Prison for teen who lit "agender" youth's skirt on fire thwarts healing
from the article by Sue Burrell on HuffPost:
The news of Richard Thomas' seven-year prison sentence raises fresh questions about how the justice system intervenes in dangerous, but clearly adolescent behavior. Richard, age 16, was prosecuted in a California adult court after setting on fire the skirt of 18-year-old "Sasha" Fleischman, who was asleep on a local bus. Sasha identifies as "agender" meaning neither male nor female. Three days after the incident, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Richard as an adult, alleging assault and aggravated mayhem as hate crimes. The charging decision completely bypassed the juvenile court system....
Peace room trumps suspensions at Lincoln Park High School
During his seven years as assistant principal at Kenwood Academy, Michael Boraz learned to believe that punitive justice was the way to a disciplined and well-oiled school.
The idea of a "peace circle" to handle problems rather than a five-day suspension or even a transfer was almost laughable to him.
Merced County high schools see the benefits of restorative justice discipline model
High school officials in Merced County are taking a new approach at improving discipline policies on campuses, and that approach is showing a significant improvement in student participation and wellness, according to a new report.
Restorative justice policies, which focus on non-adversarial and dialogue-based decisionmaking, are proving to be more effective than zero-tolerance practices, school officials said during a presentation last week.
Success of sex abuse treatment highlighted
Only four out of 114 sex offenders who underwent treatment at a specialist abuse organisation have re-offended....
Maeve Lewis, executive director, said the voluntary- body was one of only two community-based sex offender programmes in the country. She said there should be one in “every single county”, as long as they were run by appropriately skilled and qualified staff.
Speaking at the launch of the body’s 2013 annual report, Ms Lewis said restorative justice programmes — involving both offender and victim — offered a possible way forward.
Restoring justice: Sonoma County and beyond
Last summer, when the Santa Rosa City Schools District was looking for a way to curb the fourth highest rate of suspensions in the state, it turned to restorative justice as the solution.
“We were almost an outlier,” said Jen Klose, Santa City Schools board member. “We had truly become zero tolerance.”
Searching for a new paradigm for discipline, Santa Rosa City Schools board president Bill Carle said, “We started focusing on how do we do this in a different way, and that’s when we found restorative justice.”
Interview with Jon Collins, Restorative Justice Council CEO
from the Restorative Justice Council website:
“While there’s quite a lot of support for restorative justice now within the criminal justice context, I think that there’s work to do at the national level in other sectors - for example, in education, in care homes, in other areas where people come into conflict - to make sure that restorative practices can be rolled out across all those areas.”
Protective Behaviours: A new approach to being safe
There is a difference between telling children and young people what is a dangerous situation or dangerous behaviour, and helping them to recognise for them selves what it means to feel safe or unsafe.
Does ‘restorative justice’ in campus sexual assault cases make sense?
It makes sense that victim advocates put personal safety above all other considerations. They meet her when she is most distraught. But that particular emotional reality, while very big, is not necessarily permanent. In cases of acquaintance rape, the urge to be protected from the offender often competes with the equally strong urge to be heard.
Justice in Ferguson, Missouri: Can restorative justice apply here?
I have worked in the area of civil rights in the past. I include my restorative justice work in the last 20 years as being part of that civil rights work.
But in the 1980s I also served on a local civil rights coalition in the Sacramento area in California where our focus was to respond to acts of racial hatred in the region. This included acts of racial violence and intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi party.
The criminalization of black youth and the rise of restorative justice
from the article by Max Eternity in Truthout:
Among extrajudicial deaths at the hands of police and white vigilantes, the tragic stories of Travon Martin and Oscar Grant have garnered media attention, but are also highly contested narratives. Less talked about is the institutionalized climate of fear that has been normalized for brown-skinned youth - the daily domestic terror by police.
....[This] insidious institutional problem continues to unfold. We examine it in... an on-site interview with Chief Allen Nance - the chief probation officer of San Francisco's Juvenile Hall - on June 13, 2014.