Restorative justice is the law
by Dan Van Ness
Heartspeak Productions is a remarkable Canadian group that describes itself as "on a continual quest to learn about & share the principles and best practices of restorative justice." It does this by creating excellent videos exploring dimensions of restoration. Fraser Community Justice Initiatives Association is a community NGO also in Canada that for 25 years has developed programs and training that help people in conflict find good resolutions.
Restorative justice and its effects on (racially disparate) punitive school discipline
from the paper by David Simpson:
....Finally, I investigated whether the implementation of Restorative Justice significantly reduced racial disproportionality in school discipline vis-à-vis African American students. In particular, I analyzed whether the disparity in black suspension percentage as compared to white suspension percentage—measured by the difference between black suspension percentage and white suspension percentage)—was reduced by a greater amount in schools that implemented Restorative Justice than in those that did not.
I confined my analysis on this point to only those schools that had white as well as black enrollment of over 20 students. I did so because otherwise small fluctuations in total suspension numbers and/or enrollment numbers would have improperly skewed my results.
The United States Peace Index
The United States Peace Index (USPI) is the first national peace index and is the only statistical analysis that offers a comprehensive nation-wide measurement of crime and its costs to all 50 states.
The index uses five key indicators to measure peace: the number of homicides, the number of violent crimes, the incarceration rate, the number of police officers and the availability of small arms.
School's disciplinary message: We want you here
The head of security at Richmond High School is Darryl Robinson. But everyone there knows him as "Coach D." When he started 15 years ago, fights broke out nonstop. Students roamed the halls. And things didn't improve much over the years.
Robinson remembers standing in front of a classroom and asking how many students had ever seen someone get killed.
"Every hand in the room shot up," he said.
Marin grand jury calls for more alternative justice programs
The Marin County Civil Grand Jury is calling for broader use of "restorative justice," a law enforcement philosophy that emphasizes reconciliation over punitive retribution.
In a new report, "Restorative Justice: Its Time Has Come in Marin County," the grand jury acknowledged that the practice strikes some as "soft on crime."
Study: Zero tolerance policies may have negative health implications for students
A new report based on research of three California school districts suggests that school children exposed to so called, “zero tolerance” policies may be taking a toll on their mental health and wellbeing.
Power of One: Restorative justice couples victims with offenders
from the article on CTV.ca:
....A woman named Marité has been taking part in the process, not by facing her sexually-abusive father, but rather, another man who committed similar acts.
She said that results have helped her cope with the damage she suffered.
"For him it was like I was his daughter," said Marité. "And I was able also to express my anger to him and that's what he wanted rather than silence from his daughter."
"I can now go forward because I'm not bound to my father anymore. I can leave him go."
The moral question
from the article by Kent Spencer in The Province:
....Elliott proposes a comparatively low-tech, low-cost method for dealing with the vast majority of offenders. It involves public apologies and community service in a concept known as restorative justice - meaning literally to restore the community to what it was.
He has offered to bring confessed wrongdoers to a place where they can meet with people who suffered trauma at the hands of roving thugs.
Crime and entertainment at Franklin High
When outrage-inducing incidents become media sensations, the authorities respond with the tools they have available. Educators point to politically popular “zero tolerance” policies.
....Police charge the thugs with whatever laws they can find — even unlawful wire tapping — and set the wheels of justice turning. There will be lawyers and hearings and plea bargains, fines and probably time behind bars.
Smart on crime: Why reforming criminal justice is now a Conservative issue
from the article in The Economist:
....It is not only in Britain that criminal-justice reform has become a right-wing issue. The Right on Crime initiative, a creation of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think-tank, counts leading Republicans such as Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush among the fans of its campaign to divert more offenders from prisons to non-custodial sentences. Half of all American states voted to reduce the use of custody last year.
There is plenty of room for relaxation in punitive America, which locks up almost one in 100 people (England and Wales put away fewer than one in 500). But similar forces are at work in both places. Fiscal pressure is mounting. Overall crime rates are falling. And stubborn reoffending rates suggest that some things are not working.
Prisons are one of them.