James Madison University embraces restorative justice
In just three years, Josh Bacon has mobilized some 50 administrators and staff members in nearly a dozen departments sprawled across the 665-acre campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to embrace restorative justice practices when dealing with each other and with students.
Bacon says it is not a difficult “sell.” One person gets hooked on restorative justice and tells another person and soon a group evolves to attend a restorative justice short seminar, with some continuing to multiple-day trainings.
“The point is, RJ [restorative justice] works,” says Bacon. “And lots of other interventions used for years with students don’t.”
Restorative Justice in schools, further reading resources!
The newest item published for school based restorative justice: http://www.acschoolhealth.org/Docs/Restorative-Justice-Paper.pdf.
I would also recommend:
Law is more than a profession, it's a calling: "Making a difference" through restorative justice
from the article by Michael C. Deering:
Before entering law school, a soon-to-be attorney dreams of “making a difference.” He dreams of representing clients as he advocates for truth and justice, as he lends his voice to those who cannot speak, as he defends the innocent and the young, and sets the wrong to right.
Then, reality sets in. Dreams of justice and zealous representation give way to stress and the everyday rigors of law school. Reading, briefing, and writing overwhelm the student. After three years of arduous work, the student graduates. Facing bar preparation, job searching in an economy that causes seasoned attorneys to shudder, and a mountain of educational debt, the graduate accepts work wherever he can find it.
Partnering with police to do restorative justice
from the article in PeaceBuilder:
....“Chief Wetherbee called me throughout the week at SPI,” Larson Sawin recalls with a smile. “I suspected he’d be wary of the ritual components of SPI, but the coursework caught his imagination. He said the days went so quickly, five o’clock would roll around and he felt like the day had just started.”
At first, some of his SPI classmates were skeptical that police – often considered a fundamentally coercive force – could play a positive role in RJ processes. If only they had known the full scope of what was happening in Massachusetts.
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.