Ford launches restorative justice guide for young people
from the article on Northern Ireland Executive:
Justice Minister David Ford has launched an innovative new guide to restorative justice for young people. The booklet entitled “Restorative Justice - a guide for young people” was produced by the Youth Justice Agency in collaboration with the Restorative Justice Forum (NI).
Launched during a Restorative Justice Forum seminar in Parliament Buildings, the child friendly guide uses a comic book format to explain how restorative justice can be used in a variety of settings including the youth conference.
Controversies around restorative justice
....Restorative justice may be poised for a breakthrough into public awareness. It would be a boon for budget-cutting politicians and taxpayers if only the public could buy into it. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area it costs around $50,000 to run a juvenile offender through the justice system, not counting the cost of incarceration if there is to be any, versus about $4,500 for a restorative process that typically leaves the victim much more satisfied, the young person reintegrated into the community without even being charged with a crime and much less likely to reoffend, and many community members relieved and grateful. Multiply the criminal justice cost many times for adults locked away for years.
Learning from Rwanda
....How do you mend a country when intimates killed intimates in such tightly knitted communities? How do you do justice when thousands of people were perpetrators and where you only have so much prison space? How do you do it?
Rwanda is doing it through a largely homegrown restorative justice methodology.
Restorative justice and coercion
by Lynette Parker:
Recently, I had a brief Twitter conversation with HMP_Chaplain about restorative justice and coercion. HMP_Chaplain commented on a statement by a Sycamore Tree Project facilitator in England and Wales that “if they make RJ compulsory she will pull out." I responded in a couple of Tweets:
“Can understand...voluntariness is essential in RJ. Coercion can stand in the way of dialogue but doesn’t have to.”
“Also RJ is more than a process its a way of thinking that can inform all interactions with offenders.”
Women key in making peace
from the article by Yvette Moore:
...."The first thing that came to my mind was, ‘Wow, finally an acknowledgement that, first, we [women] are the ones that bare the greatest brunt of all of the world’s conflicts,’” Ms. [Lehmah] Gbowee said, sharing her initial reactions to the news she and two other women had received the [2011 Nobel Peace Prize].
Harper government misguided in its tough-on-crime approach
from the Globa and Mail editorial:
David Daubney, a justice-department adviser, could have gone quietly into retirement. Instead, he tried to talk some sense back into this country. Prison overcrowding will worsen and breed violence, he told The Globe's Kirk Makin in an exit interview. The tough-on-crime route has been tried and failed. The government knows what it knows, doesn't listen to evidence and is reluctant to ask for research to be undertaken.
“The policy is based on fear – fear of criminals and fear of people who are different. I do not think these harsh views are deeply held.” It's a good point. A new poll shows that 93 per cent of Canadians feel safe from crime. Why, then, spend billions of dollars to go backward?
Fearmonger and Through The Glass: Books that undermine Harper's omnibus crime bill
from the review by Matthew Behrens in rabble.ca:
It's a rare event in the Canadian publishing world when non-fiction books line up in sync with current events, but these two titles are perfectly timed as Canadians consider the serious consequences of the Harper government's dramatic omnibus crime bill, one that will radically alter an already deteriorating judicial system.
....Those who'd like an inkling of what could come down the pipe can do no better than read Paula Mallea's appropriately named Fearmonger, an outstanding overview of recently passed and proposed crime legislation.
Moving beyond sides: The power and potential of a new public safety policy paradigm
Many factors have shaped state and federal public safety policies in the United States over the past twenty-five years. The most notable influence has been the widespread adoption of a tough on crime philosophy. While there is now a wealth of research that shows that tough on crime policies are not the most effective approach to public safety and actually create a serious opportunity-cost for reducing crime and victimization, the tough on crime philosophy has become part of the political and public consciousness across the United States.
Choosing to change: Transitioning to the transformative model in a community mediation center
Understanding that transitioning to the transformative framework would be a long journey, we committed to that path. As a staff, we began to attend trainings and apply what we learned to cases at the Center. We attended our first transformative Mediation Training in 2001, with Baruch Bush, Sally Pope, and Judy Saul, and it became clear what had been missing: a mediation practice grounded in premises and principles about people in conflict.
It all began to make sense when we came to understand that crisis is a conflict in human interaction, and that conflict has an effect on one’s ability to stay strong in self and connected to others. I had been a practicing mediator for more than 11 years and it was the first time that I learned mediation from a theoretical perspective – one that articulated clear underlying beliefs about people and their abilities, conflict and its effects, as well as what our purpose as mediators was and what it wasn’t.
Don't send that email. Pick up the phone!
Like many readers, I have experienced too many unproductive strings of back-and-forth emails or texts that should have stopped in round two, but continue. The problems with trying to resolve sensitive matters over email or text are quite obvious: