And justice for all: Restorative justice is better for everyone
....The most extreme form of punishment in Australia under the liberal-democratic system is imprisonment. Unfortunately, as stated by Mildon in Prison Ineffective in Reducing Crime it is also one of the most ineffective andover-used. The liberal-democratic system is formalised, lengthy, complicated and expensive. Whilst these drawbacks could be justified if the liberal-democratic system was indeed adept at reducing the crime rate, this is unfortunately not the case, also noted by Mildon, with very high recidivism in particular a less than desirable feature.
Restorative justice takes a different approach and is based on the premise of righting a wrong and rehabilitating as opposed to mere punishment. White & Perrone state that it is currently only really used for youth offences as a way of diverting young people away from the liberal-democratic criminal justice system via youth conferencing.
Editorial: Remarkable result
On the face of it, a new approach by the St Thomas of Canterbury school to misbehaviour by students has been an extraordinary success.
Since replacing its pastoral care behaviour management system with a restorative justice programme, the number of suspensions and expulsions the school has made have plummeted.
Restorative justice training gives voice to kids
from the entry on Catalyst Miami:
Power U wants school discipline to be less arbitrary and more proactive. Judging by the comments made in a restorative justice workshop Power U led at HSC the other day, a lot of kids and teens agree that "zero tolerance" policies in schools are creating hostile learning environments.
Theresa May to scrap asbos (antisocial behaviour orders)
from the story by Alan Travis in The Guardian:
....In her first speech on antisocial behaviour and alcohol-fuelled disorder, the home secretary said it was time to turn the system on its head and demonstrate that community action was needed, rather than Whitehall "magic buttons". May said she wanted asbos replaced with simpler sanctions that were easier to obtain and to enforce: "Where possible they should be rehabilitating and restorative, rather than criminalising and coercive."
Restorative Justice Conferencing: The key for victims is in one question.
from Kris Miner's entry on Restorative Justice and Circles:
....One area of Restorative Justice Professionalism I focus on, is remembering ALL victims. Some victims do not get a victim-witness worker through the prosecutor’s office. The list of Victims Rights for Wisconsin is very court-room, criminal justice system process orientated. That’s good, victims need support and help navigating that. What I do is restorative justice, and in striving to do that well for all victims I have experienced a conferencing question that is KEY.
Jeremy Prince: Contrition and conviction
There is an important lesson underscoring the willingness of Jeremy Prince to forgive those accused of having tormented his daughter Phoebe just prior to her suicide: a critical factor in assessing the appropriate level of punishment is how offenders react in the aftermath of their crimes.
Prison Inmates to Receive Prestigious Peacemaker Award
From the article by Laurel Kaufer and Douglas Noll on Mediate.com:
Fifteen women, all inmates, most, “lifers,” will receive the 2010 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award by the Southern California Mediation Association.
How is it that women, with dark pasts, serving time for murder and manslaughter, can be honored as Peacemakers?
New Articles added to the RJ Online Database
The Restorative Justice Online research database holds just over 9900 entries. This listing shows the entries made over the last several weeks.
Churches grapple with whether to welcome convicted sex offenders
"All are welcome" is a common phrase on many a church sign and Web site. But what happens when a convicted sex offender is at the door?
Church officials and legal advocates are grappling with how -- and whether -- people who have been convicted of sex crimes should be included in U.S. congregations, especially when children are present:
Vandalism discovered at home of activists
Four days after speaking out at a Borough Council meeting about the need to more closely regulate landlords, Katy Jackson woke up to find that green paint had been sprayed along the wall and side door of her house.
And some reed fencing she and her husband David had recently erected was slashed.
Police investigating the incident said there is no evidence that the vandalism was related to her outspokenness, and the evidence points to a random act of vandalism by a handful of teens.