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.
A review of the Youth Justice System in Northern Ireland
One of the most positive developments to have arisen out of Northern Ireland’s recent history is the expansion of rich and varied restorative practices. Restorative approaches have been used to respond to offending and anti-social behaviour, family disputes, disruptive behaviour in schools and children’s homes and in helping prisoners reintegrate back into their communities. Early teething problems have been largely overcome and professional practice in restorative justice in Northern Ireland is now internationally recognised.
Don't send that email. Pick up the phone!
Like many readers, I have experienced too many unproductive strings of back-and-forth emails or texts that should have stopped in round two, but continue. The problems with trying to resolve sensitive matters over email or text are quite obvious:
Different types of restorative justice circles and a practitioner perspective
Just as there are 12 major markings on the face of a clock, I could list 12 different kinds of Circles. In four basic categories those Circles would be community building – peace building – repair building – and celebration. This also creates a full circle!
A very brief explanation on these four categories, followed by a practitioner perspective. All these Circles use the 4 stages and phases I have written about on this blog. You use good Circlekeeping skills and techniques for each of these.
Restorative practices in Hungary: An ex-prisoner is reintegrated into the community
from the article by Vidia Negrea:
As the representative of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, the Hungarian affiliate of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), I participated in a group session of the Hungarian Crime Prevention and Prison Mission Foundation in summer 2009 (Sycamore Tree Project — or Zacchaeus Program in Hungary). There I met the governor of Balassagyarmat prison, where inmates were working in groups on issues related to their crimes and exploring ways to repair relationships they had damaged.
Some inmates began accepting responsibility for what they had done and were motivated to make things right and earn forgiveness of victims and their families. Prisoners made symbolic reparation in the form of community service within the prison, but there was still a lot to do to create opportunities for offenders to make contact with victims and shed the stigma of their offense by means of direct reparation. Also, prison management believed it important to support processes, acceptable to victimized families and communities, to help prisoners regain control of their lives and prevent reoffending.
Restorative justice may not work for all young offenders
Educating young offenders about the consequences of their crimes is a key way to ensure they don’t re-offend. But bringing them face to face with their victims may not always be the right way to go.
Young offenders often suffer long-term abuse or neglect. They frequently fail to achieve academically, and have few, if any marketable employment skills. They face elevated risks of mental health problems and early and problematic substance abuse.
Six Brazilian states are using the restorative juvenile justice of Terre des hommes
from the article on AlertNet:
In September 2011, representatives of the legal authorities, public prosecutors, lawyers, non-governmental organisations, adolescents and families from six states in Brazil came together, all in agreement on the fact that restorative juvenile justice should be implemented in the current law system.
Review: Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice
While restorative justice is a theory that encompasses a set of values for how justice should be done, maintaining those values and the restorative focus can become difficult in day-to-day practice. People working in restorative justice organisations – whether staff or volunteers – make a myriad of decisions related to practices each day. Such decisions may be related to work with clients, work with other organisations or internal processes and interactions. How can they make these decisions while maintaining the integrity of their restorative justice programme?
Susan Sharpe seeks to answer this question with Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice. In the 62 page publication, Sharpe sets out a process that organisations and individual practitioners can use to develop an ethics framework to empower and guide decisionmaking. In doing so, she avoids the contentious issue of setting standards by developing the steps in a process that each organisation can use to develop a framework that has direct meaning for it and the various issues that it faces.