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Showing 8 posts filed under: Policy [–] published between Mar 01, 2010 and Mar 31, 2010 [Show all]

Tough on crime but short on logic

from Carol Goar's column in the Toronto Star:

Promises beget price tags.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has revealed very little about the cost of the crime crackdown his government has begun and plans to extend in this session of Parliament.

The Department of Public Safety has estimates of the growth of the prison population but the minister, Peter Van Loan, refuses to make them public, citing cabinet confidentiality. The government has projections of the cost of imposing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences, meting out longer jail terms and beefing up police forces. But it hasn't made them public.

Even in secrecy-obsessed Ottawa, however, some information gets out.

This month, Correctional Service Canada released its spending estimates for the coming fiscal year. They showed a 43 per cent increase in capital expenditures on penitentiaries.

In 2010-11, the government expects to spend $329.4 million on prison infrastructure. Last year's jail-building budget was $230.8 million. To put these numbers in perspective, Correctional Service Canada spent $88.5 million on prison construction when Harper took office four years ago.

Mar 26, 2010 , , ,

Restorative justice in higher education

from Brian G.'s entry on Restorative Theology:

This morning I have been involved at a technical-communications level for an event being held here on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University, the Symposium on Restorative Justice in Campus Conduct Administration. Held in the chapel at the seminary, I've been sitting behind the audio-visual equipment, flipping switches and turning dials to make sure presenters are heard, PowerPoint presentations are ready to go, and videotaping the various speakers.

I've also been tweeting for the event like crazy on my iPod. All of this falls under the rubric of Marketing and Communications for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding/CJP, so best of all...I'm getting paid to do all this fun stuff and listen to some excellent reflections on restorative justice in the arena of higher education! The event is, as the name implies, focused on student life/campus conduct issues in higher education, and has drawn four great scholar-practitioners who are all passionate about restorative justice.

Mar 24, 2010 ,

Domestic Violence Surrogate Dialogue

from their website:

Our Mission: The Domestic Violence Surrogate Dialogue (DVSD) program is designed to arrange an appropriate setting and environment whereby domestic violence victims and offenders may meet and engage in a conversation intended to lead to a form of restorative justice. A goal of the session is to generate understanding between the victim and offender as to each other's views and attitudes, as well as focus on the many consequences of domestic violence.

Ideally, the dialogue will be a catalyst for the victim to begin the release of feelings that will allow her to abandon her anger and initiate a healing process. She will also be able to ask probing questions of an offender that she would never have been able to ask her own abuser for fear of retribution.

At the same time, the interactive conversation with the survivor may motivate the offender to seek and find redemption. The offender would recognize that the victim is a person who has been harmed, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally.

The program also provides the offender an opportunity to help a victim of the same crime he had committed. By revealing his own insight, motivations and manipulations, the offender can enable the victim to discover how to identify and avoid violent behavior in future relationships. For both surrogates, these outcomes would represent a dramatic breakthrough.

Mar 22, 2010 ,

Smyth victim in Brady resign call

from the article on BBC News:

A victim of serial abuser Fr Brendan Smyth has called on the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland to resign.

Cardinal Sean Brady has admitted he was at meetings in 1975 where two abused children signed vows of silence over their complaints against Fr Smyth.

On Monday, a victim of Fr Smyth called Samantha told the BBC the church needed to "root out the rot and start from the top".

"This is not a witch hunt, this is about what is right," she added.

Mar 17, 2010 , ,

From schools to prisons: Disciplinary policy brings incarceration

from Brian Wells, David Dutschke, Joseph Phelps and Walter Jones' article on

One of the most alarming trends affecting our children today is what has become known as the “school to prison pipeline,” a term used to describe an all too common reality for poor-performing students. First they are academically unsuccessful, then their misbehavior results in school disciplinary action, then their misbehavior puts them into the juvenile justice system, then they leave school prematurely and eventually end up as incarcerated adults.

Nationally, students who do not graduate are three times more likely to be incarcerated.

We are losing too many young people down this pipeline for the good of our souls and of our society. The problem calls for the creation of coordinated and creative approaches by our court systems and our school systems.

Mar 17, 2010 ,

East Lansing advocate: Jury award should impact bullying

from Kathleen Lavey's article in

A jury verdict that found a Michigan school district liable for $800,000 in damages to a student who was the victim of bullies should reinforce that bullying can't be tolerated, an East Lansing advocate says.

"This really should be a call to schools that, in the eyes of our legal system, bullying is something that can no longer be overlooked," Kevin Epling said.

Mar 17, 2010 ,

Locking up non-violent youths costs millions and does little to reduce crime

from Mark Day and Rebecca Nadin's entry on Left Foot Forward:

Whilst much of our work focuses on unnecessary imprisonment, we also champion alternatives to custody which have the potential to offer young people, and the communities they come from, a better deal. This is where restorative justice, a way of resolving conflict and repairing harm by bringing the offender and the victim together through closely managed ‘conferences’ or meetings, comes in.

The case for restorative justice, or restorative approaches as it is also known, has been building on the ground for some time now, with many schools and residential children's homes around the country using restorative practices to great effect as an alternative to traditional forms of punishment and conflict resolution.

Mar 08, 2010 , ,

True community policing means restorative justice

from the entry by Macleay for Oakland Mayor 2010:

Community Policing has become one of those "assumed good things" that we all are supposed to support. But what do we mean by community policing? Does it mean we should be happy with just having a police officer at a community meeting, or on the street? Is a beat cop the whole story? Is there a role for the community beyond being informants?

My view of Community Policing has to do with merging community values and existing statues. Local communities need to be involved in helping community youth become aware and understand what is acceptable and what is not.

Mar 02, 2010 , , , , ,

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