Editorial: The best arena for victim redress?
from the article in the Sage e-bulletin from the Church Council on Justice and Corrections:
Can the justice system ever be the arena for victims’ redress if redress means true healing and moving on from trauma and its effects? A criminal justice system built on punitive measures and adversarial posturing exacerbates the victim wound and creates even more layers of self protection against active resolution of one’s own wounding and the wounding one does to another. Further the judicial system is the state’s arena, not the victim’s, for redress against crimes committed and therefore its capacity to adequately redress victims’ needs where those needs are most required is difficult at best. Victims are left with insufficient avenues to get to the root of needed healing. And incarceration that does not consistently include those rehabilitation options that contribute to victim redress, does not hold real solutions to changing behaviour or creating public and victim safety in the long term.
Restorative Justice listening . . . to bare witness
from the blog article by Kris Miner:
That is an intentional typo. I’m going to try to explain the kind of listening that works best in Restorative Justice Peacemaking Circles. Not listening to respond, not active listening so you can reframe and respond. The kind of listening that is free of judgement. Listening that could be called ‘bearing witness’ to another person. What does to bear witness mean?
Archdiocese walks with violence victims’ families through ‘ministry of presence’
from the article by Edison Tapalla:
In October 2012, the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco began the Restorative Justice Ministry for Victims and Families of Violent Crime.
Working closely with the city of San Francisco, the ministry helps the families of victims of violent crime navigate the period of time when a loved one is lost. In addition to helping with survivors’ loss and grief, the ministry also helps with funeral arrangements, translations, paperwork and – in cases of extreme need – expenses.
People are not programs
from the blog article by Hal Pepinsky:
...From victim-offender mediation trainings and practice, I learned that regardless of formal structure and training, people will apply their underlying habits and perspective as mediators to doing “restorative justice.” Many advocates and practitioners of this model of responding to conflict in practice share my observation that in practice, many mediators concentrate on following the detailed letter of what to say and do, as they have been instructed to do, and in so doing, acts more like judges or arbitrators who interpret and implicitly tell parties what is what, what they need to do, and have a fixed notion going into mediation as to terms of an appropriate agreement. One prime example is requiring “offenders” explicitly to apologize to “victims.” Another example, one that has even formally been introduced into some theories and practices of “restoration,” is the belief that “offenders” must be “shamed” into overt remorse for their actions, and that a good agreement requires that “offenders” somehow “right the wrongs” they have done, both for their sakes, and for the sake of “repairing the harm” to meet “victims’” needs.
Circle with diverse members, harmed, harmer and community role models.
from the blog article by Kris Miner:
What a fortunate place I have, having kept 1,000′s of Circles in a range of contexts. I’ve also been fortunate to train a few hundred in the process, allowing me to hear stories back on what worked well, and what was a lesson.
It is soo important that Circles have a diverse mix of perspectives. This takes time, in training youth or community volunteers about the dynamics of participating in Circle. However, by training others, you yourself will be learning more about the fundamental belief systems that make Circles work.
Soliciting community involvement and support for restorative justice through community service
from the article by William R. Wood in Criminal Justice Policy Review:
In 2001, the Clark County Juvenile Court (CCJC) in Washington State adopted what it calls “restorative community service” (RCS). Prior to 2001, youth sentenced to community service had been assigned by to work crews to pick up trash, wash county vehicles and so on. Under RCS, however, the court switched its use of community service from work crews to nonprofit and public organizations, where youth generally worked alongside community volunteers.
Restorative Justice: Is the Message Getting Through?
From the article by Javed Khan:
It's funny how you find out that you're winning the argument.
I was watching EastEnders when I realised attitudes towards restorative justice were really shifting.
The episode showed Kat Moon meeting Ronnie Mitchell - the woman who had stolen Kat's baby - at the prison gates.
It was an intense and dramatic scene ending with Kat inviting Ronnie to stay with her, despite her continuing anger at the crime.
For years we have been arguing that victims want more than just punishment for their offenders - they want them to stop committing crimes and to understand the impact of those crimes. In some cases, victims even want a face-to-face explanation from the criminal about why they committed the offence.
Vision 21: Transforming victim services. Final report
from the report released by the Office for Victims of Crime:
...The discussions that formed the basis for Vision 21 demonstrated that only a truly comprehensive and far-reaching approach would achieve the vast changes needed to move the field forward. Stakeholders saw that a holistic approach to victims’ needs is essential but will require unprecedented collaboration among service providers, an ongoing challenge for the field.
Abuse forum must have 'emphasis on restorative justice' say MSPs
from the article on STV News:
A plan to offer child abuse victims a forum to relive their experiences must be accompanied by an emphasis on achieving justice for survivors, a committee of MSPs has concluded.
The Scottish Government wants to establish a National Confidential Forum (NCF) to "provide an opportunity for adults who were placed in institutional care as children to recount their experiences in a confidential, non-judgemental and supportive setting".
Building on the One Fund: Victim centered restorative justice for survivors of violent crime
In an outpouring of support, millions of dollars have been raised to help support victims of the Boston marathon attacks and their families.
To date, more than 32 million dollars have been raised from individuals, foundations, and corporations by The One Fund....
Victim centered restorative justice - such as that provided by the One Fund - seeks to provide maximal support and rehabilitation to victims of crime.