Restorative Justice Conferencing: The key for victims is in one question.
from Kris Miner's entry on Restorative Justice and Circles:
....One area of Restorative Justice Professionalism I focus on, is remembering ALL victims. Some victims do not get a victim-witness worker through the prosecutor’s office. The list of Victims Rights for Wisconsin is very court-room, criminal justice system process orientated. That’s good, victims need support and help navigating that. What I do is restorative justice, and in striving to do that well for all victims I have experienced a conferencing question that is KEY.
Prison Inmates to Receive Prestigious Peacemaker Award
From the article by Laurel Kaufer and Douglas Noll on Mediate.com:
Fifteen women, all inmates, most, “lifers,” will receive the 2010 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award by the Southern California Mediation Association.
How is it that women, with dark pasts, serving time for murder and manslaughter, can be honored as Peacemakers?
Huikahi Restorative Circles: A public health approach for reentry planning
....The Huikahi Restorative Circle is a group process for reentry planning that involves the incarcerated individual, his or her family and friends, and at least one prison representative. The process was developed in 2005 in collaboration with two community-based organizations—the Hawai’i Friends of Civic &Law Related Education and the Community Alliance on Prisons—and the Waiawa Correctional Facility located on the island of O’ahu.
Request for assistance regarding a South African case
from Ann Skelton:
Mike Batley and I are currently working on a Constitutional Court case in South Africa in which we are arguing that the civil justice system has not kept pace with developments in the criminal justice system to encourage more restorative justice approaches.
The case in point is a civil claim for damages for defamation of character by a school teacher against school pupils who manufactured a naughty (but funny from an adolescent perspective) picture of him by pasting his head on the body of a gay wrestler. The picture was on the school notice board for 30 minutes, and some children in the school also received the image via their cell phones.
The children were punished in school (5 detentions + honours colours taken away), were charged criminally and were diverted (they completed 56 hours of community service at the zoo), they attempted to apologise, and have now been successfully sued through the civil justice system to pay damages. They now appeal to the Constitutional Court. Their main arguments have to do with Freedom of expression and 'jest' as a defence, but the Restorative Justice Centre is entering as amicus curiae to make various points about restorative justice.
Vandals repair damage they did
from the article in NewsWales.co.uk:
Last November a group of young people caused criminal damage to the Rhydyfelin Children’s Centre in Holly Street, Rhydyfelin, by smashing windows and lights, removing a gas meter cover, and spraying graffiti.
Following a successful police investigation five local boys aged 9 to 13 were identified by CCTV and traced.
After admitting to what they had done, and at the request of the centre manager, a restorative justice meeting was held with the police, the centre, the boys and their parents. It was agreed that the boys would carry out work at the centre as recompense for their actions.
Why socialists and egalitarians hate the Big Society
from the commentary by Ed West in the Telegraph:
A few months ago I visited a London prison where a group of volunteers were running a programme of restorative justice. Once a week and usually more these women would sacrifice hours of their time to go to a depressing environment to help complete strangers. Not just complete strangers, but not particularly nice ones either.
These are just the sorts of people David Cameron wants more of for his “Big Society”, which he’s re-launching today. It says much about the way socialist thinking has completely penetrated British life that even the idea of a voluntary society in which the state does not arrange everything is now considered unexplainably complicated to the British public.
How do our words affect others and our practice?
Late last year, I posted an article titled, “What are we looking for?” in which I asked how our expectations of process outcomes influence our practice. Recently, I started thinking about this again but in relation to the language we use to describe restorative justice and restorative programmes. Specifically, I’m wondering if the descriptors that we use affect the way we communicate with clients and facilitate a process.
The restorative justice talking piece: Tangible and physical, abstract and soulful.
I used the above quote on a little pamphlet I made for student leaders. Yesterday I pulled it out to add the quote to a powerpoint I was working on. The evening before I was in a really powerful transformative Circle. As I looked at the quote again I realized how powerful the talking piece really is.
It’s a core element of a Circle, with a capital C, in my opinion. I know we can seat people in a circle facing each other, but Kay Pranis in all three of her books, lists the talking piece as an element of a Restorative Justice Circle.
Making progress in restorative justice: A qualitative study
from the abstract of a thesis by John R. Bacon:
This is an exploratory study into how restorative justice (RJ) facilitators made progress before and during a RJ conference. It draws specifically on the experiences of Justice Research Consortium (JRC) facilitators who participated in one of three Home Office funded trials between 2001-4, and the only trial to employ a randomized control design based on the RJ conference model. Qualitative data was collected via focus group meetings and individual interviews.
Keeping it real restorative justice: 5 criteria for a solid program
....So, 5 criteria for you in creating a truly restorative justice program.
1. Define your criteria. Restorative justice is yes, a philosophical approach, YET specific processes are how we do Restorative Justice.... [G]et criteria for your Circle or conference. I recently saw a Circle demonstration and there was no open, no close, the talking piece was used as a way to take turns asking questions. There was no preparation put into the people attending. Have criteria, stick to those criteria....