- Showing 2 posts filed under: Theory [–] published between Apr 01, 2011 and Apr 30, 2011 [Show all]
Self defense and restorative justice
I am teaching Criminal Law this semester and have struggled with how to move beyond the standard casebook vision that every criminal case goes to a jury trial and then has some fascinating appellate issue to review.... Last week, when we were discussing self-defense, I used an example that allowed for some of that discussion, with the help of a few videos.
Many of you have probably seen a recent video out of Australia that went viral as an example of one boy fighting back against a bully. The link is: bullying. I showed this very short video in class and then we discussed whether the boy who is seen to be “fighting back” could assert self defense under the Texas Penal Code. Predictably, given the perspective from the video, the whole class assumed that the younger child was the aggressor and that the other was the victim who was fighting back to protect himself, and acting within the law.
Can we create purely non-punitive restorative programs?
One reason to ask this question is because there is a growing body of evidence that shows using punishment in the form of isolation, detention or suspension to address behavioral problems in schools only aggravates other issues, such as bullying, violence, substandard academic performance, the lack of parental involvement, high staff turnover and burnout.
Meanwhile, restorative practices are proving to be an effective alternative to punitive measures. They provide an effective means of creating safe, supportive learning environments, often at far less cost than the punitive means, whether the cost is measured in terms of financial outlay, the time expended on discipline issues or the stress level experienced by those in the system. And restorative measures are proving to be an effective means of addressing the school-to-prison pipeline that has become of national concern.
But can school or other programs be created that do not eventually resort to punitive measures for those who continue to misbehave? In researching various approaches to restorative school programs, most seem to continue the blend of restorative processes and punitive measures to varying degrees.