Restorative justice prison ministry manual available
from the article by Chris Meehan at crnca.org:
...."Restorative justice provides another way," said Lamsma. "Where retributive justice is concerned with violation against the state, restorative justice is first and foremost concerned with the person or people who were harmed in a crime . . . Restorative justice aims for healing of victims, for communities affected, and even for offenders, in the hopes that a cycle of destructive behavior will be broken."
I just hugged the man who murdered my son
While most StoryCorps interviews are between family and friends, this conversation comes from two people who easily could have been enemies.
In 1993, Oshea Israel was a teenage gang member in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One night at a party Oshea got into a fight, which ended when he shot and killed another boy.
Now 34, Oshea has finished serving his prison sentence for second-degree murder.
7 steps to stopping violence in relationships
A seven-step tutorial for people involved in relationship conflicts is available online, free of charge, from the Conflict Resolution Information Source. Intended for educators and instructors, the course was designed by the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Victim's daughter meets IRA bomber: An interview with Jo Berry
On October 12, 1984 an IRA bomb planted by Patrick Magee demolished Brighton’s Grand Hotel in Brighton killing 5 people including Sir Anthony Berry, MP for Southgate and a member of the Thatcher government. The bomb hit on the last day of the conservative party conference held at the hotel. The IRA bomber Magee was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was released after 14 years under the negotiated Good Friday agreement.
The following is from an interview Lisa Rea conducted with Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry. She did this interview from her home in Macclesfield UK. Jo Berry chose to meet with Pat Magee in November 2000. Today the two work together on many initiatives including addressing peace conferences, giving workshops in prisons, and speaking at universities.
Q. How did the meeting(s) happen? What was the process? Were you, and Pat, adequately prepared to meet? Walk us through what happened.
Phoebe Prince bullies sentenced, but how do they make things right?
Five teens who faced criminal charges for bullying in connection with the 2010 suicide of Phoebe Prince in South Hadley, Mass., have been sentenced to probation and community service.
While the courtroom chapter of the drama in central Massachusetts is largely over, bullying-prevention advocates hope that the work of “restorative justice” has just begun. Now, they say, the defendants should use their experience to help other young people steer clear of bullying and the deep harm it causes.
Working with relationships, be mindful of your own sense of justice.
....An example of justification in a case:
Both parties charged with disorderly conduct. Two young women fought. One threw something at the other, and that “started” it. Further back in time, they were friends, friend A & B. Friend A’s boyfriend cheated on her with Friend B. The friendship ended, the judgements did not, the disagreement escalated, the fight, the court, then restorative justice. When processing the situation restoratively: 1) acknowledge you caused the harm 2) understand from someone elses point of view 3) recognize where you had a choice 4) make amends and 5) take action to change.
The restorative approach in Nova Scotia: A partnership of government, communities and schools
....There is now a significant interest across Nova Scotia to bring the restorative approach to schools. Said Pat Gorham, director of crime prevention for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, “Our provincial government is trying to find out what the capacity might be for RJ in Nova Scotia, identifying frameworks that might be put into place for schools that want to participate. The work has largely been from the community up. All pilot programs are at the local level, with individual school administrators opting to commit to a restorative approach, supported by regional RJ agencies.”
The Tri-County Restorative Justice agency exemplifies this integration; it handles diversion of police-referred youth, and it founded Bringing Restorative Justice into Schools, the first project to develop a program using restorative approaches within schools in Nova Scotia. This program trains students throughout the province as RJ facilitators.
Justice program rooted in community, not courts
When the South Dakota Supreme Court decided that the court system should take a restorative approach to dealing with crime, it expanded the system's approach from one that focused solely on the offender to one that considered consequences for victims, Horner said.
Until victim's rights legislation was on the books, victims were often pushed into the background.
Since [the Center for Restorative Justice's] creation, the main goal has been to keep the center community-based, rooted with the community and not the court system, Horner said.
"We've worked hard to keep it separate but connected to the court system," Horner said.
Campbelltown Primary School's justice for all sees grades rise and behaviour improve
Deputy principal Graeme Shugg said the effect of restorative practices at Campbelltown was immediate. "Teachers reported change within two weeks in their classes," he said.
"We empower kids to question and take responsibility for what they've done and repair the harm and allow the victim to have a say. The bottom line is, the people involved in the problem are the best people to solve the problem."
Suspensions dropped from 86 in 2003 to just 33 last year. In 2003, students were sent to the principal for discipline 683 times. Last year there were 76 referrals to the office.
Storytelling: Simple but profound
I hesitate to write about storytelling and restorative justice as a lot of people have written about the profound impact of this form of communication. A quick search for the term “storytelling” on Restorative Justice Online returns 29 different entries by people such as Kris Miner and Kay Pranis. Yet, I’ve recently been reminded of how important storytelling can be not only in communication but for an individual processing through pain and loss.
I remember talking with a woman who had lost her son in an automobile accident that involved drunk driving. She expressed a series of emotions ranging from grief to anger to denial. In telling me about the impact of her son’s death, she also described her anger and frustration with the criminal justice system in that her family was denied an opportunity to tell their story. She summed up all this in saying that they deserved the right to have the conference with the young man who had been driving that day. They deserved to be able to tell him how profoundly that one night had changed their lives.