Youth United: We have a solution - restorative justice
....When students are suspended, we don’t get a chance to work on whatever it was that made us act out in the first place. And being sent home from school makes us feel like we don’t matter, that our school does not care about or believe in us.
Restorative justice is the heart of nonviolent change
from the entry by Ken Butigan on ZNet:
We’re so trained in the art and science of retribution that it’s sometimes hard to get a fix on what restorative justice is. I got a clue several years ago when my colleague Cynthia Stateman shared the following story. Cynthia was very close to her Uncle John. He was a doctor in their hometown, and when she was growing up she would often make the rounds with him visiting the sick. He was the town’s first African-American physician, and had built a clinic that served sharecroppers and mill workers. One night, years later, Cynthia got a call from a cousin telling her that her uncle had been killed by a young white man intent on robbing his clinic. The assailant had shoved her 75-year-old uncle against a wall. He fell, gasped for breath — and then suddenly died. The would-be robber phoned 911 but then ran for it, only to be quickly captured. Cynthia immediately flew home to be with her family.
Restorative justice helps at-risk kids in Oakland
And these three know what it can all lead to. They’ve all been locked up in juvenile hall for various crimes, from auto theft to assault and battery. Morgan said the latter was what she was behind bars for at just 14 years old. She admitted to using a crowbar on a group of girls she said attacked her first. “I was so mad where I couldn’t stop myself. I started hitting them and hitting them and hitting them.”
Limiting the role of police in our schools
....In 2008, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos was involved in creating the most progressive student discipline code in the country, calling for an end to racial disparities in discipline and limiting the role of police in Denver Public Schools. Since then, out-of-school suspensions are down 25.7 percent; expulsions are down 48.8 percent; and Denver County Juvenile Court filings from DPS are down 43.3 percent.
Restorative justice & violence against women
One of our BCSTH members asked me to do some research on restorative justice and its role in cases of violence against women. Here is a summary of my research process.
Restorative justice: the evolution of an issue
....It was 2007 when I was first asked about doing an issue on restorative justice by our author, Sandra Pavelka. Although I was potentially interested, two things kept this issue from happening more quickly: First, I felt like the literature surrounding restorative justice needed to have a stronger research-base; and, second, restorative justice was a concept and approach I struggled to fully understand. There are so many types of interventions that fall under the rubric of “restorative justice” that seeing the connections was difficult for me.
Repairing circles: Chicago’s restorative justice community intercepts youth funneled through ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’
….Sophia Hall, a Circuit Court Judge in Cook County, which covers Chicago, convenes a quarterly citywide restorative justice committee meeting that helps all manner of social workers specializing in faith-based, mental health and education services to network. One idea for expanding the reach of restorative justice practices in Chicago is to train organizations already providing social services throughout the city.
Denver schools seek restorative solution to age-old truancy problem
from the article by Karen Augé in the Denver Post:
That is where DPS restorative justice expert Tim Turley came in. In the post-hearing discussion at MLK, Turley asked each of the four students: "Would you share with us your reasons for not going to school?"
One of the two boys, Armando, whom teachers described as bright and athletic, told Turley, "I've been having migraine headaches."
Restorative justice community/classroom conferencing: A guide for parents and teachers
It may seem surprising, but many children and youth often misbehave, not because they are trying to harm or disrupt the well-being of others or because they are “bad kids,” but because they are simply trying to meet a personal need, albeit in a negative way. “Children’s behaviours are determined, for the most part, by how they feel about the current state of their physical and psychosocial needs.”
Nova Scotia spends $500K on 'restorative justice' bullying program in schools
from the article by Kris Sims in Sun News:
Nova Scotia is spending $500,000 to expand anti-bullying campaigns in schools, hoping "restorative justice" methods modelled after native sentencing circles can curb the problem in the province.
"Students will largely avoid the stigma of being 'sent to the office' or being suspended. We should not underestimate the negative side-effects of a child's experience at school if that experience involves multiple trips to the principal's office or suspensions from school," reads a government handout on the approach.