Restorative Justice with stranger or acquaintance victims, different angles apply.
With a masters in counseling and experience as an in-home family therapist I don’t mind taking on acquaintance situations of harm. I have always believed in systems, and that a larger context of relationships influences all of us.
I am going to highlight 3 major angles to consider when pre-conferencing victims in stranger or acquaintance situations of restorative justice. The focus of this blog post is specific to victims since restorative justice is victim initiated. The three considerations are outcomes, relationship context and flexibility.
Sep 20, 2010 Practice
Strategic use of questions, when facilitating talking circles
When you are keeping a Circle, asking a questions is really important. Setting the tone, role modeling, guiding the process vs facilitating is important. Asking questions that you pass the talking piece around is a develop-worthy skill. I’ve learned by asking double questions, run on questions and questions that didn’t make much sense.
Where do we draw the line?
Sometimes interesting things happen when I’m pre-conferencing juvenile offenders with their parents. Often, it’s the juvenile and his/her mother there for the meeting. Generally, we start with the parent being defensive, protective of his/her child. Yet, as we discuss the incident that brought their family to restorative justice, other things tend to come up such as conflict between the parent and juvenile. Sometimes these are related directly to the offense sometimes they are not. I always feel that I’m walking a fine line as facilitator when this happens.
Norfolk police deal with offenders as young as four
Child offenders as young as four have been dealt with by police in Norfolk using alternatives to court, new figures have revealed.
According to statistics released by Norfolk police under the Freedom of Information Act, more than 500 under-12s are dealt with using restorative justice each year.
How to turn a child offender into an adult criminal – In 10 easy steps
from the paper by NZ Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft:
The theme of this paper is probably similar to many others about youth justice, except that it is approached from a perspective that is deliberately contrary to all but the most committed devil’s advocate.
No reasonable person would ever suggest that the goal of a youth justice system is to promote criminality as a career choice for young people. However, blatantly inverting 30 years of accumulated youth justice wisdom provokes useful discussion. It is also hoped that this deliberately polemical approach will help us identify what is essential about any youth justice system and focus our attention on the principles that are most important when addressing youth offending.
Blackburn father wants to meet his son's killer
The father of a man who died from a single punch in Blackburn town centre wants to meet his son’s killer.
William Upton, 17, is currently serving half of a three-and-a-half year custodial sentence after he was convicted of the manslaughter of 24-year-old Adam Rogers, earlier this year.
Now Adam’s dignified dad Dave Rogers has expressed a wish to speak face-to-face with the Rishton teenager as part of a ‘restorative justice’ initiative.
Theresa May to scrap asbos (antisocial behaviour orders)
from the story by Alan Travis in The Guardian:
....In her first speech on antisocial behaviour and alcohol-fuelled disorder, the home secretary said it was time to turn the system on its head and demonstrate that community action was needed, rather than Whitehall "magic buttons". May said she wanted asbos replaced with simpler sanctions that were easier to obtain and to enforce: "Where possible they should be rehabilitating and restorative, rather than criminalising and coercive."
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.