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.
Call the Governor: Restorative justice bill passes Colorado General Assembly
Colorado’s General Assembly passed legislation Wednesday night in the waning hours of its current session to include restorative justice practices among the options available to the justice system. Participation must be voluntarily chosen.
Senate sponsor Sen. Linda Newell and House sponsor Rep. Pete Lee guided the legislation through multiple votes. The House concurred with the Senate version in a vote late on May 11. HB 11-1032, now goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper for signature.
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.
Dialogues can offer healing for crime victims
Recovering from a crime can be a deeply personal process for victims, but Maryland's corrections system offers victims who are interested a chance to interact with their attackers.
The state is able to arrange dialogues between victims and the person incarcerated for their crime.
Restorative Justice takes on West Oakland schools
From 2005 to 2009, the city of Oakland backed a restorative justice pilot project at Cole Middle School, in West Oakland, which was already slated to be shut down for low test scores. It was among the first attempts to implement restorative justice circles at a U.S. school.
By the final year, standardized test scores had risen by 74 points.
The school, which had suffered from a high turnover of teachers, retained all of its faculty.
And delinquency plummeted; suspensions fell 87 percent and expulsions dropped to zero.
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.
A visionary judge makes restorative justice come alive in Alabama
In a six-part video series, Judge McCooey talks passionately about her believe that justice requires much more than the court system provides, especially in the area of giving crime victims the opportunity to meet the offenders, face-to-face, in a safe place, and to do so on a voluntary basis. (If you walk out of here and find someone has stolen your car radio, chances are you don’t have much interest in meeting the thief, she says in one segment. But the more deeply you have been hurt, the more likely you want to meet the offender and ask questions like “why?”.)
As appealing as her speaking style and warmth is her story about the unorthodox path that led her to the bench. Serving as a judge was never in her long-range plans, but when she won her first election against a well-established Montgomery lawyer, surprising herself in the process, she knew there were some new thing she wanted to try. Finding ways of implementing a restorative justice program was among them, and she set about methodically but quietly to make this happen.
Justice program rooted in community, not courts
When the South Dakota Supreme Court decided that the court system should take a restorative approach to dealing with crime, it expanded the system's approach from one that focused solely on the offender to one that considered consequences for victims, Horner said.
Until victim's rights legislation was on the books, victims were often pushed into the background.
Since [the Center for Restorative Justice's] creation, the main goal has been to keep the center community-based, rooted with the community and not the court system, Horner said.
"We've worked hard to keep it separate but connected to the court system," Horner said.
Seeking ‘peace on this earth’: Detailing the need for Alabama to offer a formal state apology
Two local governments in southeast Alabama are expected to issue an apology for a 1944 rape of [Recy Taylor] a black woman by several white men, none of whom were ever prosecuted.
....Asked if the apology would also be on behalf of the state, Grimsley said, “We haven’t addressed that level yet.”
....“Clearly there should be an apology from the state here as well as the county,” said Professor Margaret Burnham, director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Program at Northeastern University School of Law. “Each failed to pursue the investigation aggressively and promptly, and more generally afforded utter impunity to white men who raped black women. Such a statement would not only honor Recy Taylor and her family for their courage and tenacity in seeking justice, but it would speak to scores of victims who similarly suffered in silence.”