The Salvation Army and restorative justice
from the article in The Dignity Project:
“I will never forget my first brush with injustice” says Matt Delaney. “I was so hurt. I wanted pay back. I wanted to retaliate, to return the favour that I didn’t ask for. I did fight back. Strange though, after I unleashed my vengeance, all I felt was empty and alone. What was wrong with me? Where was the justice I was looking for? Why didn’t I feel justified?
'Why I confronted the man who raped me’
Dr Claire Chung, who has agreed to waive her anonymity in The Sunday Telegraph, was raped twice in the stinking stairwell of a multi-storey car park, and the crime caused her life to collapse “like a pack of cards”.
Dr Chung, a highly regarded GP with more than 20 years’ medical experience, lost her job, her marriage and her home after being raped by Stephen Allen Gale, who had been released from prison for another sexual offence just one day earlier.
But following the attack, which she described in chilling detail, Dr Chung negotiated with the authorities to allow a meeting with Gale in prison.
The meeting was organised as part of a “restorative justice” scheme, which brings criminals face to face with their victims.
Sample Circle script, a guideline that does not replace training
I have always been resistant to scripts. When someone is in converstaion with you, do they read from a paper? Reading is best for with children on our laps and from books.
However, in order to teach the process and have others do it, you need to give some examples. So I am sharing a sample script. Each Circle is unique, the questions used should be unique. The shell or outer rim (values, 4 stages, talking piece, open/close) should be the same. The contents swirl within. The experience should be like a labyrinth going in deep to conversation and coming back out.
....When you “keep” a Circle you are making a committment to guide the process. Knowing and understanding the approach in a manner that you can be flexible to the needs of the Circle, requires a deep understanding of the philosophy. Training is crucial, being a participant in Circle is necessary to achieve the deep understanding.
The sample script:
Private homes shun restorative justice
Vulnerable children are being unnecessarily criminalised because of a reluctance to deploy restorative justice techniques in private children's homes, a report has warned.
Government statistics show that between 40 and 49 per cent of children entering custody have been in care at some point despite the fact they make up just 0.5 per cent of the total population of children.
I’ve hit my emotional limit
As a restorative conferencing facilitator, I often receive the brunt of a lot of strong emotions. This happens most when I’m making first contacts with individuals or in the preconference interviews. I can’t count the number of times I’ve called a victim to introduce the programme to receive a twenty minute monologue covering everything from the pain of the crime to their frustrations with the criminal justice systems to questions about how to move ahead.
These emotions are very real and the person expressing them needs to be able to do that. Just recently, I was the recipient of such emotion from the daughter of a crime victim. At one point she apologised for dumping her anger and frustration on me as I was only doing my job. I quickly responded that it was okay, that was part of my job. And, quite frankly, it is a part of the work. Even in what might seem to us to be “minor” crimes; we can encounter very strong emotions from those we are serving. This makes facilitator self-care very important.
Restorative justice as an alternative approach to juvenile offences
from the article by Our American Generation:
Restorative justice is an especially advantageous alternative for juvenile offenders because it necessarily involves the consideration of potential extenuating circumstances that may have impacted a young individual’s decision-making. The retributive model fails to effectively handle juvenile offending largely because it lacks this holistic perspective that is needed to identify the root causes of delinquency. By examining the motivations behind delinquency and the totality of circumstances that surround juveniles, an overall better understanding of conflict is reached and offender rehabilitation is much more attainable.
Redeeming the Wounded: New book features new vision for victims’ justice
from the press release at PRWeb.com:
In 2008 approximately 16,262 people were murdered in the U.S., leaving family and friends to grieve the loss. (Source: NCVRW Resource Guide) Many faith-based organizations want to help but do not know how. Due to budget cuts, funding for rehabilitation and educational, faith-based counseling programs for prisoners and crime victims has suffered in almost every locality. A new way to handle these problems is discussed in Redeeming the Wounded by Rev. Dr. B. Bruce Cook (www.xulonpress.com and www.cvaconline.org under “crime victim resources”). Cook’s new vision of victim justice involves a concept of fair and equal treatment for crime victims and prisoners based on principles of restorative justice and restitution.
....Cook’s call to action includes:
Laura's Law: Remembering the victims of violence
by Lisa Rea
Considering gun related violence and its impact on the victims, I remember the courageous work of Amanda and Nick Wilcox in Northern California in the name of their daughter, Laura. A recent press piece describes what they have done to fight violence since the shooting death of their daughter at the hands of Scott Thorpe on January 10, 2001.
No script for the journey
The promise of restorative justice: New approaches for criminal justice and beyond
Reviewed by Martin Wright
It is becoming increasingly clear that the principles of restorative justice can be used, as the editors say, outside the formal criminal justice system, and this book bears witness to that. Half is about criminal justice, and half about other applications in schools and elsewhere. The contributors reflect the book’s origins among a group at Fresno Pacific University in California, but other chapters come from Bulgaria, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.