Restorative Services: Bringing a Framework for Improved School Culture to Public Schools
From the article by Lynn Welden in the Restorative Practices E-Forum for 21 September 2010:
A new program is bringing restorative practices to schools. Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont) — which operate day-treatment schools, foster homes and supervision programs for at-risk youth in eastern Pennsylvania, USA, and are model programs of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School — recently launched the Restorative Services program. Developed in response to a growing need on the part of public schools to deal with at-risk students on site, the Restorative Services program was introduced in fall 2009.
In the past, young people with behavioral, emotional and substance-abuse issues have been placed by school districts or local courts in alternative schools and community-based programs. But school districts in Pennsylvania, like those in many areas of the U.S. and other countries as well, have been under pressure lately to work with troubled students within their schools instead of sending them away.
Breaking Florida's school-to-jail pipeline: Alternative approaches to student discipline and punishment
Low graduation rates and a rising incarceration rate in Florida have led to calls for alternatives to the harsh punishments and criminalization of student misbehavior often practiced by school districts. One alternative being practiced by the Escambia County School District offers a non-traditional way in dealing with day-to-day rule violations and disruptive behavior in schools. The Escambia County Alternatives to Zero-tolerance Program engages students, victims, the wider school community and the neighborhood in repairing the harm caused by an offense. Students who break the rules and disrupt the educational process are given a chance to avoid suspension or expulsion by entering the program.
Towards a Restorative Society: a problem-solving response to harm
by Dobrinka Chankova, South- West University, Bulgaria:
This is not the first pamphlet or book in which Dr Martin Wright - a convinced victims’ advocate and one of the doyens of restorative justice in Europe – critiques contemporary sentencing policies and penitentiary systems. He has extensively published on endemic abuses of closed institutions and the need for immediate reform of the failing criminal justice systems, proposing a new crime policy, based on restorative justice. Lately he has advocated for applying restorative practices in new domains - schools, neighborhood, community, workplaces, etc. and is leading us to a genuine restorative society.
In his latest pamphlet Dr Wright reconsiders the confused logic on which present policies are based; measures that could make a difference and how a restorative approach could transform people’s and society lives. With his inherent objectivity and scientific precision he pays due attention to the objections to and tensions in restorative justice and how its principles could be put into practice throughout society.
Meet the modern high schooler
....Meanwhile, it's hard to be angst-ridden when you are the product of anti-bullying and self-esteem initiatives. Many high schools have a part-time addictions councillor and a gay-straight alliance. Programs like restorative justice, peer mediation and Online Safety Week bring a sense of justice and consequences to students on a day-to-day basis.
Restorative justice vs perfomance targets....
My force are introducing restorative justice as an alternative to court, and this will primarily be aimed at young offenders. Restorative justice has received a mixed reception and was hoping forum members could share their thoughts and experiences from their own forces. I think its a good idea, and a move away from chasing performance targets has got to be a good think, or are performance targets still applied?? any thoughts gratefully received.
Our justice system requires us to punish wrongdoers, what if there were a better way?
from the entry by Mikhail Lyubansky on race-talk:
For those of us living in the United States, “doing justice” is mostly synonymous with administering punishment. We may not literally follow the Biblical edict of “an eye for an eye”, but most of us still believe that “the punishment must fit the crime”. Indeed, many of us would be hard pressed to even come up with an alternative justice system.
Yet alternatives abound in the form of restorative justice.
Relations of domination and subordination: Challenges for restorative justice in responding to domestic violence
from the paper by Julie Stubbs:
Barbara Hudson is cautious in her approach to RJ: she summarises the appeal of RJ in ‘the openness of story telling and exploration of possibilities for constructive and creative responses to offences’. In the context of domestic violence she suggests that RJ offers the victim ‘the opportunity to choose how to present herself… [to express] her feelings, her understanding of events, her wishes and demands for the future’. However, Hudson recognises that the discursiveness of RJ is not without problems such as the risk of domination and the reproduction of power relations and she emphasizes the need for ‘strong procedural safeguards’.
Archdiocese invites abuse victims to gathering for healing, advocacy
The Archdiocese of San Francisco is inviting survivors of clergy abuse in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area to a fall gathering for healing and advocacy.
....Survivor Carol Mateus said she has been encouraging such a gathering for more than a year. She said many victims continue to suffer not only from having been abused but also from having been ignored initially by the church.
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.
Why restorative justice fans trumpet Northern Ireland
from the entry by Bluecorps on Criminologist:
The possible introduction of restorative justice in mainland Britain promises to spark a furious debate but in Northern Ireland they wonder what the fuss is all about.
It has been a mainstream feature of the youth justice there for seven years. Three quarters of victims choose to meet the young offender face to face and victim satisfaction rates stand at 90 per cent, according to the Northern Ireland Justice Ministry.