Experts call on government to fix juvenile justice system
from Today's Zaman:
Turkey needs a system of juvenile justice cognizant of children's rights, especially because the number of children in conflict with the law is rapidly increasing, experts have said.
....“We need a juvenile justice system in which the rights of children are observed from the first moment a child enters the system until it exits the system. Such a juvenile justice system should be designed in a way so that it has a strong self-regulating body and is able to rapidly find solutions for every child. But such a system can only be established if Turkey adopts a policy on minors based on rights,” Emrah Kırımsoy, from the Agenda Children Association, said.
Feb 15, 2010 Country:Turkey
"Belinda's Petition" a perfect primer on the subject of reparations
Only 65 pages in length, Belinda's Petition is exactly what it describes itself to be: a concise overview of the long history of struggle to repair the damage wrought by the transatlantic slave trade, making it a perfect primer on the subject of reparations. Winbush begins with the story of the first formal record of a petition for reparations made in the US, which was made in Massachusetts in 1783 by an ex-slave known only as "Belinda". Belinda, who was about 70 years old at this time and had been kidnapped from her home in Ghana before her 12th birthday, petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for the years of unpaid labour for her former slave master. Belinda argued that Isaac Royall--who had since escaped to Nova Scotia--profited from her labour, which entitled her to lay claim to his estate. She won and was granted £15,12 shillings per year payable from the Royall family estate.
From there, Belinda's Petition moves through the different epochs of the reparations movement from the early 15th Century to the present. By correcting misconceptions and exposing myths about the reparations movement, Winbush shines a light on what is arguably the greatest crime against humanity to date.
New Items in the RJ Online Database
New additions to the RJ Online research database over the last week covered several including restorative justice in prisons, restorative justice in Islam, and transitional justice.
Essential values of restorative justice
from the blog Minds on Fire:
The purpose of restorative processes is:
- to empower victims by providing them a strong voice
- to demonstrate to offenders the harm they cause by their actions
- to provide a safe forum where the consequences of crime and remorse for criminal acts can encounter each other.
Parole and Probation Office tutors stakeholders on restorative justice in the Philippines
from the press release:
Several clusters composed of about three hundred fifty (350) Barangay Chairmen, Barangay Human Rights Action Officers, Police Officers and Volunteer Probation Aides (VPAs) in Tacloban City, are set to attend a two-day seminar of restorative justice starting February 8 until March 3, in two venues in the City.
....[T]he main objective of the project is to educate the participants on the concept of Restorative Justice in order for them to resolve minor conflicts in the community using the RJ models.
Feb 12, 2010 Country:Philippines
'Pizza thief' walks the line
From the Los Angeles Times article by Jack Leonard:
If he ever returns to prison, Jerry Dewayne Williams knows he'll probably never get out.
To stay clear of trouble, he has left behind the Compton neighborhood where police knew him and cut ties with friends from wilder days. Once a hard partyer, the 43-year-old says he prefers the company of a mystery novel or a "Law and Order" episode on television.
Williams is one of more than 14,000 felons who, under California's three-strikes law, face a possible life sentence if they commit another felony. But few, if any, grasp the reality of that threat better than Williams.
Ministering to sex offenders
interview by Saul Gonzales for PBS' Religion and Ethics:
GONZALEZ: First started by Canadian churches in the mid 1990s, COSA’s work with sex offenders centers on small discussion circles that meet weekly. In the circles, four to six volunteers from the community are matched with one sex offender, called a core member. In this circle the offender is named John.
JOHN: And I screwed up and I made some bad choices because I become careless and I become complacent, and that is something that anybody that’s in my situation cannot do.
GONZALEZ: The circles are intended to get recently paroled sex offenders to take responsibility for the crimes they’ve committed and provide them material and moral support as they attempt to reenter the community.
JOHN: I can talk about anything, anything.
JOHN: Anything. I told them things about me that I wouldn’t tell my closest friend.
Bullying: School, texting & cyber harassment is emotional assault
Bullying has become increasingly common in schools throughout the United States and studies have found signs of an apparent connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide. When the bullying moves to the Internet, the trauma to the victim is astronomically escalated. It is full-blown emotional assault.
This issue hit home when my daughter was in 7th grade. Although she survived the intense school and cyber bullying she endured for several weeks at the hands of those that used to be her "friends", the wounds were deep and the signs were there. When she began wearing dark clothes all the time and her grades started slipping, her mood becoming dark and sad without any apparent reason - at least not due to anything at home - I knew something was up.
The world is not as it should be: Punitiveness as a response to societal change
....As a policy, three strikes does a lot more than provide harsher punishment. It also takes discretionary authority away from the judiciary, who traditionally have had the flexibility to vary sentences in response to judgements about the nature of crime, the victim and the offender. In the United States, studies showed a long-term trend toward increasing skepticism and lack of confidence in the legal authorities. This in turn had led to:
- A tendency to ignore judicial orders and the law;
- Greater tolerance of vigilantism or extralegal behaviour of citizens;
- Jury behaviour which nullifies the law.
Conservative criminal justice policy and restorative justice
....[I]f we win the election, we will be missing a great opportunity if we do not seize the moment to move Restorative Justice to a much higher place on the agenda of criminal justice reform.
It‟s very simple: if I become the Prisons Minister, I will be a strong advocate and supporter of RJ.