- Showing 10 posts filed under: Support [–] published between Feb 01, 2010 and Feb 28, 2010 [Show all]
Core capacities of restorative justice practitioners
In January a small group gathered in Seattle for several days of restorative justice dialogue and we’ve continued the discussion since then by email. (The participants are listed below.) One of the questions raised was what we considered to be the core capacities of effective restorative justice practitioners. Aaron Lyons, a practitioner in Vancouver and a CJP alumnus, took the lead on this discussion and I invited him to contribute a guest blog entry. The following is his contribution.
Hi fellow Howard’s blog enthusiasts -
Recently I’ve been asking, “What are the core capacities, in terms of values, analytical tools, and skills, of an effective restorative justice practitioner?” Below are a few thoughts, shaped by but not necessarily representative of, the discussion among my Seattle mentors. What would you challenge or add to this list?
Getting feedback is awesome, we should give it more often, directly.
NOTE: One of the reasons that Kris' blog is so useful is that she is transparent about her experiences as a facilitator and agency director. In this entry she talks about two kinds of feedback she received recently and how she intends to use both.
At the beginning of Circle, we write a relationship value on paper plates, we place these on the floor in front of us. We make a commitment to honor these values in Circle. If they are good values for our relationships outside of Circle, they are good values for our relationships in Circle.
We do a give and get activity. One person starts by picking a plate and giving it to someone else in Circle. An explanation of how the value was demonstrated and why it was given is part of the activity. Once you get a plate its your turn to give one.
Yesterday I got two plates: LOVE and INTEGRITY. I also got a phone call I was ‘reported’ to a statewide association. Getting the plates and getting the phone call, very different types of feedback, but I am going to accept them both as awesome. Let me try to explain that:
Economic analysis of interventions for young adult offenders
This report summarises an economic analysis of alternative interventions for young adult offenders. It concludes that, for all offenders aged 18-24 sentenced in a Magistrate’s court for a non-violent offence1 in a given year:
- Diversion from community orders to pre-court RJ conferencing schemes (following a police triage service in which police officers make an immediate assessment of the need and likely benefit from a community intervention) is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £275 million (£7,050 per offender). The costs of RJ conferencing are likely to be paid back within the first year of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of over £1 billion.
- Diversion from custody to community orders via changes in sentencing guidelines is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of more than £12 million (£1,032 per offender). The costs of changing sentencing guidelines are likely to be paid back within three years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £33 million.
- Diversion from trial under adult law to trial under juvenile law following maturity assessment is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £5 million (£420 per offender). The costs of maturity assessments are likely to be paid back within five years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £473,000.
Restorative justice: A travelogue
from Ryan Hollon's entry on Dr. Pop Blog:
I was heading to South Africa as part of a restorative justice delegation from the Windy City. Our group brought with it a diverse history of activism, action, and hustling for change.
Some of the delegates were working to transform the disciplinary culture of the public school system, others were community leaders deeply rooted in neighborhood life, several had been working for decades to reform the ways our society responds to domestic violence, and many in the group had dedicated their lives to working with young people to shift power in their communities.
All of us were practitioners of conflict resolution methods like peace circles, and all of us shared a basic belief in the power of groups to come together to address difficult issues, to deal with the conflicting forces in our lives.
'Pizza thief' walks the line
From the Los Angeles Times article by Jack Leonard:
If he ever returns to prison, Jerry Dewayne Williams knows he'll probably never get out.
To stay clear of trouble, he has left behind the Compton neighborhood where police knew him and cut ties with friends from wilder days. Once a hard partyer, the 43-year-old says he prefers the company of a mystery novel or a "Law and Order" episode on television.
Williams is one of more than 14,000 felons who, under California's three-strikes law, face a possible life sentence if they commit another felony. But few, if any, grasp the reality of that threat better than Williams.
Bullying: School, texting & cyber harassment is emotional assault
Bullying has become increasingly common in schools throughout the United States and studies have found signs of an apparent connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide. When the bullying moves to the Internet, the trauma to the victim is astronomically escalated. It is full-blown emotional assault.
This issue hit home when my daughter was in 7th grade. Although she survived the intense school and cyber bullying she endured for several weeks at the hands of those that used to be her "friends", the wounds were deep and the signs were there. When she began wearing dark clothes all the time and her grades started slipping, her mood becoming dark and sad without any apparent reason - at least not due to anything at home - I knew something was up.
The world is not as it should be: Punitiveness as a response to societal change
....As a policy, three strikes does a lot more than provide harsher punishment. It also takes discretionary authority away from the judiciary, who traditionally have had the flexibility to vary sentences in response to judgements about the nature of crime, the victim and the offender. In the United States, studies showed a long-term trend toward increasing skepticism and lack of confidence in the legal authorities. This in turn had led to:
- A tendency to ignore judicial orders and the law;
- Greater tolerance of vigilantism or extralegal behaviour of citizens;
- Jury behaviour which nullifies the law.
Conservative criminal justice policy and restorative justice
....[I]f we win the election, we will be missing a great opportunity if we do not seize the moment to move Restorative Justice to a much higher place on the agenda of criminal justice reform.
It‟s very simple: if I become the Prisons Minister, I will be a strong advocate and supporter of RJ.
Another warning about US prison policy: Justice Kennedy laments the state of prisons in California, U.S.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy criticized California sentencing policies and crowded prisons Wednesday night, calling the influence that unionized prison guards had in passing the three-strikes law "sick."
In an otherwise courtly and humorous address to the Los Angeles legal community, Kennedy expressed obvious dismay over the state of corrections and rehabilitation in the country. He said U.S. sentences are eight times longer than those issued by European courts.
Public speaking tips: Reaching everyone in your audience when speaking about restorative justice
from Kris Miner's blog:
From Seth Godin's blog:
The work you do when you spread the word or run an ad or invent a policy is likely aimed at one of these four groups.
- Strangers are customers to be, but not yet
- Critics are those that would speak ill of you, or need to be converted
- Friends are those that might have given permission, or even buy now and then
- Fans are members of your tribe, supporters and insiders
You already know the truth: can’t please all these groups at once.
As a restorative justice practitioner or advocate, you maybe asked to speak to a group, that includes all the groups mentioned above. Godin’s categories, reminded me of a recent post, not everyone views restorative justice equally.