- Showing 10 posts published between Feb 01, 2012 and Feb 29, 2012 [Show all]
The danger of compromise
Picture a stand-off between multiple parties.
Perhaps it is between representatives of two nations sitting across a long polished table as they butt heads over a piece of land, or perhaps it is between red-faced members of an organization fighting over a budget item, voices raised, or maybe its kids on a grassy field arguing about which game to play.
In our case, this morning, it was between our 9 yr old son (on sofa, arms crossed, body tight, face scowling) and his dad (on living room rug, visibly slowing down his breathing to be "patient," feet planted firmly).
So, what's the punishment?
I have several RSS feeds related to restorative justice, prison reform, and criminal justice. Usually, the headlines speak of unsafe prison conditions and the need for governments to make real changes to criminal justice policy. The articles highlight the problems created by prison crowding that results from an over-reliance on incarceration and pre-trial detention. High levels of recidivism and the lack of rehabilitative programming for prisoners are decried.
Less prison, better prevention of crime
....Two of my colleagues, Lawrence Sherman and Heather Strang, ran experiments on the effectiveness of restorative justice compared to traditional processing through criminal trials. Early success in Canberra resulted in British Government grants of $20 million to conduct many further trials in the UK. Randomised trials – as in tossing a coin to see who goes into the new program – are now underway in eight Chinese cities and have occurred around the world. Contrary to intuitions that restorative justice should be restricted to minor property offences, it turns out that it makes the biggest difference with serious and violent crime.
Why can't I tell my brutal attacker that I forgive?
from the article in the Nottingham Post:
....Mr Ali, who lives in the Arboretum area of Nottingham, was left unconscious on the floor of St Peter's Gate after he was knocked out with one punch on at around 4.45pm on July 24, 2008.
The 48-year-old was then stamped on and kicked in his head as shoppers and passersby looked on. When he arrived at hospital, fluid from his brain was leaking out of his nose.
Jackson, then 27 and of Eddleston Drive, Clifton, was jailed for a minimum of five years after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, part way through a retrial at Nottingham Crown Court in July 2009.
Leicestershire Pc Sandie to give US cops policing lesson
from the article in This Is Leicestershire:
New York State's police are to get a lesson in policing from a county copper.
Pc Sandie Hastings will be heading across the Atlantic for a two-week stint with a US police department to teach its officers about restorative justice.
The 58-year-old has been responsible for training her Leicestershire colleagues – and thousands from other British forces – in the concept, in which offenders are made to put right the consequences of their crimes rather than face court action.
She will explain the idea to the officers of Rochester Police Department, who patrol the city with the highest per capita homicide rate in New York State.
Priest's slaying in Birmingham to be remembered in church service
The 1921 slaying of a Catholic priest in Birmingham by a Methodist minister will be the subject of repentance during a 6:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday service at Highlands United Methodist Church, 1045 20th Street South, led by United Methodist Bishop William Willimon.
"It's going to be a powerful and a historic event," said Jim Pinto, director of the Father James E. Coyle Memorial Project. "We're not going to live in the past, but we want to more fully understand the past."
Restorative Justice: Differences between the US and UK
This is one more area where the UK and the US are miles apart. In the United States prosecutors often go into politics as a career so being strong on crime and talking the rhetoric helps in their campaigns. To have any chance of moving forward all political parties need to be targeted at the same time, there is little point in persuading one politician or political party to be more understanding as this will just leave the door open for his or her opposition to jump in with the policy they are stronger on crime and sentencing.
They also need to be tackled at the right time; your political system seems to run on a four year cycle. There is very little point in lobbying any politicians to be more compassionate towards offenders in the final 2 years of any administration as they will not want to seem weak on the crime ticket and also be already campaigning for the next elections. The day after any vote is the day to start.
UC explores restorative justice in improving campus climate
A residence hall fire alarm is pulled as a drunken prank in the middle of the night. A fellow resident, who happens to be gay, witnesses it and confronts the culprit as the building is evacuated. In the exchange of words, the prankster utters a pejorative term for a homosexual man in a profanity-laced tirade.
Fortunately, the situation was just part of a role-playing exercise. Twenty-three student affairs staff members, from all 10 University of California campuses, took part in training for restorative justice, a conflict resolution process that UC is considering for use when dealing with incidents of intolerance or hate, particularly for conduct that, while offensive, may not violate any laws or policies.
Restorative justice provides new path for prisoners
....This is no television prison. There is no guard or glass wall. There are no handcuffs or restraints, just a couple of cameras and a conversation. A conversation about where they came from, why they’re here, but most importantly a conversation about where they’re going. It’s a path with few options.
“On the other side of that door, it’s either hell or redemption,” Baumgardner says. “You choose.”
“That door” leads to the bowels of Jefferson City Correctional Center, a maximum security prison. Starr, Baumgardner and King have all chosen the latter path. Hell is what got them here. Restorative Justice offers them a chance to change that.
New York Times article shows why restorative justice is needed
The February 5, 2012 New York Times article by Kovaleski et al, For Killers’ Families, Struggles With Shame, Silence and Fear shows why we need restorative justice.
The article describes how family members are also harmed by their loved one’s criminal behavior. It shows the need for restorative interventions that can help many families deal with the harm they suffer.