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Healing in a hard place

from the article by Naseem Rakha in the Sunday Oregonian:

How do people heal from violent crime? How do they mend after a rape or assault, or after losing a loved one to murder? How do they get over the grief, anger and gnawing sense that no matter what happens, justice will never be served?

For Patricia Dahlgren, whose mother, June Duncan, was abducted and strangled in December 1995, the answer came from an unusual source: the man who killed her mother.

May 31, 2010 , , , ,

Helping victims of clergy sexual abuse: Suggestions for Pope Benedict XVI:

from Robert M. Hoatson's post on Road to Recovery:

Based on Road to Recovery’s on-the-ground experience helping the abused cope with the effects of their abuse, we offer to Pope Benedict and his colleagues in the hierarchy the following suggested action steps that will help restore clergy abuse victims to fullness of life (these steps do not preclude the necessary and/or statutory reporting of all crimes to local and/or national law enforcement):

May 31, 2010 , , ,

Coalition can break from failed justice policy (England)

from Juliet Lyon's commentary in The Guardian:

What strikes you most about the new justice policy outlined in the coalition programme for government is the absence of rhetoric. The new watchwords are moderation, common sense and effectiveness. As an example: everyone knows that drugs and drink fuel crime and antisocial behaviour – so let's deal with addictions and binge-drinking in a way that reduces harm and cuts costs. The coalition government appears to be taking the opportunity to break with the failed legacy of vacuous prison-building and instead concentrate on what works in justice policy.

May 28, 2010 , ,

At this prison graduation, the focus is on knowing the effects of their crimes

from Doug Erickson's article in Wisconsin State Journal:

....During this season of high school and college graduations, 16 men received a very different kind of diploma Monday at Columbia Correctional Institution, a maximum security prison.

Over three months, the inmates voluntarily completed a 30-session course on restorative justice, a curriculum meant to help them understand how much they'd harmed their victims, the community and themselves. For some of them, Monday's graduation ceremony was the first time they'd done anything worthy of even minimal praise.

"I've been in all sorts of programs and always been kicked out," said Darren Morris, 33, whose peers voted him class speaker.

May 28, 2010 , , , ,

Catholic church prays for abuse victims and abusers

from Thelma Etim's article on BBC News:

While the victims of abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic clergy continue their fight for justice and reparation, bishops in the Church have invited parishioners in England and Wales to make the four Fridays in the month special days of prayer for children abused by priests.

May 27, 2010 , , ,

It's time to make the punishment fit the white-collar crime

from the Nelson Mail (NZ) editorial:

....it's not easy to maintain a clear-eyed focus on justice.

Very few New Zealanders will feel that this is what happened when Blue Chip co-founder Mark Bryers entered the dock on Thursday to be sentenced on 34 charges. Most, and particularly the Blue Chip investors who have lost their nest eggs, will feel that his sentence was a perfect case of the "slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket".

May 27, 2010 , , , , ,

Ann Arbor schools need to move to a restorative justice model of discipline

from the guest column by Joe Summers:

Over the past year, the children of two sets of friends have gotten into trouble giving me a chance to watch our current system in practice. In one case, I heard teacher after teacher testify that the youth had been exceptional, and never caused harm, only to be astounded to hear a panel of principals and vice principals rule that the youth should be permanently expelled from Ann Arbor's school system.

May 26, 2010 , , ,

Post-adversarial and post-inquisitorial justice: Transcending traditional penological paradigms

from the paper by Arie Freiberg

Restorative justice in Europe faces many of the same challenges as it does in the common law jurisdictions. Despite its influence and popularity in academic circles, it is still of marginal importance in practice and deals with relatively few cases.

May 26, 2010 , ,

Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement viewed through the eyes of the women of South Sudan

from Amel Aldehaib's occasional paper for the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation:

Although there are problems relating to gender justice in both Sharia law and customary law, this paper focuses its discussion on customary law.

In South Sudan there are more than fifty tribes, each of which has their own customary law system. Despite the many differences between these systems, there are also many commonalities. One commonality is that they all affect women in similar ways. Several aspects of customary law are inconsistent with women’s rights. ‘The majority of southern Sudanese Customary Law systems show plainly a conflict between international human rights laws and rights granted to women and children in Customary Law’ (Jok et al 2004: 6).

May 25, 2010

We must protect victims, Ocampo's witnesses too

from Muthoni Wanyeki's commentary in The East African:

Louis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, has come and gone. His visit did not, however, clarify what Kenyans are impatient to know.

We know he is pursuing cases involving politicians from both sides of the Grand Coalition, in which businesspeople, civil servants and state security agents may also be involved. But which cases specifically remain unclear.

May 25, 2010 , ,

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