Criminals, community work together on successful mural project
From the article by Casey McNerthney:
Talking Friday about criminals he was asked to work with on a community mural, Lake City resident Chuck Dickey recalled his first reaction.
"I didn't want them here."
Nearly two years ago, the city proposed sending the offenders to the neighborhood as part of the Community Court program. Officials say 50 repeat, non-violent offenders were part of the recent effort -- mostly people convicted of prostitution, theft and criminal trespass. The program gives misdemeanor offenders the chance to get social services and work on projects designed to pay back the community.
Their work changed the minds of people like Dickey.
Jodi Cadman finds peace after forgiving man who murdered her brother
From the article by Cheryl Chan in The Province:
Jodi Cadman still recalls hanging up the phone in shock.
She had just been told that the man who stabbed her 16-year-old brother to death almost two decades previously wanted to get in touch.
"You literally get a phone call out of the blue saying, 'Would you like to receive a letter from the person who murdered your family member?'" Jodi says. "I was pretty shocked."
Approach with caution not cynicism: Rape and restorative justice
From the post by Nikki Godden on Inherently Human:
Typically, feminists are resistant to the idea of responding to rape – or sexual violence more generally – through restorative justice. After decades of campaigning to get the harms women suffer recognised in politics and law, their concerns that such a move will trivialise rape and provide only ‘cheap justice’ are fair. So too are the criticisms that restorative justice cannot address or appropriately account for the gendered power imbalances between the victim and offender, and that, as a result, it may cause further harm to the victim and fail to protect her and others from future violence. While this means I’m wary of restorative justice as a response to rape, I do think there is value in exploring this idea. Likewise, in a 2010 report Jennifer Brown et al. mention restorative justice as an ‘expanded justice alternative’ that could be considered – although they are similarly careful to set the sceptical feminist scene.
Beyond protest: Rethinkers’ music conveys solutions
From the article by Benny Amon in the San Francisco Bay View:
The library turned conference room at the newly rebuilt Langston Hughes Academy fell silent as Rethinkers Earl Poole Jr. and Terriana Julien took the stage. Drummer Tori Washington created a meditative texture with crescendoing cymbal rolls as Poole and Julien began to sing “Reee…storative Juuuu…stice.” Following the mood setting performance, and as the jam-packed audience of media, education activists, school administrators, principals and proud parents clapped, Lucy Tucker, Renee Smith and Kamau Johnson took the stage. Addressing a pensive audience, they discussed the culture of violence and discipline in their schools, and stated they wanted an alternative to suspension and expulsion – practices, they said, that add to school dropout rates and the “school to prison pipeline.” Their alternative: something called restorative justice.
You are forgiven: Family reunites with castaway son
From the article in the Solomon Star:
“YOU are my son again” was the statement the son and the audience were waiting to hear.
George Topou, has been waiting hopelessly to hear that statement from his father’s mouth, and it did emotionally assemble tears in everyone’s eyes, when John Tepala screamed them out loud with tears yesterday.
Topou is a prisoner who is the ninth to reconcile with his victim and family members through the Sycamore Tree project.
Prisons, rehabilitation and justice
by Lynette Parker
Recently, I read an article about the struggles faced by the state of Florida after the US Supreme Court banned sentences of life without parole for juveniles who do not kill anyone. In the discussion over the need to revisit cases and re-sentence the offenders, one retired judge was quoted:
“There are no resources in prisons for rehabilitation,'' the former judge said. ``You give him 30 years, and he'll get out when he's 45, what's he going to do? Re-offend. Some people, regardless of their age, need to be put away forever.”
Huikahi Restorative Circles: Group process for self-directed reentry planning and family healing
....The Huikahi Circle is a facilitated reentry planning group process for individual incarcerated people, their invited supporters, and at least one prison representative.
The incarcerated person determines what they want and the group helps her determine how best to achieve her goals. It can result in better outcomes for people leaving prison or drug treatment programs than case planning and case management where professionals make decisions for others.
My 19 year old Son David was killed at the hands of a drunk driver on July 19th 2009. :(
He was a Track and Field star here in Colorado Springs at the collegiate level and high school level. As a freshman in college he broke 9 school records, and in his senior year in high school he broke a 30-year record at the 5A State meet in the 200 meters.
I raised him on my own and he was my best buddy, an old soul. He kept all his medals in a shoebox underneath his bed. Very humble...
Oct 13, 2010 Story
One week left to sign up for Restorative Justice!
from the European Forum for Restorative Justice:
The deadline for the Forum's online petition to be submitted to the European Commission and the European Parliament has been postponed to 15 October!
Until now our (and of course your) action has resulted in 1700 signatures in a little over 3 months!
But we can do better!
Archbishop's lecture on prison reform, restorative justice and community
from the article on The Archbishop of York's blog:
Dr John Sentamu questioned the deterrent effect of imprisonment, severity of sentencing, the pivotal role of communities and the need for restorative justice in his Prisoners Education Trust Annual Lecture.
Dr John Sentamu said, "We should be pained and troubled by the size of our prison population in Britain, the sheer number of individuals who have given up on community – and feel that community has given up on them. We need to show love and compassion while ensuring justice is served and seen to be served".