Restorative justice does work, says career burglar who has turned life around on Teesside
A hardened burglar who has turned his life around after meeting two of his traumatised victims is backing a new ‘restorative justice’ scheme.
To Peter Woolf, stealing a laptop to pay for his heroin habit could be justified - the owner was rich and could easily afford to replace it.
But when he was told that it had belonged to a heart and lung transplant surgeon and stored notes about critically ill patients as well as a research paper ready to be sent to the Lancet medical journal, the impact of his crimes suddenly hit home.
Restorative justice is the heart of nonviolent change
from the entry by Ken Butigan on ZNet:
We’re so trained in the art and science of retribution that it’s sometimes hard to get a fix on what restorative justice is. I got a clue several years ago when my colleague Cynthia Stateman shared the following story. Cynthia was very close to her Uncle John. He was a doctor in their hometown, and when she was growing up she would often make the rounds with him visiting the sick. He was the town’s first African-American physician, and had built a clinic that served sharecroppers and mill workers. One night, years later, Cynthia got a call from a cousin telling her that her uncle had been killed by a young white man intent on robbing his clinic. The assailant had shoved her 75-year-old uncle against a wall. He fell, gasped for breath — and then suddenly died. The would-be robber phoned 911 but then ran for it, only to be quickly captured. Cynthia immediately flew home to be with her family.
"I felt healed": Mum met burglar who stole precious memories of her dead daughter
from the article by Sally Beck in the Mirror:
When Margaret Foxley found out her house had been burgled and a laptop, camera and jewellery had been taken by a drug addict, she wanted him locked up and the key thrown away for good.
She had thought of her home as a sanctuary where she could live safely with her husband Paul, her son Oliver and daughter Jessica.
Now she was too scared to be alone, her nerves on edge at the thought of the burglar, Ian Ashworth, coming back, although he was caught a month later.
Restorative justice reflections
The following letter was submitted to the Gulf Islands Driftwood as part of Salt Spring’s Restorative Justice program.
Restorative Justice. That name never clicked in my head when the officer brought it up. He gave me two options, one was court, and the other Restorative Justice.
Feb 06, 2013 Story
Can forgiveness play a role in criminal justice?
….Baliga laid out the ground rules: Campbell would read the charges and summarize the police and sheriff’s reports; next the Grosmaires would speak; then Conor; then the McBrides; and finally Foley, representing the community. No one was to interrupt. Baliga showed a picture of Ann, sticking out her tongue as she looks at the camera. If her parents heard anything Ann wouldn’t like, they would hold up the picture to silence the offending party. Everyone seemed to feel the weight of what was happening. “You could feel her there,” Conor told me.
Law professor says ‘restorative justice’ can heal
To illustrate how communication can make a profound difference in people’s lives, Powell showed a video of interviews with a young couple whose home was broken into while they were gone and the two teens who did it.
Through mediation, the boys said they came to realize how deeply they hurt the couple, who suffered anger and fear after the break-in. In turn, the couple said talking face-to-face helped them to understand the boys’ actions, and they eventually forgave them.
Review: The Final Gift: A documentary film
The Final Gift-- A Documentary Film offers an intimate look into one woman’s journey of healing following the violent death of her brother. Therese Bartholemew’s brother, Steve, died after being shot in an altercation at a club. This film results from her attempt to understand what happened and its impact on their family. It chronicles their emotions and responses from receiving the first phone call to the sentencing to Therese’s meeting with the offender.
Restorative practices in the university: How two professors and a student worked together to resolve conflict
Altravis sat in the back of my algebra class. He missed class often. His work showed evidence of his struggle. When I focused on him, I could see a look of disengagement. One day as I stood at the front of the classroom discussing a problem, I heard Altravis shout out in frustration. I was shaken and scared. I knew that his outburst had rattled students. After class, I approached Altravis and asked what was going on. He apologized and explained that it wouldn't happen again.
Fairness, justice and restoring lives
During a hot summer day, daycare workers removed children from a van, except one — Jazzmin Green. She was two years old. Sixteen-year-old Miesha Ridley was responsible for checking off the names of the children as they were removed. There was a mark next to Jazzmin’s name. An hour passed before anyone noticed she was missing. They found her in the van unconscious — still strapped to her car seat. She died from the heat. Miesha and two adult workers were arrested.
Miesha admitted to voluntary manslaughter — it was time for disposition. Jazzmin’s parents made it clear that anything other than prison for Miesha would be “unfair.” They just buried their child and the pain was eating at them. During the hearing, Mr. Green shared these feelings of unfairness and asked that “justice” be done.
Community justice: The power of the panel
"I could feel the tension and hatred when they came into the room - but three quarters of an hour later there were buckets of tears."
John Gallagher describes a neighbour dispute which had run for seven years and descended into an anti-social behaviour case.