Call for restorative justice review
from the article on UTV News:
Schemes carried out by Community Restorative Justice Ireland need to be reviewed according to an independent report.
A Criminal Justice Inspection report has revealed only one case has been referred by the community restorative justice system to police in Northern Ireland since 2007.
....The 19-page report, found despite four recommendations being fully achieved and one partially achieved, several issues remain to be addressed.
Intertwined: Community conflict management in the school
from the website of Forsee Research Group:
The 27 minute film created within the programme targets secondary school students essentially, with the most important aim of supporting the responsiveness to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with audiovisual tools. The above is realised primarily through the demonstration of the fundamental principles of ADR in educational situations, moreover, the film also cites a non-violent resolution of a specific in-school case, presenting the steps, methods and tools applied in the process. We intend to make the audience think and reflect on their own conflict resolution practices: to re-enforce their positive practices and to face ‘violent’ dispute resolution routines either applied or sustained by them.
The film is presented by trained moderator pairs in the frame of a film and discussion workshop, through a pre-defined theme.
Badlands or fairyland? How to misuse statistics and confuse the public
If Truth in Justice were to have an annual award in 12 months time for the most inaccurate, misleading and appalling publication on crime and punishment, it is unlikely that anything would surpass Badlands: NZ - A Land Fit for Criminals by David Fraser and published by Ian Wishart.
While we were reluctant to give it any more publicity, the book is a self-contained case study of what can happen when someone with a set ideological agenda sets out to prove their position through false logic and the misuse of statistics. It almost qualifies as a serious hazard to public safety.
We asked three people to review the book. Each has approached it from a different perspective.
Is restorative justice suited for gender-based violence?
from Sylvia Clute's article on Genuine Justice:
Feminists have long decried the deficiencies in the traditional criminal law system when it comes to gender-based violence. The criminal law system fails victims, offenders and the community; there are no winners. Most cases are never reported, and the reported cases have a high attrition rate. Few cases are actually prosecuted.
According to Melanie Randall, a law professor with expertise in legal remedies for gender violence, the needs of the victim are diametrically opposed to the needs of the criminal law system. That system is driven by complex rules; it challenges the victim’s credibility; she has no control; she must tell the state’s story instead of a coherent narrative around what happened to her. There is no protection against recall, and there is no safe face to face confrontation.
How to tell if your community is really doing restorative justice
What's one of the biggest drivers pushing kids into the juvenile justice system these days? Schools.
Schools often suspend or expel youth who misbehave, ostensibly to maintain order. Unfortunately, an analysis of 30 years of data on middle school expulsions and suspensions issued last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the sanctions were unfair and ineffective.
So what can be done? For one thing, schools can partner with juvenile courts to reduce the number of unnecessary referrals to juvenile court (follow the link for a great 2010 presentation for the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance given by Judges Steven Teske and Brian Huff on how they accomplished this in their jurisdictions).
But restorative justice offers another useful solution. Recent research done on a few schools in the U.S., Britain, and Canada suggests that adopting restorative justice techniques in the classroom can reduce suspensions and expulsions significantly.
Breaking the Cycle: The Government's response published
On 21 June 2011 the Ministry of Justice published the Government’s response to the consultation responses received to the sentencing green paper Breaking the Cycle. Although some areas of proposed policy have changed – for example in relation to the additional discount for early guilty pleas – the message on restorative justice remains strong.
Reformed Surrey graffiti artist works to rehab those drawn to life of 'tagging'
Reformed graffiti artist Pontus Agren is drawing up plans to save a rehab program aimed at the kind of "criminal" he used to be.
David Daubney of Canada presented the 2011 International Prize for Restorative Justice
by Dan Van Ness
David Daubney has been awarded the 2011 International Prize for Restorative Justice in recognition of the public policy leadership he has provided in support of restorative justice. The presentation was made during the Prison Fellowship International World Convocation held in Toronto, Canada from 28 June – 2 July, 2011.
"For restorative justice to become the normal way of responding to crime, we need more than programs," said Daniel Van Ness, executive director of PFI's Centre for Justice and Reconciliation. "We also need public policy that reflects restorative principles and values so that the justice system itself becomes more restorative. With this award we recognize a man who as a legislator and an official in his country's justice ministry has helped shape restorative justice public policy in his nation and the world."
Twenty years of restorative justice in New Zealand: Reflections of a judicial participant
from the article by Judge Fred McElrea:
The following aspects of the family group conference system stand out after 20 years as being both innovative and of potential value to adult systems as well:
Right and proper: Conservatives and criminal justice
from the article in The Economist:
The word commonly used to describe a politician who publicly announces he wants to send fewer criminals to prison is “loser”. But back in February there was David Williams, president of Kentucky’s Senate, speaking in favour of a bill that would do just that. The bill in question would steer non-violent offenders towards drug treatment rather than jail. It is projected to save $422m over the next decade, and will invest about half those savings in improving the state’s treatment, parole and probation programmes.
Mr Williams, who believes Kentucky “incarcerates too many people at too great a cost,” praised the bill for recognising “the possibility for forgiveness and redemption and change in someone’s life”. It passed the Republican-controlled Senate 38-0, and on May 17th Mr Williams went on to win the Republican nomination for governor.