- Showing 9 posts filed under: Theory [–] published between Jul 01, 2009 and Jul 31, 2009 [Show all]
Shame and restorative processes
The topic of shame has become a controversial issue in restorative justice. I’m convinced that an awareness of shame and its dynamics is critical for the field but I also believe there are serious dangers of misunderstanding and misuse....
Seminar Report: Restorative Justice -- Restorative Practices: Are They the Same?
In early June, the European Forum for Restorative Justice (Forum) hosted a seminar exploring the similarities and differences between "restorative justice" and "restorative practices." The event resulted from a request presented at the 2008 board meeting asking the Forum to include schools, community mediation and other societal contexts in its work.
The seminar focused on the theoretical understandings of "restorative justice" and "restorative practices." Three speakers explored the various issues related to expanding the organization's scope.
Limiting DNA testing and denying justice to victims
But for God’s sake, if we know we have hundreds or thousands of innocents behind bars must we not do everything in our power to set them free if we live in a civilized society? Absolutely. This court ruling will now make this work harder and slower.
As I said earlier, crime victims are hurt - not helped - by this ruling. The challenge on top of this urgent need to free those who are wrongfully convicted is to remember then that someone who is actually guilty of that crime is free at large. Ask a crime victim how they would view that fact. Having worked in the restorative justice field for 15 years I can tell you that crime victims want the system to get it right. There can be no restoration of crime victims, nor can there be offender accountability - two key elements of restorative justice, if the real perpetrator is not caught.
Building restorative cultures
by Dan Van Ness
Yesterday I wrote about the media treatment of a paper delivered by Dr. Hillary Cremin warning that restorative justice programmes alone are not enough to address bullying if there is not also a culture change at the school.
One newspaper reported that this meant that "trendy" restorative justice doesn't work to stop bullying. My entry yesterday considered the difficulty of working with media to present a nuanced argument when they are looking for soundbites to sell papers.
Today I want to consider another issue, one that Dr. Cremin raised in our correspondence:
An interesting reason to use restorative justice
By Dan Van Ness
"We're looking at thousands of dollars in damage and the courts would never impose that on first offenders. Nor would there be any sort of punitive action taken. With the restorative justice forum, the expectation - and my belief - is that they are going to be dealt with much more harshly through an RJ than they would be in the provincial court system or the youth courts. The courts would probably simply give them a conditional sentence and send them on their way. With the RJ forum we're looking at restitution and we'll be looking at some community input.
"We have the OIC's (Officer in Command's) support and we have the City's support and we're putting together a package in order to make sure that this doesn't fall on the taxpayers' shoulders. City council as well as residents in the area are going to be involved in the forum."
We live in a relational and moral universe
by Dan Van Ness
At the 2nd National Conference on Restorative Justice in San Antonio, Jennifer Llewellyn spoke of the importance of relationships. “We live in a relational universe,” she said. This is why restorative justice is so powerful – it addresses something real, something that is part of the fabric of life itself. Relationships are core to who we are.
Is there justice in restorative?
From Howard Zehr's blog: Catherine Bargen, a long-time practitioner and visionary thinker, raised an important issue that deserves more discussion. The rest of this entry is in her words, recorded and edited with her permission.
When I learned about restorative justice I felt that it applied to all of life and shouldn’t just be about criminal justice. I’ve made a career of thinking outside the criminal justice box - for example, restorative justice in schools - and I continue to think the work being done in this field is very important.
Duality or trinity, scales or circles: What approach for justice in a new generation?
From Rachel Monaco-Wilcox's entry at Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog: If justice and healing are to be embraced as one and the same, as I believe they are, healing must come with the courage to bear the knowledge of the harms of the past. That knowledge, and those details, must be given a voice in that safe space of sharing, the circle. What is not known, not spoken, left unvoiced and buried, cannot be forgiven, and what is not forgiven cannot be made whole. Only through wholeness can the courage and power for positive change come for the sustainable future.
This is a shift in the way justice is seen. It is not black and white, as I think it was expected to be in the generation and the Supreme Court of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. I also believe we do not create justice, we restore it, and we restore it because “justice” is not a man-made concept. Scales are man-made; circles, in contrast, are all around us in nature.
Proportionality in Sentencing and the Restorative Justice Paradigm: ‘Just Deserts’ for Victims and Defendants Alike?
From the paper by Tyrone Kirchengast: The doctrine of proportionality seeks to limit arbitrary and capricious punishment in order to ensure that offenders are punished according to their ‘just desert’. Proportionality goes some way toward achieving this ‘balanced’ approach by requiring a court to consider various and often competing interests in formulating a sentence commensurate with offence seriousness and offender culpability. Modification of sentencing law by the introduction of victim impact statements or the requirement that sentencing courts take explicit account of the harm done to the victim and community has generated debate, however, as to the extent to which offenders may be now subject to unjustified, harsher punishments.