from the article posted by Prison Fellowship England & Wales:
Rachel*, a Sycamore Tree volunteer, told us of how listening to a victim’s experiences had completely changed the attitude and behavior of an offender.
“Tyrone* was an offender that stood out to me. I remember him saying:
“In my past life I was a taker. I was robbing banks, shooting people, drinking, being involved in adultery, blasphemy and coveting my neighbour’s women. My sinning was prolific and I enjoyed it, I actually revelled in it.”
Another road to justice
from the article in Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
The group of men listens, mesmerized, as Lynn BeBeau talks about the last time she saw her husband alive.
"I told him the same thing I always did: `I love you. Be careful.' "
Her husband grinned back.
"Honey, don't worry about me. Me and God are like this." He held up two crossed fingers and smiled.
Hours later, the Eau Claire police officer was shot to death in the line of duty.
The hulking men in prison greens sit perfectly still as BeBeau fights back tears. They are murderers, armed robbers, drug dealers, child molesters.
By talking, inmates and victims make things ‘more right’
from the article in The New York Times:
For many of his 15 years behind the soaring prison walls here, Muhammad Sahin managed to suppress thinking of his victims’ anguish — even that of the one who haunted him most, a toddler who peeked out from beneath her blankets the night he shot and killed her mother in a gang-ordered hit.
Offender: “Sycamore Tree is not just a course, but a life changer”
from the article by PF England and Wales:
I completed this course some months ago, but I am still experiencing the benefits even today. I am a huge advocate of Sycamore Tree as it has opened my eyes to the impact of my crime on numerous people, especially those who I did not know about, those who were victims through the ripple effect.
Learning respect for a victim’s pain – a powerful speech to prisoners and criminal justice officials
from the article on Sycamore Voices:
When I first began the program I was recovering from a broken right wrist, it was a bad break and extremely painful. In greeting the residents I had to offer my right wrist – these guys have strong handshakes and a couple of times I actually winced in pain.
In order for me to be acquainted with the participants I had to offer something of myself, which hurt. In turn the guys learnt to not shake my hand hard and they developed a respect for my pain. Eight weeks on I can offer my hand without the fear of pain, as there has been a healing process.
Experiencing the Sycamore Tree course
from the article posted by Prison Fellowship England and Wales:
At the start of this year, I had the privilege of attending a Prison Fellowship ‘Sycamore Tree’ course in a women’s prison. I joined an experienced group facilitator and got to know several women who had committed crimes and were serving time.
Survey on restorative justice teaching programmes
from the announcement by the European Forum for Restorative Justice:
What: The Leuven institute of Criminology (LINC) and the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) are happy to announce the dawn of an online database regarding courses on Restorative Justice. This database hopes to include all the courses at the university and university college level available worldwide. With the combined efforts of those teaching Restorative Justice we can make this a success!
The mother finding solace after her son's murder - by visiting prisons to talk to killers
from the article in the MailOnline:
There it was, tucked between the magazines on her coffee table: proof that her beloved son was going to get married. When Lyn Connolly found the engagement ring catalogue, she instantly knew what it meant.
That evening, ecstatic, she teasingly challenged 28-year-old Paul about it.
Paul, who had been dating teacher Izzy Harris for two years, coyly admitted their happy secret: he had asked her to marry him. They had designed a diamond ring together, which they had been waiting for the jeweller to finish before announcing the news.
But just weeks after her happy discovery in August 2002, Lyn's joy was cut short. Paul was stabbed to death on a street near their Liverpool home by two men high on drugs in a motiveless and unprovoked attack.
Lyn suddenly found herself planning a funeral instead of a wedding. Hers is a story that would touch the hardest of hearts.
'There is the story of what happened to Paul and the story of how we got through it,' she says. 'I rarely manage to get to the end without crying.'
Tending deep wounds
In October, Prison Fellowship South Africa held its last scheduled Sycamore Tree Project® (STP) course for 2013 in Pretoria Women’s Correctional Centre. The 18 prisoners and six victims addressed many issues related to crime and the harm that it causes. For one, the programme offered an opportunity to address the deep wounds of racism and violence from her country’s past.
From death row to restorative justice
from the article by Marina Cantacuzino:
Restorative justice is a system that fundamentally views crime as injury rather than wrong-doing, and justice as healing rather than punishment. Whilst visiting New York, Minneapolis, Hawaii and Texas (thanks to receiving a Winston Churchill travelling fellowship) I've uncovered some remarkable US-based programs that bear this out. But as founding director of The Forgiveness Project, a UK-based charity that delivers a restorative justice programme in prisons, I'm also surprised by how often the death penalty is central to the conversation.