Circles: Healing through restorative justice
from the article by Laurel J. Felt:
“Who or what inspires you to be your best self?”
This is hardly the question that most Angelenos would ask at 9:30 in the morning on a gray, rainy Saturday. But for the 80+ adults and youth who gathered on March 2 at Mendez Learning Center in Boyle Heights, this introspective query kicked off “Circles,” a rich, daylong exploration of Restorative Justice.
Circles of Support and Accountability, sex offender program, has federal funding cut
from the article on Huffington Post Canada:
A government-funded program that reports have shown drastically reduces sex offenders' rates of reoffending will have a huge portion of its funding cut at the end of this month.
Discipline with dignity: Oakland classrooms try healing instead of punishment
from the article by Fania Davis:
Tommy, an agitated 14-year-old high school student in Oakland, Calif., was in the hallway cursing out his teacher at the top of his lungs. A few minutes earlier, in the classroom, he’d called her a “b___” after she twice told him to lift his head from the desk and sit up straight. Eric Butler, the school coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY—the author is executive director of the organization) heard the ruckus and rushed to the scene. The principal also heard it and appeared. Though Butler tried to engage him in conversation, Tommy was in a rage and heard nothing. He even took a swing at Butler that missed. Grabbing the walkie-talkie to call security, the principal angrily told Tommy he would be suspended.
Restorative Justice Storytelling for those harmed, hoping to heal, 3 goals and a story.
from the blog article by Kris Miner:
Developing the skill set for working with storytellers is one of the most crucial building blocks for developing a successful Restorative Justice program. Stories are a key element in Restorative Justice Circles. Having powerful storytellers . . . common everyday people who have experienced a trauma and have the ability to share that story in a way that is transformative for the teller and listener both.
Restorative justice lessons from Libya
from the article by John Braithwaite and Tamim Rashed:
One of the things we often say in lectures on restorative justice is that we do not know of any case where angry words in restorative justice conferences escalated to violence with physical injury. This is remarkable because stakeholders are often extremely angry. The explanation, we argue, is that even the worst and most violent among us, have multiple selves. The restorative justice conference is a strategy that coaxes us to put our ‘best self’ forward.
We always wince as we make this claim. We wonder if some of our practitioner colleagues really had restorative justice cases that had concluded with violence, but decided not to mention them because it was not a great accomplishment for this to happen. The day might come, we thought, when someone would jump up and say they knew of cases where violence broke out in conferences!
Mark to help restorative schemes
from the article on The Star:
Schemes which use restorative justice to bring victims and criminals together can now be judged against a series of a n ational standards and a quality mark.
The Restorative Justice Council (RJC) has introduced the Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM) which is backed by the Ministry of Justice.
Advice for teachers to help prevent misbehavior in their classroom
from the article by Dr. John Bailie:
Being a teacher with students who regularly misbehave can be a troubling aspect of the academic world. It can cause you to lose hope with your students and ultimately become unhappy with your job in general. Fortunately, there are ways in which you, as an educator, can encourage your students to behave in and outside of the classroom, without simply sending them to the principal’s office or to detention. And it all starts in the classroom.
You should actively encourage a personal relationship between you and your students, and do what you can to foster a collaborative learning environment. Your students aren’t just mindless workers in a factory, they are individuals who want to learn and grow into functioning adults. To help you help your students, here is some advice.
Sentencing circles fall out of favour
from the article on The StarPhoenix:
Once seen as a progressive innovation in the justice system, sentencing circles have almost disappeared from adult courts in Saskatchewan.
Six adult sentencing circles were held in 2012, a significant decline from the peak of 39 in 1997, according to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice.
Trench democracy in criminal justice: An interview with Lauren Abramson
from the article by Albert W. Dzur on Boston Review:
...Lauren Abramson: We define “community” as the community of people who have been affected by and involved in the conflict or the crime. Everybody who’s involved in or affected by the situation, and their respective supporters, is included. We make the circle as wide as possible. Thus, conferences usually include between ten and forty people. The Streeper Street neighborhood conflict had been going on for two years and forty-four people attended. Conferences are always about engaging the entire community of people affected by whatever’s going on and giving them the power to try to fix it.
Handbook for facilitating peacemaking circles
from the publication announcement from Foresee Research Group:
This publication is primarily directed to an audience of practitioners who have already become experienced in mediation and/or in other restorative practices and are open to experiment with peacemaking circles in their practice as circle facilitators.
The Handbook first offers an overview on the circle method compared to other restorative practices. The second chapter goes through the circle process step-by-step. The final part of the Handbook presents ten case studies of peacemaking circles carried out within the framework of the project in Hungary, Germany (written by: Beate Ehret) and Belgium (written by Davy Dhondt). Finally, a list of recommended books and articles as well as a useful handout is included related to preparing and conducting circles.