- Showing 5 posts filed under: Victim [–] published between Apr 01, 2010 and Apr 30, 2010 [Show all]
Va. OKs bill to let violent crime victims meet with death row inmates
Lorraine Whoberry tried for years to meet face-to-face with her daughter's killer before he was executed last month. She was repeatedly denied.
So the day after she witnessed his execution, Whoberry sat down with Gov. Bob McDonnell and asked for his help. A bill was making its way through the Virginia General Assembly that would allow victims of violent crime to meet with the perpetrators, but it excluded those on death row and juveniles.
McDonnell amended the bill to allow victims to meet with inmates on death row. On Wednesday, the General Assembly unanimously approved the change.
Although more than half of the states have victim-offender mediation programs, advocates said Virginia would be one of the first to cement it in state law. Virginia also becomes one of only a handful that allow meetings with death row inmates.
“Even though it's not going to affect us, at least we've got something done,” Whoberry said when told about the change.
A justice system that focuses on the victim, as well as the offender
From the article by Harvey Voogd in the Edmonton Journal:
When a crime occurs, it does not affect just one person, but also impacts their family members and the entire community.
This was personally made clear to my family in the fall of 2008 when our pickup was stolen in the middle of the night. Though it was parked in front of our home in Edmonton and under a street light, neither we nor our neighbours heard anything.
The truck was recovered near Alberta Beach, but was written off due to a combination of damage sustained and the age of the vehicle. We received $3,700 for the loss, but our new second-hand truck cost $11,000 -- a financial hit that we had not anticipated.
Parallel justice for victims of crime
My friend Susan Herman, formerly executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, has argued for years that victims will never receive justice until their needs are addressed, regardless of whether the person who committed the crime against them is ever identified or prosecuted. As the title of her new book puts it, we need Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime because “all victims of crime are entitled to a separate path to safety and justice, one that does not replace, but that runs parallel to, the criminal justice process.” (p. 53)
Susan and I have had many discussions about the relationship between parallel justice and restorative justice. Some have been informal but others have been more formal. One time, for example, those of us at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding held a “palaver” on our campus in which restorative justice advocates and victim services providers dialogued with Susan around these issues. Another time Susan and I were part of a four-person panel sponsored by Safe Horizon at the New York City Public Library.
Restorative Justice: Crime and Healing
"I have nowhere to talk about this except here in a prison setting," Peg said. "You are my community."
The circle grew close, intimate -- sacred -- as the three women spoke.
There were about 35 of us in all, sitting on hard plastic chairs. Twenty wore green: the inmates. The building was wrapped in razor wire. It was a maximum-security prison called Columbia Correctional Institution, in Portage, Wis. Built for 450 prisoners, it houses, two decades after it opened, about 900. The setting was old justice, but something new was happening.
Not all that new, maybe. Restorative Justice -- a multifaceted system of criminal justice and conflict resolution that puts healing and truth-telling at its core, not punishment, revenge or the culling out of humanity's undesirables -- has been around and evolving for about 20 years now. It's slowly gaining a foothold in court systems and schools around the world: It is part, I'm certain, of an invisible wave of change that is transforming the planet. Nothing about it is simple, but something precious beyond compare can emerge from the process. Suffering can abate, torn lives and broken communities can heal, good can come from bad.
Clergy sexual abuse: A cry for restorative justice
by Lisa Rea:
At this hour, I would guess that some around the world are weary of the news stories of abuse that have rocked the Catholic Church in recent weeks. But to me, it's a reminder of how far we have to go to heal the injuries suffered by the victims (survivors) of abuse.