- Showing 9 posts filed under: Region: North America and Caribbean [–], Country:USA [–] published between Jul 01, 2010 and Jul 31, 2010 [Show all]
Churches grapple with whether to welcome convicted sex offenders
"All are welcome" is a common phrase on many a church sign and Web site. But what happens when a convicted sex offender is at the door?
Church officials and legal advocates are grappling with how -- and whether -- people who have been convicted of sex crimes should be included in U.S. congregations, especially when children are present:
Huikahi Restorative Circles: A public health approach for reentry planning
....The Huikahi Restorative Circle is a group process for reentry planning that involves the incarcerated individual, his or her family and friends, and at least one prison representative. The process was developed in 2005 in collaboration with two community-based organizations—the Hawai’i Friends of Civic &Law Related Education and the Community Alliance on Prisons—and the Waiawa Correctional Facility located on the island of O’ahu.
Youth win on Chicago Public Schools guards, grievance process
In a victory for two youth organizing drives, CPS has agreed to establish a grievance procedure for students experiencing violence, harassment or discrimination, and to pilot a program training security guards to use principles of restorative justice in their work.
Both campaigns promote the restorative justice approach – emphasizing accountability as an alternative to zero tolerance and punitive discipline – as a more effective approach to reducing violence, said Sam Finkelstein of GenderJust, an LGTB student group that protested at CPS headquarters and at CPS chief Ron Huberman’s home to demand a grievance procedure.
‘Puppies for Parole’ making a difference
Puppies for Parole, as the Missouri Department of Corrections calls the program, is at work in eight state prisons, where offenders have the time and patience to give dogs from shelters basic obedience training.
What were they thinking? Horse farms and inmates?
It was one of those feel-good programs that come across reporters' desks nearly every day. This was from the state prison system: "Restorative Justice Benefits Women Inmates and Starving Horses."
Here's what the news release said:
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services today added yet another to its growing list of unique restorative justice inmate initiatives, putting a work crew comprised of female inmates at Howard County’s Days End Farm Horse Rescue. The inmates, from the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women (MCI-W) in Jessup, will begin with grounds maintenance and landscaping, and eventually move into equine care. “What we try to do with these restorative justice programs is not only give inmates skills and the chance to pay back the society they’ve harmed, but meaningful projects that really do make a difference in the lives of people -- and in this case, horses,” said DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard.
Only state prison officials forgot to tell the neighbors of the horse farm, as well as the young volunteers who work there. Now, state officials have shut down the program, according to a story by The Baltimore Sun's Larry Carson.
Offenders provide for food pantries
People sentenced to probation are working in a community garden that provides fresh produce to food pantries in Somerset County.
“This is a learning experience and is part of BARJ — Balanced and Restorative Justice — that teaches offenders that they need to work to benefit the community,” said Michael Sopich, community service coordinator. “This is good for the community — people who may not be able to afford produce can get it. Those who work in the garden learn where produce comes from and they can then put in gardens at home.”
A community garden had been in Somerset years ago, but was stopped. The probation department restarted the garden last year. Robert and Tomalee Will donated about one acre for the garden. They use their farm equipment and fertilizer to prepare the soil. Will also planted 24 rows of corn.
Restorative justice is neighborhood effort in Seward and Greater Longfellow
The Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership is a joint project with Seward Neighbor-hood Group and Longfellow Community Council. Since its inception there has been wide neighborhood support for a program that instead of sending juvenile offenders through the court system allows them to make amends, or at least make things as right as possible. The premise of the program is that “crime damages people, communities and relationships. If crime is about harm, then justice should emphasize repairing the harm.”
City, community groups express pride following protests
From Jill Replogle's article in Oakland North:
As Oakland awaits next month’s sentencing of Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer convicted last Thursday of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant, authorities, community groups and onlookers congratulated each other on the mostly non-violent protests that followed the verdict last Thursday. Joint planning among city, police and community groups helped keep the peace, they say.
Mississippi officials agree to settlement in '64 slayings
On May 2nd, 1964 in the tiny town of Meadville, Mississippi, two 19-year-old black men disappeared while walking along a highway on the edge of town. Two months later, the partial remains of a black man washed ashore in a remote stretch of the Mississippi River. Police identified the victim as Charles Moore, based on a college I.D. in a pants pocket.
Another two months passed before FBI investigators got an anonymous tip about the disappearance of Moore and his friend, Henry Dee. That informant described how Dee and Moore were kidnapped by the Ku Klux Klan and driven to a wooded area where they were beaten and then tied to an old engine block before being dumped into the river while they were still alive.
The families of the two young men filed a civil lawsuit against Franklin County, Mississippi, claiming that local law enforcement officials aided and abetted the Klan. And today they reached a settlement.
Margaret Burnham is one of their attorneys. She's the director of the Civil Rights Restorative Justice program at Northeastern University, and she joins us now. Welcome to the program, Professor Burnham.