Learning from Rwanda
....How do you mend a country when intimates killed intimates in such tightly knitted communities? How do you do justice when thousands of people were perpetrators and where you only have so much prison space? How do you do it?
Rwanda is doing it through a largely homegrown restorative justice methodology.
Restorative justice and coercion
by Lynette Parker:
Recently, I had a brief Twitter conversation with HMP_Chaplain about restorative justice and coercion. HMP_Chaplain commented on a statement by a Sycamore Tree Project facilitator in England and Wales that “if they make RJ compulsory she will pull out." I responded in a couple of Tweets:
“Can understand...voluntariness is essential in RJ. Coercion can stand in the way of dialogue but doesn’t have to.”
“Also RJ is more than a process its a way of thinking that can inform all interactions with offenders.”
Women key in making peace
from the article by Yvette Moore:
...."The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘Wow, finally an acknowledgement that, first, we [women] are the ones that bare the greatest brunt of all of the world’s conflicts,’” Ms. [Lehmah] Gbowee said, sharing her initial reactions to the news she and two other women had received the [2011 Nobel Peace Prize].
Moving beyond sides: The power and potential of a new public safety policy paradigm
Many factors have shaped state and federal public safety policies in the United States over the past twenty-five years. The most notable influence has been the widespread adoption of a tough on crime philosophy. While there is now a wealth of research that shows that tough on crime policies are not the most effective approach to public safety and actually create a serious opportunity-cost for reducing crime and victimization, the tough on crime philosophy has become part of the political and public consciousness across the United States.
Choosing to change: Transitioning to the transformative model in a community mediation center
Understanding that transitioning to the transformative framework would be a long journey, we committed to that path. As a staff, we began to attend trainings and apply what we learned to cases at the Center. We attended our first transformative Mediation Training in 2001, with Baruch Bush, Sally Pope, and Judy Saul, and it became clear what had been missing: a mediation practice grounded in premises and principles about people in conflict.
It all began to make sense when we came to understand that crisis is a conflict in human interaction, and that conflict has an effect on one’s ability to stay strong in self and connected to others. I had been a practicing mediator for more than 11 years and it was the first time that I learned mediation from a theoretical perspective – one that articulated clear underlying beliefs about people and their abilities, conflict and its effects, as well as what our purpose as mediators was and what it wasn’t.
Don't send that email. Pick up the phone!
Like many readers, I have experienced too many unproductive strings of back-and-forth emails or texts that should have stopped in round two, but continue. The problems with trying to resolve sensitive matters over email or text are quite obvious:
Review: Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice
While restorative justice is a theory that encompasses a set of values for how justice should be done, maintaining those values and the restorative focus can become difficult in day-to-day practice. People working in restorative justice organisations – whether staff or volunteers – make a myriad of decisions related to practices each day. Such decisions may be related to work with clients, work with other organisations or internal processes and interactions. How can they make these decisions while maintaining the integrity of their restorative justice programme?
Susan Sharpe seeks to answer this question with Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice. In the 62 page publication, Sharpe sets out a process that organisations and individual practitioners can use to develop an ethics framework to empower and guide decisionmaking. In doing so, she avoids the contentious issue of setting standards by developing the steps in a process that each organisation can use to develop a framework that has direct meaning for it and the various issues that it faces.
Elements of attitude, for effective Circle-keeping
Elements of attitude . . .
. . . for effective Circle-keeping
- We above me. Carefully consider that you are leading a group process. Pay attention to the social and emotional climate of all members in the group. Put aside your needs, and focus on the needs of the collective.
Practitioner Register launched in UK
The Restorative Justice Council (RJC) has launched a new Practitioner Register. This has been a long time in coming – the RJC worked since 2004 on Best Practice Guidance, which finally in 2010 formed the basis for National Occupational Standards (National Occupational Standards exist across all sectors in the UK, so are a benchmark of skills and knowledge).
Based on this we have now been able to develop Practitioner Registration. Pracititioners will be able to register with the RJC either by taking an award based on the National Occupational Standards (an award that assesses both their knowledge and their skills on the job) or by providing a portfolio of evidence to us that their practice meets the National Occupational Standards.
To teach Restorative Justice, have “treats” repair harm and remember best practices
....A few of the practices I use to enhance the “Restorative-ness” of teaching Restorative Justice:
4 stages of Circle. Each class/CIRCLE includes an open and close, a getting acquainted question, a building relationship question and for our issue, we talked course content. The taking action phase of the Circles was the “check-out”, “take away” or “reflection” on the class period. One thing I remember, is that college students seemed to enjoy original thought. We would have different aspects of the class time, or different perspectives presented when we did this ending. It also allowed for students to relate to each other and have a different understanding on the topic taught that day. The students taught each other what they learned.