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Showing 10 posts filed under: Policy [–] [Show all]

Right and proper: Conservatives and criminal justice

from the article in The Economist:

The word commonly used to describe a politician who publicly announces he wants to send fewer criminals to prison is “loser”. But back in February there was David Williams, president of Kentucky’s Senate, speaking in favour of a bill that would do just that. The bill in question would steer non-violent offenders towards drug treatment rather than jail. It is projected to save $422m over the next decade, and will invest about half those savings in improving the state’s treatment, parole and probation programmes. 

Mr Williams, who believes Kentucky “incarcerates too many people at too great a cost,” praised the bill for recognising “the possibility for forgiveness and redemption and change in someone’s life”. It passed the Republican-controlled Senate 38-0, and on May 17th Mr Williams went on to win the Republican nomination for governor.

Jun 22, 2011 , , ,

An introduction to the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program (NSRJP)

from the paper presented by Janet E. Briggs:

Restorative justice is not a particular practice or type of program, but rather a philosophy, or a set of principles.  Restorative justice principles have been emerging in communities across the world. The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program (NSRJP), over the past decade has gained attention as a national and world-class leader through its innovative and progressive model. The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program is not intended to replace the current criminal justice system....

Jun 21, 2011 , , ,

Judge Irene Sullivan on learning a lesson in restorative justice from teenagers

from her entry on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange:

In mid-May I traveled from my home in Florida to Evanston Township High School, just north of Chicago, to meet with students, school social workers and law enforcement officials. My intention was to talk to them about my nine years of service as a juvenile judge and the stories of the kids in court I wrote about in my book, Raised by the Courts: One Judge’s Insight into Juvenile Justice.

Boy, was I in for a surprise!

Instead of talking I was listening. Instead of teaching I was learning. Instead of being the center of attention, I was one person in a circle of 12. Instead of sharing my experiences with others, I listened while others shared some very personal and painful experiences with me. Instead of talking about guilt or innocence, crime and punishment, I found myself focused on the word “harm:” identifying the harm, acknowledging the harm and repairing the harm.

Jun 08, 2011 , , , , ,

Letter: Restorative Justice Program a valuable resource

from the letter by Conor B. Stott in Oregon Daily Emerald:

Every day at this University I am constantly discovering new opportunities and programs available to us students. Last spring, after an unfortunate incident on campus caused by my friend and me, we had the opportunity to redeem our actions through the Restorative Justice Program at the University. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about this program, and I am sure most students are currently unaware of what restorative justice is and how it works.

The Restorative Justice Program is a group effort between Conflict Resolution Services and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to resolve students’ infractions against the University in a manner that caters to the needs and wishes of both parties involved.

May 16, 2011 , ,

Restorative Justice takes on West Oakland schools

from an article by Cassidy Friedman on New America Media:

From 2005 to 2009, the city of Oakland backed a restorative justice pilot project at Cole Middle School, in West Oakland, which was already slated to be shut down for low test scores. It was among the first attempts to implement restorative justice circles at a U.S. school.

By the final year, standardized test scores had risen by 74 points.

The school, which had suffered from a high turnover of teachers, retained all of its faculty.

And delinquency plummeted; suspensions fell 87 percent and expulsions dropped to zero.

May 11, 2011 , , , ,

The restorative approach in Nova Scotia: A partnership of government, communities and schools

from the article by Mary Shafer and Laura Mirsky on IIRP.org:

....There is now a significant interest across Nova Scotia to bring the restorative approach to schools. Said Pat Gorham, director of crime prevention for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, “Our provincial government is trying to find out what the capacity might be for RJ in Nova Scotia, identifying frameworks that might be put into place for schools that want to participate. The work has largely been from the community up. All pilot programs are at the local level, with individual school administrators opting to commit to a restorative approach, supported by regional RJ agencies.”

The Tri-County Restorative Justice agency exemplifies this integration; it handles diversion of police-referred youth, and it founded Bringing Restorative Justice into Schools, the first project to develop a program using restorative approaches within schools in Nova Scotia. This program trains students throughout the province as RJ facilitators.

Apr 27, 2011 , , , , ,

Campbelltown Primary School's justice for all sees grades rise and behaviour improve

from Amy Noonan's article in Adelaide Now:

Deputy principal Graeme Shugg said the effect of restorative practices at Campbelltown was immediate. "Teachers reported change within two weeks in their classes," he said.

"We empower kids to question and take responsibility for what they've done and repair the harm and allow the victim to have a say. The bottom line is, the people involved in the problem are the best people to solve the problem." 

Suspensions dropped from 86 in 2003 to just 33 last year. In 2003, students were sent to the principal for discipline 683 times. Last year there were 76 referrals to the office.

Apr 13, 2011 , , , , ,

Can we create purely non-punitive restorative programs?

from Sylvia Clute's entry on Genuine Justice:

One reason to ask this question is because there is a growing body of evidence that shows using punishment in the form of isolation, detention or suspension to address behavioral problems in schools only aggravates other issues, such as bullying, violence, substandard academic performance, the lack of parental involvement, high staff turnover and burnout.

Meanwhile, restorative practices are proving to be an effective alternative to punitive measures. They provide an effective means of creating safe, supportive learning environments, often at far less cost than the punitive means, whether the cost is measured in terms of financial outlay, the time expended on discipline issues or the stress level experienced by those in the system. And restorative measures are proving to be an effective means of addressing the school-to-prison pipeline that has become of national concern.

But can school or other programs be created that do not eventually resort to punitive measures for those who continue to misbehave? In researching various approaches to restorative school programs, most seem to continue the blend of restorative processes and punitive measures to varying degrees.

Apr 04, 2011 , , , ,

The power of penal populism in New Zealand from 1999 to 2008

from Tess Bartlett's abstract to her thesis:

This thesis explains the rise and power of penal populism in contemporary New Zealand society. It argues that the rise of penal populism can be attributed to social, economic and political changes that have taken place in New Zealand since the post­war years. These changes undermined the prevailing penal­welfare logic that had dominated policymaking in this area since 1945. 

It examines the way in which ‘the public’ became more involved in the administration of penal policy from 1999 to 2008. The credibility given to a law and order referendum in 1999, which drew attention to crime victims and ‘tough on crime’ discourse, exemplified their new role. In its aftermath, greater influence was given to the public and groups speaking on its behalf. 

Mar 21, 2011 , , , , ,

Restorative justice, policing and the Big Society

from the speech by The Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice in England:

There has been much talk about restorative justice. We’ve seen encouraging pilots and there’s talk about it not only in this country, but around the world. So why is it that something that offers such encouraging results should not have taken a greater hold in our system?

Well, I think it is because we’ve seen evolving over the last few years a criminal justice system that has been very much directed from the centre.

We’ve been through the recent era of targets and what has eloquently been described as ‘deliverology’. The idea of managing from the centre, of close direction in order to try and drive up the performance of public services. This was done for benign reasons, but we all know what the consequences were.

Mar 02, 2011 , , , , , ,

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