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APAC: Brazil’s restorative justice prisons

from Lorenn Walker's entry on Restorative Justice & Other Public Health Approaches for Healing:

APAC’s approach is opposite to most prisons. Instead of making the people incarcerated in them feel bad, guilty, and like failures, APAC works to make people feel worthy, respected, and able to restore their lives. APAC gives people hope that they can contribute something to help others and that they can be of service in some way, no matter what their situation.

APAC’s restorative approach begins with the name it uses to refer to the people who live in these prisons. Instead of calling the people inmates or prisoners, APAC calls the recuperandos because they are “people in the process of rehabilitation.” The late Insoo Kim Berg, co-founder of solution-focused brief therapy, would have loved this name recuperandos because she recognized the importance of language and how our labels influence behavior and our experiences.

Aug 16, 2010 , , ,

Rethinking the politics of crime

from Greg Berman's article in The Crime Report:

It is fair to say that many American criminal justice officials live in fear of finding themselves in a similar position to Crispin Blunt: out on an island, on the wrong side of the “tough on crime” debate.  This understandable fear has broad consequences for the field of criminal justice. Among other things, it creates a risk-averse environment where both policymakers and practitioners are reluctant to challenge the status quo and test new ideas.

Aug 13, 2010

Marathon County Restorative Justice Program

In this 11 minute You Tube video from CNN iReport, Carrie Vergin provides an overview of the Marathon County Restorative Justice Program in Weston, Wisconsin, USA. Carrie, the coordinator for the programme, describes the issues of looking for funding during the economic down turn as some grant sources are no longer available. For this reason, the ability to demonstrate programme effectiveness is key to fundraising success. 

Aug 12, 2010

How to turn a child offender into an adult criminal – In 10 easy steps

from the paper by NZ Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft:

The theme of this paper is probably similar to many others about youth justice, except that it is approached from a perspective that is deliberately contrary to all but the most committed devil’s advocate.

No reasonable person would ever suggest that the goal of a youth justice system is to promote criminality as a career choice for young people. However, blatantly inverting 30 years of accumulated youth justice wisdom provokes useful discussion. It is also hoped that this deliberately polemical approach will help us identify what is essential about any youth justice system and focus our attention on the principles that are most important when addressing youth offending.

Aug 11, 2010 , , ,

New online resource: Creating and maintaining a peaceful environment in elementary schools

from the introduction to the curriculum on Colorado State University's Department of Human Development and Families:

This Collection is divided into three workbooks: (1) Feelings Circle, (2) Friendship Circle, and (3) Peacemaking Circle. The three workbooks are designed to engage students in cooperative learning and conflict resolution in the following grades: (1) 1st and 2nd grades – Feelings Circle, (2) 3rd and 4th grades – Friendship Circle, and (3) 5th and 6th grades – Peacemaking Circle.

Aug 10, 2010 ,

Blackburn father wants to meet his son's killer

from the article by Sam Chadderton in This Is Lancashire:

The father of a man who died from a single punch in Blackburn town centre wants to meet his son’s killer.

William Upton, 17, is currently serving half of a three-and-a-half year custodial sentence after he was convicted of the manslaughter of 24-year-old Adam Rogers, earlier this year.

Now Adam’s dignified dad Dave Rogers has expressed a wish to speak face-to-face with the Rishton teenager as part of a ‘restorative justice’ initiative.

Aug 09, 2010 , , , ,

Restorative justice an expansive concept

From the article by Bryan McKenzie in The Daily Progress

It’s a quaint notion: If we listen to each other and work hard at getting along, we can be one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all — including victims of crime and the criminals who victimize them.

It may be quaint, but the notion drives a group of community activists who plan to hit town to train our citizenry in gathering stories on the state prison and parole system. They hope the stories, to be recorded on small, hand-held video cameras that they will distribute, can build support for restorative justice.

Aug 09, 2010 , ,

Why restorative justice fans trumpet Northern Ireland

from the entry by Bluecorps on Criminologist:

The possible introduction of restorative justice in mainland Britain promises to spark a furious debate but in Northern Ireland they wonder what the fuss is all about.

It has been a mainstream feature of the youth justice there for seven years. Three quarters of victims choose to meet the young offender face to face and victim satisfaction rates stand at 90 per cent, according to the Northern Ireland Justice Ministry.

Aug 06, 2010 , ,

Prisoners wait in wings

from the story by Polly Rippon in The Star:

A prisoner serving time for breaking into a vicarage met the victim of his crime for the first time after inviting him to a play about restorative justice at Doncaster Prison.

In an emotional meeting the offender, who can't be named, apologised to the priest at the end of the performance and shook his hand as he left the stage.

Aug 06, 2010 , , ,

Community detention sentence for brain injury

from Anne Clarkson's article in Christchurch Court News:

A 19-year-old man who punched his victim in an “unprovoked, premeditated attack” causing serious brain injury, was sentenced to community detention in the Christchurch District Court today.

Stefan Ronald Vaiola’s defence counsel, Tony Garrett, said Vaiola had attended a restorative justice conference with his victim and his victim’s father. Vaiola found the conference a valued opportunity to personally see the man and say sorry.

Aug 05, 2010

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