An inventory and examination of restorative justice practices for youth in Illinois
....Key findings include:
- Respondents reporting using restorative justice practices were found in 54 Illinois counties, and in many different types of organizations who respond to youth misconduct, including police departments, probation and court services, schools, community-based organizations, and other state and municipal departments.
Center for Restorative Justice braces for changes to marijuana law
With the state likely to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana this summer, the local nonprofit that handles court diversion cases is preparing for the changes....
Cipriano said decriminalization is not legalization, a distinction she fears may be lost on some young people as well as adults. Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana who are 21 and over will face a civil fine, but for those between the ages of 16 and 20 the penalty is expected to be similar to an underage drinking offense.
Fresno Unified approves restorative justice program
from the article by Linda Mumma for ABC30:
After three years of working with the district -- members of the youth advocacy group "Students United to Create A Climate of Engagement, Support and Safety" -- got the outcome they were looking for.
Fresno Unified School Board Member Carol Mills said, "This board hereby adopts this resolution to create and implement a school discipline framework of restorative practices."
An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MnCoSA)
....The use of the COSA model with high-risk sex offenders began in a small Mennonite community in Canada in the early 1990s. Grounded in the tenets of the restorative justice philosophy, the COSA model attempts to help sex offenders successfully reenter http://www.doc.state.mn.us/publications/documents/9-12MnCOSAResearchinBrief.pdfthe community and, thus, increase public safety, by providing them with social support as they try to meet their employment, housing, treatment, and other social needs. Each COSA consists of anywhere between four and six community volunteers, one of whom is a primary volunteer, who meet with the offender on a regular basis. The results from several evaluations of the Canadian COSA model suggest it significantly reduces sex offender recidivism....
Judge's experience: Restorative justice works
....I would not write this commentary or support restorative justice if I did not see the results firsthand. I have written amazing anecdotal stories about the transformation of some of our youth and the communities, but that is not as relevant as the evidence supporting the success of the program.
Foremost among the statistics drawn from two years of studies of the program is that recidivism for youth that successfully completed the program is 5%. So, of about 300 teens that have gone through the program, 15 went on in subsequent years to either reoffend or violate the terms of their probation.
Defusing conflict in schools
from the photo essay by Jim Wilson in the New York Times:
Mr. Butler passed a “talking stone” to a student during a circle, indicating that the student had the floor.
Restorative justice: Re-storying what happened in Boston
....We have seen some coverage of restorative practices as an alternative model to responding to conflict, particularly in the criminal justice system and with students who misbehave. In essence, the restorative process invites us to sit in circle, and, as a community affected by crime, determine how to best meet the needs of those involved. Restorative justice rejects one-size-fits-all models and prefers creative processes to conflict resolution.
Detroit students restore peace by talking it out
It all started with Twitter.
Weekend tweets and re-tweets among two girls and their friends. She says she wants to fight her, he tweets it to others, word goes around. Come Monday, the threatened girl stays home from school.
By Wednesday, four of them sit around a cafeteria table in a charter academy in Detroit, facing each other. Talking, not fighting is the way things are worked out here.
For restorative justice, the devil is in the details
....The ordinance makes provision for existing agencies or non-profits to run the restorative justice component on a case-by-case referral basis, with instructions that the contracted program “may seek to involve the victim as well as the offender” in the restorative justice process. In addition the contracted program both makes the decision as to what will it take to bring restoration as well as to ultimately sign off on whether or not restoration was done.
Since that is one of the basic tenets or restorative justice—to bring victim and offender together to restore the whole—it would seem that the programs would almost always bring in the victims, as well as let the victims take the lead in deciding the restorative action.
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.