Restorative justice and the quickening pace of change
....The other day, I saw a post by my friend and mentor Dominic Barter. Along with many others he has been developing Restorative Circles in Brazil for nearly 20 years, and helping to support others around the world seeking to create their own restorative approaches to conflict. This isn't an easy task when the dominant systems we live in are based on retribution and punishment.
Feb 26, 2013 Support
Your grace with sorrow informs your restorative justice approach
....The type of “informed” work that influences practitioners, the topic of this blog, comes down to the way we carry our own sorrow. I think this impacts the manner and approach with we use with victims, offenders, and community members. From the range of simple to extremely complex cases, our own sorrows (and the grace of which we carry sorrow) comes along to our facilitation experiences. The experiences we have a facilitator also inform our ability to carry sorrow with grace.
More meditations on restorative justice
from the entry by kario on The Writing Life:
….It wasn't until I saw my molester as a human being that I began to heal my own profound wounds. I spent years in therapy, took lots of different anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, started yoga, and came to a better place, but the REAL freedom from pain came when I forgave him. Not in person (I don't honestly even know if he is alive today), but in my heart.
That doesn't mean that I don't still feel the impact of his behavior in my life and it doesn't mean I would have the courage to meet him face-to-face if I had the opportunity, although I hope I would. It means that I acknowledge that he made a big mistake and, as a human being, he was entitled to do that. It doesn't mean that he is absolved of any wrongdoing, especially since I suspect he molested lots of other children as well, but it means that I don't feel as though I can pass judgment on him and his life. I certainly don't believe he deserves to be killed for his actions, although I did for many, many years.
I enjoy restorative conferencing. I've been awed by the way people share their hearts and address the harms they've caused or experienced. While not everyone will go into a conference, I like offering an opportunity. I've learned that I can serve just by listening to stories when people aren't interested in the conference process. They are interested in someone who will listen to them.
The broken family
....Much has been written about the sociopathic behavior of child molesters, particularly if they are adults who molest their own children. Society has been plagued by such behavior both in the family and in the church. When this type of behavior surfaces in a sleepy agricultural town whose family values embody the very essence of its people, the alleged perpetrators are never able to regain their reputation. People begin to look over their shoulders and question whether their neighbors are who they think they are. The concepts of trust and faith are rocked to the bone. This is why few crimes carry as much social disgrace as child molestation. Most people would rather be accused of armed robbery.
11 ways to commit to restorative justice practices
When relationships don’t matter, we are more inclined to do bad things. There has been a lot of media in my neck of the woods this fall, around broken relationships, and doing bad things.
I think there is no time like this time, to focus more on our relationships to each other, as a measure of “justice”. After all, we are all connected. Restorative justice is about restoring broken relationships. Restorative practice is the heartbeat of restorative justice.
Restorative practices are collaborative practices.
Dec 19, 2012 Support
Can I cry?
I have a confession to make. I cry at the drop of a hat. Movies, television shows, commercials, stories – it doesn't matter. I can be in tears in 0.2 seconds.
So, it may be a surprise to folks that know me to learn that I don’t cry when I’m facilitating. I’m tempted at times, but I haven’t actually shed tears during a conference. I've been thinking about this recently after a training event in Panama where several Prison Fellowship leaders were talking about facilitating the Sycamore Tree Project®. The training had been intense with personal stories and a lot of tears. In the middle of all the sharing, one of the leaders asked if it was okay for the facilitator to cry.
The healing potential in Circle, life after death and the wisdom of lived experience
....As part of Restorative Response, a program of SCVRJP, the community can request a Circle. Restorative Response is a program to address healing after un-natural death. For example homicide, suicide, traffic fatality, drug-overdose, accidents that might cause a sudden, unexpected loss.
Research & training has taught us that un-natural death includes additional elements to process. This includes 3 “V’s”, the violence, violation and volition. By speaking and listening to one another in Circle, you can begin to let the process of talking about these 3 “V’s”.
I've been amazed at these ‘life after death’ Circles. Hearing each others stories, reduces isolation, increases understanding and promotes peace of heart. I firmly believe: Circles Heal.
Law professor says ‘restorative justice’ can heal
To illustrate how communication can make a profound difference in people’s lives, Powell showed a video of interviews with a young couple whose home was broken into while they were gone and the two teens who did it.
Through mediation, the boys said they came to realize how deeply they hurt the couple, who suffered anger and fear after the break-in. In turn, the couple said talking face-to-face helped them to understand the boys’ actions, and they eventually forgave them.
Tough subject mattter easy to watch
from the review by Brad Oswald:
Tough Case, which completes a two-night run at Manitoba Theatre for Young People tonight, is a thoughtfully staged, multimedia-enhanced exploration of restorative justice, a system that eschews the traditional courtroom-to-cellblock path of the criminal justice system in favour of an interactive model that brings offenders and victims together to create an understanding of actions and consequences that will steer young criminals away from the hurtful behaviour they've been exhibiting.
Tough Case opens with a bang -- and a crash, and a smash, and more mayhem, as silhouetted figures behind a projection screen break into the home of an elderly librarian and, after failing to locate the liquor they'd been seeking, proceed to trash the place in a most terrifying fashion.
Dec 05, 2012 Support