In the society, community and family of Restorative Justice, 3rd National Conference 2011
I have attended 3 of the 3 National Restorative Justice Conferences. I am typing this blog from the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Raleigh, host of the most recent meeting. I stayed tonight, the conference ended at noon. Instead of being surrounded by familiar faces, and at the very least, people in orange lanyards, I am here alone. I am feeling lost in a mystery of something much bigger than myself. This is a feeling that only being alone, without lonliness can provide.
My adventure began by picking up Kay Pranis, and traveling out of Minneapolis together. I love Kay, she really embodies the spirt and essence of a restorative justice circle practitioner. We were joined at the gate by Mark Umbriet, and I sat speechless, as the conversation included comparisions of criminal justice reforms, via restorative justice and health care, plant care, food systems and health. I was practically tongue tied as my thoughts drifted from the conversation to the the experience of sitting with these two pioneeers of this movement. They so very humbly, chatted with me about these issues.
Restoring lives: Now that’s Justice
from Patrice Gaines' article in Yes!:
It was the summer of 2009. I was on my second day of work for the U.S. Census Bureau, knocking on doors in rural South Carolina.
My cell phone rang. It was my supervisor.
“Patrice, headquarters called me and told me to send you home immediately and to take back all government property,” she said. “I don’t know why.”
Judge Irene Sullivan on learning a lesson in restorative justice from teenagers
In mid-May I traveled from my home in Florida to Evanston Township High School, just north of Chicago, to meet with students, school social workers and law enforcement officials. My intention was to talk to them about my nine years of service as a juvenile judge and the stories of the kids in court I wrote about in my book, Raised by the Courts: One Judge’s Insight into Juvenile Justice.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!
Instead of talking I was listening. Instead of teaching I was learning. Instead of being the center of attention, I was one person in a circle of 12. Instead of sharing my experiences with others, I listened while others shared some very personal and painful experiences with me. Instead of talking about guilt or innocence, crime and punishment, I found myself focused on the word “harm:” identifying the harm, acknowledging the harm and repairing the harm.
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.