‘Peace hubs’ aim to save kids from crime stigma
VOICE-Buffalo’s effort to create “peace hubs” in churches, mosques, synagogues and other neighborhood anchors could resolve low-level conflicts before they ever reach police. It’s part of a “restorative justice” effort to turn around wayward youth before they get ensnared in a criminal-justice system staffed by many who don’t understand the neighborhoods they patrol or the young people they prosecute.
It’s not an effort to coddle criminals; it’s an effort to save kids.
An alternative to suspension and expulsion: 'Circle up!'
from the story by Eric Westervelt on NPR:
Oakland Unified, one of California's largest districts, has been a national leader in expanding restorative justice. The district is one-third African-American and more than 70 percent low-income. The program was expanded after a federal civil rights agreement in 2012 to reduce school discipline inequity for African-American students.
At Edna Brewer Middle School, the fact that students are taking the lead — that so many want to be part of this effort — shows that it's starting to take root.
"Instead of throwing a punch, they're asking for a circle, they're backing off and asking to mediate it peacefully with words," says Ta-Biti Gibson, the school's restorative justice co-director. "And that's a great thing."
Cherokee Talking Circle
from Crime Solutions:
The Cherokee Talking Circle (CTC) is a culturally based intervention targeting substance abuse among Native American adolescents. The program was designed for students who were part of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, the eighth largest tribe in Oklahoma. The goal of the CTC is to reduce substance abuse, with abstinence as the ideal outcome for students....
The intervention is aimed at Keetoowah–Cherokee students ages 13 to 18 who are in the early stages of substance misuse and who are also experiencing negative consequences as a result of their substance use....
‘One Year On’ progress report against the 2013 Restorative Justice Action Plan
from the report by the Ministry of Justice:
2. Raising Awareness
The Government is committed to increasing the use of RJ across the CJS. However, there is currently low awareness of RJ with both the public and criminal justice professionals. We need to have consistent messages related to the purpose and value of RJ, presented in a way that captures the victim’s attention and builds confidence. Information and guidance needs to be shared between the local CJS, community services and networks, including local authorities. These aims are consistent with the Government’s 2012 responses to the Getting it right for victims and witnesses and Effective community sentences consultations....
Progress is as follows:
Dad hurt in east Hull water pistol attack: 'Restorative justice is no deterrent'
Humberside Police is extending its restorative justice programme and claims it is an effective way of dealing with some offences. But a father who was burnt in the face with a chemical while crossing the road in Southcoates Lane, east Hull, says the approach provides little deterrent.
Giving victims more of a say in how criminals are dealt with sounds like a good idea, but for Richard Scerrie it has been a frustrating experience.
The disabled father-of-two was burnt in the face when he was hit by a chemical fired from a water pistol by a gang of youths in east Hull.
But Mr Scerrie remains frustrated by his experience....
Even practice doesn’t make perfect — and that’s OK
“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” G.K. Chesterton
I've used that quote as a guide for some time now, and nowhere more frequently than in my work promoting and practicing restorative and transformational approaches to conflict and harm. This was especially apparent to me this week, a week that both began and ended with me accompanying others along a restorative path with few markers other than my own experiences in the work and their desire to do things differently....
People, not projects
by Lynette Parker:
Recently, I've done some work for the North American Mission Board’s LoveLoud Initiative to develop resources to help churches use restorative practices to meet the needs of those impacted by the justice system. In the text for one training session, I wrote:
“When talking to men, women, and children affected by crime, it’s important to remember they are people, not projects. The idea of a healing community is to build a safe place of welcome and inclusion where people can share their pain, trials, concerns and needs without fear of being judged or rejected.”
Restorative Justice offers an alternative to traditional criminal process
Everyone makes mistakes, and the City of Fort Collins and Colorado State University have Restorative Justice programs which allow legal mistakes to be handled through conferencing instead of through the courts.
Perrie McMillin, program coordinator for Restorative Justice in Fort Collins, said the program allows individuals to take part in a mediated conversation between the person who caused the harm and those who were affected. The conversation addresses the harm that was caused and how to remedy it.
Community based sociotherapy in Rwanda: healing a post-violent conflict society
from the article by Jean de Dieu Basabose:
....Sociotherapy is simply understood by Nvunabandi and Ruhorahoza (2008:65), two of the facilitators of the sociotherapy program, as a way to help people come together to overcome or cure their problems.
Restorative discipline should be common practice to lower the dropout rate for both students and teachers
from the blog entry by Marilyn Armour in Know:
....Lacking specific training and skills in managing behavior issues, many teachers believe that youths, like themselves, should have the innate skills to manage their own conduct. Unfortunately, frequently used punitive measures send students spiraling toward suspensions, involvement in the juvenile justice system, and diminished motivation to engage in or finish school.
Not surprising, student discipline correlates with dropout rates, and that’s particularly troubling in Texas where 25 percent of students fail to graduate.