- Showing 8 posts filed under: Region: North America and Caribbean [–] published between Apr 01, 2010 and Apr 30, 2010 [Show all]
Senate Concurrent Resolution: Requesting the Department of Public Safety to factilitate the delivery of the Huikahi Restorative Circles Program in Hawai'i Correctional Facilities.
On 22 April, the Hawai'i State Legislature passed the Senate Concurrent Resolution 192 requesting that the department of public safety facilitate delivery of Huikahi Restorative Circles in state correctional facilities. Below are excerpts from the legislation:
Va. OKs bill to let violent crime victims meet with death row inmates
Lorraine Whoberry tried for years to meet face-to-face with her daughter's killer before he was executed last month. She was repeatedly denied.
So the day after she witnessed his execution, Whoberry sat down with Gov. Bob McDonnell and asked for his help. A bill was making its way through the Virginia General Assembly that would allow victims of violent crime to meet with the perpetrators, but it excluded those on death row and juveniles.
McDonnell amended the bill to allow victims to meet with inmates on death row. On Wednesday, the General Assembly unanimously approved the change.
Although more than half of the states have victim-offender mediation programs, advocates said Virginia would be one of the first to cement it in state law. Virginia also becomes one of only a handful that allow meetings with death row inmates.
“Even though it's not going to affect us, at least we've got something done,” Whoberry said when told about the change.
A justice system that focuses on the victim, as well as the offender
From the article by Harvey Voogd in the Edmonton Journal:
When a crime occurs, it does not affect just one person, but also impacts their family members and the entire community.
This was personally made clear to my family in the fall of 2008 when our pickup was stolen in the middle of the night. Though it was parked in front of our home in Edmonton and under a street light, neither we nor our neighbours heard anything.
The truck was recovered near Alberta Beach, but was written off due to a combination of damage sustained and the age of the vehicle. We received $3,700 for the loss, but our new second-hand truck cost $11,000 -- a financial hit that we had not anticipated.
Maufas' daughter took items, superintendent says
from the article by Jill Tucker on SFGate.com:
The 22-year-old daughter of a San Francisco school board member stole a district laptop and $250 from another school board member and a district staff member while her mother attended board meetings in the same building, district officials confirmed Friday.
Francesca Maufas, the daughter of board member Kim-Shree Maufas, took the laptop and $90 cash from a third-floor office of a senior staff member during the school board's March 9 meeting at district headquarters, officials said. A surveillance camera captured the 22-year-old in the hallway and entering the office, said Superintendent Carlos Garcia.
She confessed to the theft the next day and disclosed the location of the laptop, which she had stashed in the building, Garcia said.
The younger Maufas also acknowledged taking at least $160 from board member Jill Wynns' purse, which had been placed under a desk in the board's office during a late February committee meeting.
Students won't be prosecuted after drug raid
From the Article by Darrell Cole in the Amherst Daily News:
Most, if not all students arrested at Amherst Regional High School following a drug raid earlier this month will escape criminal prosecution.
Deputy Chief Ian Naylor of the Amherst Police Department said that while interviews still have to be completed with two of the 30 youth arrested, the 28 young people and all five adults detained qualify for either restorative justice or adult diversion.
"Our goal has always been finding a positive outcome and what we've been saying from the beginning is that we would look at all situations to see if they met the criteria for referral to the programs," Naylor said. "We have to be fair and we have to be consistent and that's what we have done."
Restorative Justice: Crime and Healing
"I have nowhere to talk about this except here in a prison setting," Peg said. "You are my community."
The circle grew close, intimate -- sacred -- as the three women spoke.
There were about 35 of us in all, sitting on hard plastic chairs. Twenty wore green: the inmates. The building was wrapped in razor wire. It was a maximum-security prison called Columbia Correctional Institution, in Portage, Wis. Built for 450 prisoners, it houses, two decades after it opened, about 900. The setting was old justice, but something new was happening.
Not all that new, maybe. Restorative Justice -- a multifaceted system of criminal justice and conflict resolution that puts healing and truth-telling at its core, not punishment, revenge or the culling out of humanity's undesirables -- has been around and evolving for about 20 years now. It's slowly gaining a foothold in court systems and schools around the world: It is part, I'm certain, of an invisible wave of change that is transforming the planet. Nothing about it is simple, but something precious beyond compare can emerge from the process. Suffering can abate, torn lives and broken communities can heal, good can come from bad.
Restorative justice offers a better way to cope with crime
If asked to define “justice,” most Americans use words such as fairness, similar or equal treatment, absence of discrimination, enlightenment, due process and equal opportunity. Yet, when asked what is meant when we hear that someone has been “brought to justice,” Americans inevitably think first of punishment — often severe punishment — that must serve as retribution for wrongdoing. We know that justice is a larger concept than punishment, yet we are mostly aware of a very limited set of choices about what justice means in response to crime.
It has been said that Americans are addicted to punishment. But it is more accurate to say that this addiction is characteristic of policymakers who run on “get tough on crime” platforms that seem to thrive on retribution. Crime makes us angry and afraid, but a number of surveys have shown that most of us want accountability for crimes rather than simply retribution. Of greatest concern is the fact that retributive justice is inherently offender-focused — leaving crime victims on the sidelines of the justice process.
Next year in Virginia?
The Virginia Legislature did not pass the restorative justice bill, SB 679, during this legislative session. As I reported on Indisputably in January, the bill would have given formal structure to restorative justice programs in Virginia and would have specifically allowed a judge to order an offender into a restorative justice program.
The story of why this bill was introduced, and why it failed to pass this year, is an interesting one. The Senator who proposed the legislation, Emmet Hanger, had a personal experience with crime which seems to have left him both frustrated with the traditional criminal justice system and a believer in taking a more restorative approach. Someone broke into Senator Hanger’s car and stole some items. Senator Hanger was not pleased when the traditional justice system did not require the offender to return the items (particularly a leather jacket) or clean up the car.