Walla Walla prison restorative dialogue
From the article by Lorenn Walker on the Restorative Practices Blog:
Colleen Shapel’s husband Bob, who was also her best friend for most of her life, was senselessly murdered in a February 2004 robbery. Melissa, Colleen’s oldest daughter, and William Schorr, a co-defendant who plead guilty to the murder, also participated in the restorative dialogue (another defendant who was determined to be most responsible for the murder refused to participate).
After I was first contacted, and until the dialogue was finally conducted six months later in July, I spoke on the phone with Colleen, Melissa and William frequently. I met Colleen and Melissa in person several times a few days, and William a few hours, before the dialogue.
I felt my job was to mainly listen to their pain, and simply be present with them in their suffering.
The meeting: Jo's story - Surviving rape
From the Restorative Justice Council's website:
This new DVD resource from the RJC follows the story of Jo Nodding, a victim of serious crime who met her offender.
Below are excerpts from Jo's story:
In 2004 I was raped by a boy I knew. For weeks afterwards I was in a daze trying to cope with what had happened not only to me, but also to my family. He didn’t plead guilty to the rape to start with, so I had the extra worry of the trial, but that changed once he was presented with the DNA evidence. The first time I faced him was in Court when he received a life sentence.
Almost a year later I had a visit from the probation Victim Liaison Officer and she mentioned the possibility of restorative justice - of a meeting with Darren. From that time on it was always at the back of my mind. I knew as soon as she said it that I wanted to meet him because this was about me taking control of the situation, re-balancing what he had taken away from me that day. The judge had said to Darren in Court ‘you have destroyed this woman’s life’ – but that wasn’t what I wanted, and that wasn’t how I saw it.
Prison Reform Trust poll finding: 88% support restorative justice after the riots
In 1998 the British Crime Survey found that 41% of victims said they would agree to meet the offender, if this was offered to them, and 58% would accept reparation from the offender. In September this year, following the riots that took place across England in August 2011, an ICM poll, commissioned by the Prison Reform Trust found that 88% of the public thought victims of crime should have the right to tell offenders the impact of their crime; 94% believe offenders should make amends by doing unpaid work in the community; and 71% believe the victim should have a say in how the offender should make amends for the harm they have caused.
Mother cares for her son’s Amish victims
....Three months after the shooting, Chuck and Terri Roberts began visiting the victims and their families.
Terri invited the surviving girls and their mothers to picnics and tea parties at her home.
At one tea, Terri asked the mothers to sit in a circle and share the highest and lowest points of their lives. She yearned to connect with Mary Liz King, the mother of a paralyzed girl named Rosanna.
King explained how her trials were different than the rest of the victims. Their daughters had died or healed, whereas Rosanna, unable to move most of her body, requires constant care.
Restorative justice and violent crime
from the article by Melanie G. Snyder:
....Over a period of six months, Marie and another mediator met with Jenny regularly, to help her prepare to meet with Dave face to face. They asked her what had made her decide she wanted to meet with Dave, and what her expectations were for a face to face meeting. They helped her to think through what questions she might want to ask Dave, and what things she wanted to say to him. They discussed Dave’s possible reactions and asked Jenny how it might feel to see him, and to listen to things he might want to say.
A little girl's memories stir questions about good and evil: Terror in a small town
....I first met Rebecca a year ago, after writing a story about a man who survived his family's massacre. She told me she had a similar tale to share.
It began with death threats over the phone, she said, then letters and drive-by shootings. The church and parsonage were bombed -- 10 times to be precise.
The terror stretched on for more than six years.
Neither local nor state nor federal lawmen were able to stop the assaults. It ended in the parsonage, three days before Easter in 1978, as the family sat down to dinner.
Restorative justice in the community
Michael was 16. He was an angry kid. He spent most of his days just “hanging out” around the neighborhood. One day, Michael was “hanging out” in a small Lancaster grocery store. While he was in the store, Michael pulled a cigarette lighter out of his pocket, lit the corners of a few boxes on the shelves and watched as the flames spread. Then he ran away.
The fire caused $1500 worth of damage.
Michael got caught, and he was sent to juvenile court.
If we think about how the traditional criminal justice system would have most likely handled this, Michael would probably have been charged with arson (a felony), possibly charged as an adult, and likely would have been sent to juvenile detention or jail for some period of time. After coming out of detention or jail, having a felony record would have affected the rest of Michael’s life in numerous ways.
Iranian woman blinded by acid attack pardons assailant as he faces same fate
A woman blinded with acid in Iran has pardoned her attacker, a man who was scheduled to lose his sight in an eye for an eye punishment on Sunday.
Majid Movahedi, 30, had been taken to Tehran's judiciary hospital to be blinded with acid after being rendered unconscious, but Ameneh Bahrami, his victim, spared him at the last minute, Iran's semi-official Isna news agency reported.
Iran's judiciary had given the green light to the administration for the retributive punishment, which would have been the first blinding of a convict in the country, but human rights groups across the world called on Bahrami, who had asked for eye for an eye justice in the court, to pardon him.
Listening to crime victims: North Carolina restorative justice conference
by Lisa Rea
When crime victims speak about the effect violent crime has had on their lives you have to listen. On June 9th I moderated a crime victims roundtable during the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina coordinated this year by Campbell University Law School. The roundtable called "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" was sponsored by the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing. The four victims of violence who told their stories were Bill Pelke, chair, Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing (Alaska), Stephen Watt, Stephen Watt Ministries (Wyoming) , Bess Klassen-Landis, musician and teacher (Vermont), and Kim Book, executive director, Victims Voices Heard (Delaware). No matter how many crime victims panels I have moderated the stories are always riveting and often what I hear the victims say is new even when I am familiar with the stories. I learn something new as the victims move along in their lives---their own personal journeys.
Restorative justice implementation
Former gang members who have drastically transformed their lives from criminal activity to contributing to society in meaningful and positive ways are already moving about in groups of students to steer young people away from gangs and get them into programs that are more appropriate.