Learning from Rwanda
....How do you mend a country when intimates killed intimates in such tightly knitted communities? How do you do justice when thousands of people were perpetrators and where you only have so much prison space? How do you do it?
Rwanda is doing it through a largely homegrown restorative justice methodology.
The fight room
Today we continue to struggle with other epidemics, such as the widespread persistence of interpersonal violence, structural violence, and violence based in inter-racial and inter-ethnic tensions. Not only is the cost great in terms of lost lives and personal trauma, but considerable resources are also spent on attempts to subdue, redirect, and control the violence. Yet, as in nineteenth-century London, we may continue to make little progress in treating this disease until we are willing to honestly re-examine our deeply held beliefs about its origins.
A restorative circle in the wake of a police shooting
from the article by Andrea Brenneke in Tikkun:
....In the weeks after the shooting, members of the Williams family reported strained interactions with members of the police department, including increased scrutiny and harassment by bicycle patrol officers where they worked and sold their art at the Pike Place Market. Tensions were building. Something had to be done to address the immediate needs for safety and improve the relationship between the family, the community, and the police department.
....There was no restorative justice system in place nor any prior experience with Restorative Circles, so I worked with Kathryn Olson to create a shared understanding of the process we would use to hold this circle. We modified aspects of the Restorative Circle process to address the unusual circumstances. I was able to hold pre-circle meetings with the family members, friends, and community members, but it was not possible for me to meet in advance with most of the police department participants. Instead, I worked with Ms. Olson and provided her written summaries of the Restorative Circles process to share with the other participants in the Seattle Police Department. In all of this, I aimed to stay true to restorative principles and be flexible with the form of how the process unfolded.
Restorative justice approach to schoolboy assault
from the Nottinghamshire Police webpage:
A new approach to resolving criminal matters has been used to deal with an assault on a Nottingham schoolboy.
A 14-year-old pupil collapsed after he was assaulted in a classroom by a fellow schoolboy at the National Church of England Academy on 22 September 2011.
Restorative justice and coercion
by Lynette Parker:
Recently, I had a brief Twitter conversation with HMP_Chaplain about restorative justice and coercion. HMP_Chaplain commented on a statement by a Sycamore Tree Project facilitator in England and Wales that “if they make RJ compulsory she will pull out." I responded in a couple of Tweets:
“Can understand...voluntariness is essential in RJ. Coercion can stand in the way of dialogue but doesn’t have to.”
“Also RJ is more than a process its a way of thinking that can inform all interactions with offenders.”
Women key in making peace
from the article by Yvette Moore:
...."The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘Wow, finally an acknowledgement that, first, we [women] are the ones that bare the greatest brunt of all of the world’s conflicts,’” Ms. [Lehmah] Gbowee said, sharing her initial reactions to the news she and two other women had received the [2011 Nobel Peace Prize].
Moving beyond sides: The power and potential of a new public safety policy paradigm
Many factors have shaped state and federal public safety policies in the United States over the past twenty-five years. The most notable influence has been the widespread adoption of a tough on crime philosophy. While there is now a wealth of research that shows that tough on crime policies are not the most effective approach to public safety and actually create a serious opportunity-cost for reducing crime and victimization, the tough on crime philosophy has become part of the political and public consciousness across the United States.
Letting victims define justice
....There is a growing myth that for victims, justice requires tougher penalties. If only it was that simple. There is no evidence that punishment is as important to the majority of victims as some would have us believe. When asked in one study why they reported the crime, sexual assault victims listed punishment of the offender very low on their list of priorities.
Review: Child victims and restorative justice: A needs-rights model
....Combining the right to participate from the Convention on the Rights of the Child with an empirical analysis of a child's need to regain control, participation emerges as a critically important need and right for at least three reasons. First, for immediate instrumental reasons, participation is both an immediate coping mechanism and is expected to improve criminal justice outcomes. Second, for longer term developmental reasons, meaningful participation in experiential learning opportunities is a developmental step toward empowering young adults to master the problem solving skills necessary to make democracy both possible and desirable.
Choosing to change: Transitioning to the transformative model in a community mediation center
Understanding that transitioning to the transformative framework would be a long journey, we committed to that path. As a staff, we began to attend trainings and apply what we learned to cases at the Center. We attended our first transformative Mediation Training in 2001, with Baruch Bush, Sally Pope, and Judy Saul, and it became clear what had been missing: a mediation practice grounded in premises and principles about people in conflict.
It all began to make sense when we came to understand that crisis is a conflict in human interaction, and that conflict has an effect on one’s ability to stay strong in self and connected to others. I had been a practicing mediator for more than 11 years and it was the first time that I learned mediation from a theoretical perspective – one that articulated clear underlying beliefs about people and their abilities, conflict and its effects, as well as what our purpose as mediators was and what it wasn’t.