Chief Justice, DPP declare support for restorative justice programme
from the article in the Jamaica Observer:
Chief Justice Zalia McCalla, and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, have both declared their “unwavering” support for the restorative justice programme, both claiming that it can help to improve confidence in the justice system.
Oakland activist helps troubled young men heal from trauma
From the article by Matt O'Brien on Contra Costa Times:
It might seem strange, to those with a dim view of them, to witness young men with gang affiliations and juvenile records gathered in a ceremonial circle and disclosing their deepest regrets. But for George Galvis, this is the way people are supposed to resolve their problems. Everyone, he said, wants their voices heard.
A restorative way to minimize crime
from the article in the Capitol Hill Times:
After months of headlines about the recent street robberies on Capitol Hill, Andrea Brenneke of Compassionate Seattle is hoping to change how justice is viewed in Seattle’s East Precinct. Rather than turning to strictly punitive measures, Brenneke and the SPD are now beginning a pilot program of Mayor McGinn’s Restorative Justice Initiative in the precinct, which constitutes the Capitol Hill, First Hill, and Central District neighborhoods, and aims to combat crime by bridging the gap between offenders and victims.
Soliciting community involvement and support for restorative justice through community service
from the article by William R. Wood in Criminal Justice Policy Review:
In 2001, the Clark County Juvenile Court (CCJC) in Washington State adopted what it calls “restorative community service” (RCS). Prior to 2001, youth sentenced to community service had been assigned by to work crews to pick up trash, wash county vehicles and so on. Under RCS, however, the court switched its use of community service from work crews to nonprofit and public organizations, where youth generally worked alongside community volunteers.
NIH to fund first randomized controlled trials for restorative practices in 16 Maine schools
from the article on Restorative Works:
RAND Corporation, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, is embarking on a randomized controlled study to measure the effectiveness of restorative practices in influencing school environments and decreasing problem behaviors.
Program enables Pa. inmate to apologize to victims
from article on MySA:
A program that enables Pennsylvania inmates to apologize in writing to victims of their crimes has more letters than people signed up to receive them.
State officials hope to change that by publicizing the Inmate Apology Bank, an initiative of the Department of Corrections and the Office of Victim Advocate.
"It really benefits both victims and offenders," said Carol Lavery, who has headed the state victim advocacy office for seven years. "Without this program, there is no way an apology could be made. It is a violation for an offender to send an apology letter directly to a victim. That is not allowed, even when one is wanted."
Six boys, one cop, and the road to restorative justice
from the article by Molly Rowan Leach:
It’s a warm summer night in Longmont, Colorado, a vibrant midsized city in the Rocky Mountains. On a dare, six young men aged between ten and thirteen years plan to break into a giant chemical processing plant. High levels of alcohol and testosterone, peer pressure and a moonless night propel the group towards the locked gates of the factory, and they break in.
Across town at the Police Department, Officer Greg Ruprecht is about to embark on night patrol. A former Army Captain and top of his class at the Police Academy, Ruprecht believes his job is to arrest everyone who commits a crime and throw away the key. Justice means punishment: an eye for an eye, no questions asked. You do something bad and you get what you deserve. There’s a clear line to walk. But what occurred at the chemical plant that night changed him forever by awakening a very different sensibility: instead of an instrument of vengeance, justice requires that we work to restore all those who have been injured by a crime.
Approaching juvenile crime head on
From the article by Leila day:
When people get into trouble with the law, they normally don’t have a chance to have a conversation with their victims. To explain what happened. Hear about the damage they caused. Say they’re sorry. But there’s a growing trend to try and make that happen, so both parties can move on.
Restorative Justice brings together the accused, the victim, supportive parties, and authorities. All at the same table in a safe space. It’s an old idea and it’s international. In fact, in New Zealand, where it was originally used by indigenous Maoris, it's a mandatory part of the criminal justice system. Here, in the U.S, these community conferences are increasingly being used in prisons, schools and as an alternative to juvenile detention.
Restorative justice is on the rise
From the article by Molly Rowan Leach at Huff Post Crime:
Restorative Justice is on the rise exponentially in the United States. As millions continue to experience and witness a collective 'justice' that is tainted by racial discrimination, by billions in profit, by the warehousing of our meek, a school-to-prison pipeline and by the practices of expecting punishment and isolation for all involved when crime occurs to actually function as rehabilitative, there is a form in the air, in the political, in the grassroots, in the hearts of the people, that offers a viable life-ring out of this deluge.
A Philadelphia School's Big Bet on Nonviolence
from the article by Jeff Deeney in The Atlantic:
Last year when American Paradigm Schools took over Philadelphia's infamous, failing John Paul Jones Middle School, they did something a lot of people would find inconceivable. The school was known as "Jones Jail" for its reputation of violence and disorder, and because the building physically resembled a youth correctional facility. Situated in the Kensington section of the city, it drew students from the heart of a desperately poor hub of injection drug users and street level prostitution where gun violence rates are off the charts. But rather than beef up the already heavy security to ensure safety and restore order, American Paradigm stripped it away. During renovations, they removed the metal detectors and barred windows.
The police predicted chaos. But instead, new numbers seem to show that in a single year, the number of serious incidents fell by 90%.