UC explores restorative justice in improving campus climate
A residence hall fire alarm is pulled as a drunken prank in the middle of the night. A fellow resident, who happens to be gay, witnesses it and confronts the culprit as the building is evacuated. In the exchange of words, the prankster utters a pejorative term for a homosexual man in a profanity-laced tirade.
Fortunately, the situation was just part of a role-playing exercise. Twenty-three student affairs staff members, from all 10 University of California campuses, took part in training for restorative justice, a conflict resolution process that UC is considering for use when dealing with incidents of intolerance or hate, particularly for conduct that, while offensive, may not violate any laws or policies.
Restorative justice provides new path for prisoners
....This is no television prison. There is no guard or glass wall. There are no handcuffs or restraints, just a couple of cameras and a conversation. A conversation about where they came from, why they’re here, but most importantly a conversation about where they’re going. It’s a path with few options.
“On the other side of that door, it’s either hell or redemption,” Baumgardner says. “You choose.”
“That door” leads to the bowels of Jefferson City Correctional Center, a maximum security prison. Starr, Baumgardner and King have all chosen the latter path. Hell is what got them here. Restorative Justice offers them a chance to change that.
New York Times article shows why restorative justice is needed
The February 5, 2012 New York Times article by Kovaleski et al, For Killers’ Families, Struggles With Shame, Silence and Fear shows why we need restorative justice.
The article describes how family members are also harmed by their loved one’s criminal behavior. It shows the need for restorative interventions that can help many families deal with the harm they suffer.
The effects of prison visitation on recidivism
Following recent studies in Florida and Canada, this study examines the effects of prison visitation on recidivism among 16,420 offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 2003 and 2007.
Martin Luther King and life after hate
....“The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.” [Martin Luther King]
Editorial: Losing tolerance over zero-tolerance policies
from the Denver Post:
Few events have shaped school discipline policies the way the 1999 Columbine High School massacre has — not just in Colorado but around the nation.
Zero tolerance became a catchphrase for "doing-everything-possible-to-make-sure-this-never-happens-again."
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission adopts a restorative justice approach to human rights disputes
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has changed its procedure for resolving human rights disputes. As of January 1, 2012, the NS HRC has adopted a restorative justice approach that emphasizes the need to reconcile the relationship between complainants and respondents,while reducing the time it takes to resolve a dispute (which the commission notes could have taken up to two years before the recent amendments).
from the transcript on Religion & Ethics:
POTTER: More than two million Americans are now imprisoned, four times as many as 30 years ago. The major reason: mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes and drug charges. But the war on drugs, declared in the 1980s, has not had the effect its backers predicted. Arkansas Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has seen the results.
JUDGE WENDELL GRIFFEN (Arkansas Circuit Court): Drug use has not declined. All it has done has produced an explosion on our prison population. The whole mandatory sentencing guideline mantra was sort of like the Kool-Aid that we should never have drunk.
Everychild gives $1 million to Juvenile Justice Center
from the article in Palisadian-Post:
Centinela Youth Services, Inc. has been named the recipient of the $1 million 2012 Everychild Foundation grant. The funds will launch and sustain a restorative justice center across the street from three Los Angeles juvenile courts over a three-year period.
Specifically, the grant will be used to create and operate the center, including the funding of dedicated staff and partner agencies for services provided there. Everychild's grant will provide the remaining 60 percent of the $1.6-million total program cost.
Chicago Heights school helps launch anti-violence initiative
A number of characters were involved in a troubling incident at school.
Their names fit their roles in the anger-sparked altercation: China Doll, Joe Swag, Bob Lame.
But while the story that was acted out recently in a courtroom at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago was fictional, the program behind it is real and has a serious goal: reducing youth violence in the Chicago area.