about restorative justice
from Kris Miner's blog:
From Seth Godin's blog:
The work you do when you spread the word or run an ad or invent a policy is likely aimed at one of these four groups.
- Strangers are customers to be, but not yet
- Critics are those that would speak ill of you, or need to be converted
- Friends are those that might have given permission, or even buy now and then
- Fans are members of your tribe, supporters and insiders
You already know the truth: can’t please all these groups at once.
As a restorative justice practitioner or advocate, you maybe asked to speak to a group, that includes all the groups mentioned above. Godin’s categories, reminded me of a recent post, not everyone views restorative justice equally.
Anti-crime bills deserved to die in Canada
The editorial on prorogation (Jan. 5) mentions that among the bills that died with this parliamentary session were many parts of "Harper's tough on crime agenda."
This is the one good result of prorogation as these bills contained very bad criminal law.
Stephen Harper is not "tough on crime"-- he is soft in the head on crime, preferring to build more prisons -- the most expensive, least effective form of influencing behaviour -- instead of investing in preventive measures, such as early childhood care and education, and the alleviation of poverty.
Oakland school board approves district-wide restorative justice initiative despite budget crisis
In other business, the board voted Wednesday night to implement a district-wide “Restorative Justice” initiative....
Restorative Justice focuses on “acknowledging that crime causes injury to people and communities, it insists that justice repair those injuries and that the parties be permitted to participate in that process,” according to the Prison Fellowship International’s Restorative Justice Online web site. In schools, this takes the form of training teachers and students to practice active communication, face-to-face reconciliation and non-punitive actions to address misconduct.
Nikita Mitchell, 16,is a junior at Castlemont High where her group, Youth Together, has been trained in restorative justice practices. She said that a key part of the program is better communication. A teacher who notices a student is upset or acting out, for instance, can enter the information into a computer system that the “teacher of record” for the restorative justice program will check daily. That teacher will then refer a trained student to have a one-on-one meeting with the upset student to talk about the problem and work on solutions like apologies, mediation, or “peacemaking circles,” in which members of the community share their feelings and come to a consensus about how to move past inappropriate actions.