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.
Criminal justice reform: A revolution on the American right
....Conservatives have diagnosed our justice system as being very ill, and they have prescribed new policies to restore its health:
- Reserve costly prison space for dangerous offenders
- Focus on reducing future harm
- Fill each inmate’s day with productive activities
- Facilitate victim–offender dialogue
- Match offenders with mentors
- Provide opportunities for community service and r eparation
- Punish parole violations immediately
- Coordinate re-entry supervision and services.
Research shows that each of these policies is effective and keeps the public safe. Although these policies embody conservative principles, they enjoy broad bipartisan support across ideological, theological and racial lines....
Widening the circle: Can peacemaking work outside of tribal communities?
....This report was originally written as a guide for participants in the roundtable but raises practical questions for anyone interested in adapting peacemaking to non-tribal settings. After providing an overview of peacemaking, the paper outlines key issues jurisdictions will most likely want to consider during planning and implementation....
Who will pay? Restorative justice in Texas
from the entry by Cyntia Alkon on ADR Prof Blog:
I recently learned of a proposed bill that involves restorative justice, which has some interesting pieces to it. This bill, S.B. 1237 , expressly authorizes the state to refer criminal cases to an “alternative dispute resolution system” if one already exists in the county. This can happen “regardless of whether the defendant in the criminal case has been formally charged.” However, “the state must obtain the consent of the victim to the referral.”