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Students train to facilitate justice program

from Kari Keller's article in the Longmont Times:

On Tuesday morning, five Longmont High School students met at Teaching Peace to be trained as student team facilitators for their school’s restorative justice program.

This is the first year that Teaching Peace plans to use a student team to help handle the restorative justice program in schools.

Jul 07, 2010 ,

Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law

Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law. Chicago: ABA Book Publishing. 2010. 528 pp. ISBN 978-1-60442-862-9.
from Lainey Feingold's review on BeyondChron:

J. Kim Wright is an ambitious woman. In this comprehensive resource manual, she describes dozens of ways in which lawyers, judges and legal workers across the country (and around the world) are attempting to change their profession for the better. The terms sound hopeful – Holistic Law, Renaissance Law, Transformative Law, Law with a Meditative Perspective. Spiritual Law, Law as a Healing Profession, Restorative Justice, Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Most profoundly, as the title reflects, “Lawyers as Peacemakers.”

Lawyers as Peacemakers, published by the American Bar Association, clocks in at over 500 pages including appendixes, resources and information about its many contributors. The book includes essays, quotes, interview snippets, profiles and articles written by both Wright and leaders in the various alternative legal processes she explores.

Jul 06, 2010 , , ,

Liberian women lay foundation for strength and progress

from Josh Perry's entry on African Faith and Justice Network:

....Women who were directly affected by the civil war related injustices used the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as their platform to demand, among other things, quality, justice, and freedom of speech.

Jul 06, 2010 ,

Nick Herbert's speech to the Policy Exchange

Nick Herbert is the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice in the new British government. This speech, given 23 June 2010, outlined the Coalition government's reform agenda.

Individual and social responsibility is the third and in many ways the most important principle that we will apply to the criminal justice reform.  An effective criminal justice system should be based on a fair apportioning of personal responsibility.  Offenders need to know that their actions have consequences.

Jul 05, 2010 , ,

Promoting Restorative Justice in Panama

by Lynette Parker

Although the authority to use mediation in certain crimes first appeared in Panamanian regulations in 1995, this option has been underutilised by justice system personnel. Subsequent legislation and policies developed by the Ministerio Público have sought to strengthen mediation, including by creating alternative dispute resolution centres in different parts of the country.

In 2009, the government put out a request for proposals for consultants to assist with promoting penal mediation throughout the country. The Centro de Conciliación y Arbitraje (Centro) of the Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura of Panama won the contract to develop a system of alternative conflict resolution.  At that time, the Centro contracted with Prison Fellowship Panama as consultants on the project.  From 28 June through 1 July, I had the honour and pleasure to work with representatives from both organisations in a series of awareness-raising seminars for justice system personnel.

Jul 05, 2010 , ,

Mississippi officials agree to settlement in '64 slayings

from Michele Norris' interview on

On May 2nd, 1964 in the tiny town of Meadville, Mississippi, two 19-year-old black men disappeared while walking along a highway on the edge of town. Two months later, the partial remains of a black man washed ashore in a remote stretch of the Mississippi River. Police identified the victim as Charles Moore, based on a college I.D. in a pants pocket.

Another two months passed before FBI investigators got an anonymous tip about the disappearance of Moore and his friend, Henry Dee. That informant described how Dee and Moore were kidnapped by the Ku Klux Klan and driven to a wooded area where they were beaten and then tied to an old engine block before being dumped into the river while they were still alive.

The families of the two young men filed a civil lawsuit against Franklin County, Mississippi, claiming that local law enforcement officials aided and abetted the Klan. And today they reached a settlement.

Margaret Burnham is one of their attorneys. She's the director of the Civil Rights Restorative Justice program at Northeastern University, and she joins us now. Welcome to the program, Professor Burnham.

Jul 02, 2010 , , ,

Is this the end of the war on crime?

from Sasha Abramsky's entry on Sarasota Criminal Justice Reform:

....Some states and localities are also starting to invest in restorative justice models, putting offenders to work to repair the damage they caused the community rather than simply warehousing them in prisons.

Father George Horan, co-director of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles's Office of Restorative Justice, has spent a lifetime watching youngsters do stupid things and, as a result, ruin their lives. He has seen generations of kids graduate from being troubled children to hardened prisoners. And he has grown increasingly cynical about the ability of penal institutions to solve ingrained social problems. Far better, he has come to believe, to sit nonviolent offenders down with their families, teachers, peers, even victims, and force them to come to terms with the consequences of their actions.

Jul 02, 2010 , ,

Pakistani reconciliation panels solve disputes

from the article by Iqbal Khattak for

The wheels of justice often move slowly and expensively in Pakistan, causing public disgust that reputedly strengthens the militancy.

Now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is addressing this problem through a Musalihatee, or reconciliatory committee, to restore public confidence and isolate the Taliban.

This dispute resolution method takes pressure off police, freeing them to tackle the militancy more efficiently, observers and police officials told Central Asia Online.

Jul 01, 2010 , ,

Just what does restorative justice restore?

from the entry by TheJusticeofthePeace:

Whenever a country is governed in a manner at odds with the rule of law even if its government has been honestly or dishonestly elected inevitably the word[s] used to describe it is police state. This is no idle figure of speech. The phrase tells it as it is. Police as the civilian arm of law and order provide the trigger finger of a government when force is required. There is virtually nothing which more disturbs the democratic underbelly of a country like ours as the use perceived or actual of excessive or unlawful force by police.

The G20 demonstration and its aftermath were proof if proof were needed. The bussing in of massive numbers of police during the miners` strike of 1984/5 is to this day a rallying cry for militant socialism. The authority of the legal process as understood by the majority law abiding population has been fatally undermined eg by the blatant and admitted use of speed cameras as revenue raisers as compared to their proponents vain and repeated assertions of their primary function as essential requirements for road safety. CCTV cameras being employed for all manner of dubious purposes to the detriment of individual privacy far in excess of their sometimes dubious assistance in deterring criminal activity are another example of judge, jury and sentence by rote.

All this can be encapsulated by the wide ranging powers of apprehension, judgement and sentence represented by the use of tens of thousands poorly educated, poorly paid and often poorly trained uniformed individuals to police our towns and cities where once upon a time a real police officer did the job usually with good humour, honesty and a great deal of tact when the culprit was obviously committing a minor misdemeanour and not by any stretch of the imagination a criminal offence by any other term.

Jul 01, 2010 , ,

Restorative justice and the BP catastrophe

from Carolyn Raffensperger's entry on Science & Environmental Health Network:

The BP disaster demands justice.  People are looking for asses to kick, ways to make BP–or the government—pay for their failures.  Some have argued that we are all to blame because we use fossil fuels. Others argue that the oil industry is solely liable because they were negligent, under-prepared and greedy. These are all demands for a kind of justice that requires retribution. Punish the perps. I share the rage but I think this catastrophe calls for another larger kind of justice. Restorative Justice.

Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that “emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by unjust behavior.”

Jun 30, 2010

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