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

Sycamore Tree: Week 3

from Penny Parker's blog entry on Penny and Prison:

A week with huge expectations: we have three visitors coming with us.  Ann (not her real name) a young lady, victim of a robbery, whose car was violently attacked while she was in it and whose bags were stolen and Ray and Vi, whose son Christopher was murdered by a gang of violent youths high on alcohol and drugs. Ann and Ray and Vi are effectively surrogate victims for the men - a taster, in a group, of the experience of a victim – offender conference or mediation.

May 18, 2011 , , , ,

Victim impact programming in corrections: A team approach to reducing recidivism

from the note by Verna Wyatt in The Wall:

At first glance, it might seem counter-intuitive for victim advocates to work with inmates. However, the truth is, victim advocates and corrections professionals are not adversaries. We actually share a common goal: “no more victims.” Conducting Victim Impact classes for the incarcerated is a team approach to preventing victimization. There have been several studies looking at the effectiveness of victim impact programs across the country. A Iowa Department of Correction report, using two evidence-based studies, concluded victim impact is a contributing factor in reducing recidivism.

[You Have the Power (YHTP)] developed our own Victim Impact Curriculum based on our experience as victim advocates. We’ve learned from our class participants that the majority of offenders never think about their victim as a human being. Many never even think about their victim at all. One of our offender participants told us, “I’ve been incarcerated for over twenty years, and I never once thought about my victim until this class.”

Apr 25, 2011 , , ,

No restorative justice for those bereaved by Potters Bar

from Louise Christian's article in the Guardian:

The farcical nature of the criminal proceedings against the companies so long after the [train crash in which two women were killed] is the consequence of the failure of accountability at the time it happened. Jarvis and its chairman, Steven Norris, made spurious claims of sabotage and there was a delay of nearly two years before liability was admitted by Network Rail and Jarvis.

Even then the admission was done with bad grace. The government initially delayed making any decision on whether to have a public inquiry until December 2005. The following year Lord Justice Moses refused to overturn this decision after the bereaved families challenged it in court. 

However, he said that any new evidence should lead to a reconsideration by the government and he stressed the importance of restorative justice: "They (the bereaved) do seek some identification; faces, names, the real people whose anonymity cannot be hidden behind the facade of monolithic organisations." And he continued: "If those individuals, whose actions or omissions might have saved life or contributed to death, fear that they may one day have to come face to face with those who suffer as a result of that they have done or failed to do, life may be protected in the future."

Mar 22, 2011 , , ,

So how do you know that an offender means it when they say sorry?

from Dave Walker's blog entry:

I attended a session in a well known, inner city prison full of local, inner city, young men with all the airs and graces of inner city life, drugs, violence and gang culture. These things don’t cease upon sentencing – if anything they can sometimes be more intense on a prison wing than on the street. Status can be everything on the wing and a new pair of trainers will do wonders for you on the respect scale.

To see a young man in an environment like this full of masculine front stand up to read a letter he has written to the parents of another young man he had beaten up in a gang related incident. To see this man physically shaking and weeping in front of the room I have described. To see some of the other men welling up at what they are hearing. To hear the regret that the realisation of their actions has induced: a realisation not at all prompted by the court process. To witness all this is the only way to have that big question answered. This is what I witnessed and I have absolutely no doubt as to their sincerity.

Feb 22, 2011 , , , ,

Victim Support chief addresses restorative justice conference

from the organization's website:

Victim Support describes itself as "the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. We were set up 35 years ago and have grown to become the oldest and largest victims' organisation in the world. Every year, we contact over 1.5 million people after a crime to offer our help."

Speaking at the Restorative Justice Approaches conference on Thursday 27 January, Javed [Khan] said: “We have for many years supported restorative justice projects up and down the country. We know that one of the greatest benefits of restorative justice is to victims of crime and that satisfaction rates among victims are particularly high when it is victim led.”

Welcoming the government’s commitments to restorative justice he added: “I want to make sure that these are more than just warm words and that restorative justice becomes a right for every victim who wants it.”

Feb 17, 2011 , , , , , ,

Awesome things happen when people come together

by Lynette Parker

Recently, I met with representatives from Prison Fellowship Italy  (PF Italy) visiting the Washington, DC area. In early 2010, a colleague and I had visited Italy to train members of the new organisation in the Sycamore Tree Project® so I was really looking forward to hearing about their experiences and the lessons learned. I wasn’t prepared for the awe inspiring stories that they told.

The Sycamore Tree Project® is an in-prison restorative justice programme bringing together unrelated victims and prisoners for a series of six to eight sessions. Through the sessions, participants explore the impact of crime, taking responsibility, confession, repentance, making amends, forgiveness and reconciliation.  PF Italy worked quickly to implement this programme in Italian prisons but faced a few obstacles. In the end, the prison administration allowed them to start but with the proviso that the first group consist of prisoners who were mafia members convicted of committing murder and survivors of victims of such mafia activity.  I remember receiving that news and thinking, “That’s not where I would want to start.”

Feb 14, 2011 , , , , ,

Interview with Debbie, a rape victim of Robert Power

from the interview by Ines Aubert:

Ines Aubert was a pen pal of Robert Powers who had been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl. She discovered over time that Robert had changed profoundly and that he wanted, among other things, to extend an apology to any of his victims who wished to receive that. 

This took on some urgency at the end of 2010 as Robert neared the end of his life (he died of cancer on December 3). Ines contacted restorative justice consultant and RJOnline Correspondent Lisa Rea for assistance, but they were unable to find a way to reach out to Robert's victims. Lisa wrote about this in an earlier blog entry on RJOB.

Commenting on an article about Robert's death in a Florida newspaper, Ines wrote that he had wanted to apologize before his death but had been unable. Another reader -- one of Robert's victims -- replied to Ines that she had forgiven Robert. The two were able to connect, and Ines recently interviewed Debbie about her experience as a victim and the reasons for her forgiveness. The following is a short excerpt of an answer Debbie gave to Ines' question about how she felt when she learned that Robert had a pen pal.

Feb 11, 2011 , , , , , , , ,

The promise of restorative justice: New approaches for criminal justice and beyond

John P.J.Dussich and Jill Schellenberg, eds. (2010) The promise of restorative justice: New approaches for criminal justice and beyond. Boulder CO and London: Lynne Reiner Publishers. 275pp. ISBN 978-1-58826-723-8. Price: US$59.95

Reviewed by Martin Wright

It is becoming increasingly clear that the principles of restorative justice can be used, as the editors say, outside the formal criminal justice system, and this book bears witness to that. Half is about criminal justice, and half about other applications in schools and elsewhere. The contributors reflect the book’s origins among a group at Fresno Pacific University in California, but other chapters come from Bulgaria, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. 

Jan 28, 2011 , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Restorative justice measures could change trader attitudes

from the article by Greg Bousfield on LexisWeb.cu.uk:

Restorative justice is the most significant advance for consumers of a pilot of civil sanctions to be enforced by the Office of Fair Trading and selected Trading Standards Services, says [Citizens Advice policy officer] Susan Marks.

“This scheme brings in the possibility of compensation for consumers which is a huge thing for us, something we really supported in the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 in the first place,” she says.

Jan 17, 2011 , ,

1000th Sycamore Tree - Restorative Justice programme changes prisoner’s lives

from the press release by Prison Fellowship, England and Wales:

Prison Fellowship’s restorative justice programme Sycamore Tree achieves a milestone today (14th December) when the 1000th programme is completed. 

Over 30 Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions in England and Wales offer the programme and around 2,000 learners participate every year. The 1000th Sycamore Tree is being offered at HMP Wayland, Norfolk.  

Sycamore Tree raises the awareness of the impact of crime on victims and teaches the principles and application of restorative justice.

Dec 28, 2010 , , ,

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