Penn State's response to child sexual abuse: What about the victims?
by Lisa Rea
As the story comes out in more detail about the alleged sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, the coverage of the story seems to be more about the actions of veteran coach Joe Paterno--his resignation or the university's decision to fire him.
Missouri prisons grow 50 tons of food for pantries
from the article on stltoday.com:
Missouri prisoners have raised more than 50 tons of vegetables and fruit that have been given to food pantries around the state.
The Department of Corrections says this year's harvest was significantly higher than last year's, when the agency donated 29 tons of produce through its Restorative Justice Garden Program.
Under the program, the seeds and plants are donated to the Corrections Department, which then donates all the resulting food to local pantries.
Can restorative justice help balance the scales for African-American youth?
Darryl is a 12-year-old African American boy whose mother, Ariel, is a single parent. Ariel left high school after becoming pregnant with Darryl and has struggled to find anything but minimum wage jobs to support her family.
One day when he was out with another friend, Darryl and his friend snuck into the neighbor's house and stole a video game. The neighbors called the police.
One might conclude that the future does not bode well for Darryl. In fact, we probably would not be surprised if we were to learn later on that he was in prison. However, there is much more to his story, and much to learn from it. The police response ultimately resulted in a restorative intervention and provided Darryl with an alternative approach.
Dade County schools hit upon alternative measures of punishment through restorative justice
It’s easy for administrators at Miami-Dade County Public Schools [MDCPS] to suspend and expel students for misconduct, but the underlying is-sue of why pupils misbehave will not be resolved.
So instead of rushing to ruin a kid’s career, the Educational Transformation Office [ETO] has embraced Restorative Justice at some of the “Rising 19” schools to address the root causes of why kids act out. In particular African American and Latino students are getting kicked out more than Caucasians, which leaves them vulnerable to getting into more trouble and they end up catching a charge and facing time behind bars.
Program to revamp student justice
from the article by Libby Jelinek in The Vista:
University of San Diego (USD) alum Justine Darling, '08, has collaborated with Student Affairs to establish a one-year pilot restorative justice program on campus that has the potential to transform how students experience USD's student conduct system.
....The one-year pilot program will implement restorative justice conferencing and peace circles to find solutions for issues in the campus community. The restorative justice process focuses on three main goals: to empower, to educate and to build relationships. Throughout the program, students are involved and invested in the decision-making process. The most valuable aspect of restorative justice, according to Darling, is that students learn another way to handle conflict in their lives, such that bringing the offender and impacted parties together can develop what would otherwise be a negative relationship into a positive one.
How victim rights became a juggernaut shaping spending, laws and the future of punishment
Newly elected as a state representative, Pete Lee hit the Capitol last January fired up with big ideas. The biggest of them all was the restorative-justice bill he introduced shortly after the session began.
Texas achieves dramatic results in criminal justice reform
Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) today released two policy briefs regarding Texas' extensive criminal justice reforms in juvenile and adult corrections. Over the last decade, the groups' policy advisors have been instrumental in working with the Texas legislature and Governor Rick Perry to overhaul the state's corrections system.
"For the first time in state history, Texas closed a prison because we don't need it anymore," said Marc Levin, Senior Policy Advisor to Right on Crime, who also serves as the Director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "The reforms that were first adopted in Texas have stimulated similar initiatives across the nation in South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, Arkansas, and other states. Crime has dropped in Texas since the changes and taxpayers have saved more than a billion dollars from not building new prisons. We believe these commonsense policies, which were supported by 'tough and smart on crime' conservatives and are outlined in these reports, can serve as an effective model for other states."
Mother cares for her son’s Amish victims
....Three months after the shooting, Chuck and Terri Roberts began visiting the victims and their families.
Terri invited the surviving girls and their mothers to picnics and tea parties at her home.
At one tea, Terri asked the mothers to sit in a circle and share the highest and lowest points of their lives. She yearned to connect with Mary Liz King, the mother of a paralyzed girl named Rosanna.
King explained how her trials were different than the rest of the victims. Their daughters had died or healed, whereas Rosanna, unable to move most of her body, requires constant care.
Five years later, Amish grace still flowing from Nickel Mines
Just hours after Charles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed five Amish girls and injured five others on Oct. 2, 2006, in a Nickel Mines schoolhouse, the Amish responded in a way that amazed the world — with forgiveness.
For the Amish, forgiveness is not only a dutiful response to tragedy, it is a way of life — a long, emotional journey. Though the gaze of outsiders has moved on, Amish grace continues to flow in seemingly unimaginable yet strikingly ordinary ways throughout Lancaster County.
The fifth anniversary of the Oct. 2 tragedy provided the backdrop for a Sept. 22 conference, “The Power of Forgiveness: Lessons from Nickel Mines.”
Circulos de Paz and the promise of peace: Restorative justice meets intimate violence
Circles of Peace/Circulos de Paz was founded in Nogales, Arizona in 2004 to address these myriad problems with both the criminal justice response to intimate violence and Batterer Intervention Programs. Circles of Peace is the first court-referred domestic violence treatment program to use a restorative justice circle approach to reduce violent behavior in families in the United States.
The program consists of twenty-six to fifty-two weeks of conferences, or "Circles," bringing partners who have been abusive (the "applicants") together with willing family members (including those who have been abused, the "participants"), support people, a trained professional facilitator, and community volunteers. The goal is to encourage dialogue about the incident, the history of violence in this family, and meaningful change.