Just care: Restorative justice approaches to working with children in public care.
More and more schools are turning to restorative methods,` often helped by Belinda Hopkins’s previous book Just schools. Now she has applied the same principles to meeting the needs of the troubled and troublesome children who are looked after in state institutions. The ethos is similar, and the approach is spelt out clearly for those who do not have previous knowledge of it, with numerous diagrams and a good index. The examples are chosen to reflect the needs of the staff in children’s homes; others such as youth workers and foster parents could also find this book helpful.
On the efficacy of victim-offender-mediation in cases of partnership violence in Austria, or: Men don’t get better, but women get stronger: Is it still true? Outcomes of an empirical study
from the study by Christa Pelikan:
Put in a nutshell, the core finding of this study reads thus: The efficacy of VOM in cases partnership violence is to a large part due to the empowerment of the women victims, but partly, albeit to a smaller percentage, also due to an inner change, to insight and following from that a change of behaviour on the side of the male perpetrators. These achievements cannot be understood except as part of a comprehensive societal change – a change of collective mentalities, or in other words: change of expectations1 regarding the use of violence in intimate partnerships.
A new commission for restorative justice to deal with difficult past practices of abuse and violence in Sri Lanka
The communiqué from the Presidential Media Unit announcing a probe into the violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct has incorporated several new words and phrases which are not yet familiar terms in the political discourse in Sri Lanka. A few such words and phrases are: the need for restorative justice; a probe of violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct; no recurrence of such tragic conflict in the future; institutional, administrative and welfare measures already taken in the post conflict phase and which should be further taken in order to effect reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation; legislative and administrative measures that may be necessary to prevent such situations in the future; assessing the lessons learned from the recent conflict phase; identification of any persons or groups responsible for such acts, (and) payment of compensation for victims.
For a long period the government took up the position of burying the past as the best policy to be used in order to avoid the surfacing of the unhealed wounds. However, such a view, which has been taken in other places after the country has faced mass atrocities has not been an enduring policy. It simply becomes necessary to deal with the past. The only issue is how daringly such a task will be faced. This of course depends on the political will of the country's leaders and the civil society leaders of the time. If the country is blest with an enlightened leadership politically as well as other areas of intellectual life it becomes possible to take far reaching actions in dealing with past atrocities and violence and violations of human rights.
Proposed "three strikes" legislation in New Zealand
In recent months, the three strikes legislation has created concern across the political and ideological spectrum. The Maxim Institute, sponsored a speaking tour by Professor Warren Brookbanks and Senior Lecturer Richard Ekins of Auckland University. They also published an excellent report setting out the facts about the three strikes legislation.
....Brookbanks and Ekins report “Criminal Injustice and the Three Strikes Law” considers the legislation is both wrong and unjust for the following reasons:
New Items in the RJ Online Database
Abstracts added to the RJ Online research database over the last week covered several topics including multicultural issues, school discipline, and sexual assault.
Trauma care in April
from the Prison Fellowship Rwanda blog:
The month of April is a very difficult time for most Rwandans. April 7, 2010 marks the sixteenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, where over one million Rwandans were killed in just under 100 days.
Sixteen years after the genocide is not a long time, and memories of the pain and loss are still raw and fresh in the minds of thousands of Rwandans. Many Rwandan survivors suffer from trauma and traumatic episodes during the period of April as they remember the horrific crimes experienced against them.
Equity leaders learn how to take restorative justice beyond the circle
When the term “restorative justice” is used in education circles, many educators will think of, well, circles. The best-known tool associated with the RJ approach is likely the blame-free, multi-party conversation in the round that lets the person who caused harm and the person harmed find a solution.
But it’s certainly not the only way to use RJ.
What if ... restorative justice?
Restorative justice (RJ) programs may serve as an effective alternative for handling many criminal offences. RJ originated in indigenous communities where conflicts between individuals were handled in a holistic and collaborative manner, instead of a top-down, linear approach. According to this method, crimes are interpreted as unhealthy actions and symptoms of unhealthy relationships. Thus, group arbitration attempted to heal.
Today, RJ programs come in many different shapes and sizes, all paying much deference to the impact a criminal offense makes upon victims and the larger community. RJ offers a mediation platform that allows the offender, victim, community members, and government actors a role in arbitrating the conflict.
Victims are given the chance to articulate to offenders the ways in
which they were hurt by the crime. This is an opportunity that they
often are not afforded in our current court process, and one reason why
the majority of victims find the current justice system unsatisfactory.
After hearing the victim, offenders have to acknowledge the harm they
have caused; they cannot escape the impact they have made on victims,
and thus are unable to shift the guilt away. Offenders are able to
describe their motivations for offending as well as the circumstances
surrounding their offense.
By giving community members a role in arbitration, the community is
able to establish boundaries while also offering support. The community
is also made aware of the way in which it might have failed both the
victim and offender in allowing the conflict to take place. When
community members are active in the adjudication process, offenders face
less stigma and have a better chance reintegrating.
After victims, offenders and community members have been given the chance to describe what the offense meant to them, the dialogue focuses on restitution. The offender is made responsible for restoring the victim to the best of their abilities. Obviously, this means something different for every crime and every victim.
Being a trustworthy person and a trustworthy non-profit.
I was listening to MN Public radio and caught a quick statement about trust. One of the guest speakers said that trust depended on two things, if the agency or the person was 1.) well-intended and 2.) competent about the matter at hand.
Best Practice Guidance for Restorative Justice Practitioners and their Case Supervisors and Line Managers (Scotland)
from the Introduction:
The primary aim of restorative justice is to address or repair the harm caused by an incident or offence. The processes used to achieve this objective can intersect with formal systems or institutions in a number of ways. But it is worth remembering that restorative justice processes can arise naturally and (more or less) spontaneously, without the need for third-party intervention. Expressions of remorse, making amends, healing and reconciliation happen all the time: relationships, families, organisations and society would quickly break down if this were not the case.
There are cases, however, where the incident or offence is so serious or complex that it comes to the attention of someone in authority: for example, a parent, teacher, supervisor, manager, police officer, children's reporter, procurator fiscal, sheriff, and so on.
The restorative justice ideal is that, whatever else needs to happen, the authority in question gives consideration to what can be done to address or repair the harm that has been caused.