- Showing 1 posts filed under: Region: Latin America [–], Country:Mexico [–] published between Jun 01, 2010 and Jun 30, 2010 [Show all]
Mexico and New Orleans Learn About Restorative Practices
From the 11 June Restorative Practices E-Forum by Laura Mirsky:
Both Mexico and New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, are experiencing high incidences of crime and violence. To find new ways to deal with this issue, participants from both locations recently attended special four-day immersion events at the IIRP’s Bethlehem campus. An April 26-29 event involved 30 criminal and juvenile justice officials from 10 states in Mexico; a May 11-14 immersion included 15 educators and youth-justice professionals from New Orleans.
Both groups spent two days visiting the IIRP’s model program schools for at-risk youth, operated by Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont), and two days training in restorative practices. The participants were very excited about what they observed and learned, and most are hoping to begin implementing restorative practices when they return home.
The seeds for the Mexicans’ visit were planted when John Bailie, IIRP director of trainers and lecturer at the IIRP Graduate School, presented a paper at the First International Restorative Justice Conference: Humanizing the Approach to Criminal Justice, in Oaxaca, Mexico, in September 2008. Subsequently, Nancy Flemming, coordinator of the alternative justice area of MSI’s (Management Systems International) Programa de Apoyo para el Estado de Derecho en México [Support Program for the Rule of Law in Mexico — PRODERECHO] project, funded by USAID organized the IIRP visit to help immersion attendees find ways to improve their respective states’ criminal justice systems. This undertaking was mandated by a 2006 amendment to the Mexican constitution requiring states to reform their penal codes to make them more effective and more humane — to include oral trials, the right to legal counsel and other legal prerogatives. Many of the immersion participants are involved in this reform process, in a variety of ways.