- Showing 10 posts published between Jul 01, 2009 and Jul 31, 2009 [Show all]
Why I don't support hate crime legislation
Community based forms of restorative justice that empower those who are targeted by violence and work to eradicate the bigotry that leads to such crimes in the first place are a much more valuable change to work toward than empowering our current criminal justice system even more. Violence targeted at members of oppressed communities must be recognized and addressed, but harsher prison sentences are not the way.
Seminar Report: Restorative Justice -- Restorative Practices: Are They the Same?
In early June, the European Forum for Restorative Justice (Forum) hosted a seminar exploring the similarities and differences between "restorative justice" and "restorative practices." The event resulted from a request presented at the 2008 board meeting asking the Forum to include schools, community mediation and other societal contexts in its work.
The seminar focused on the theoretical understandings of "restorative justice" and "restorative practices." Three speakers explored the various issues related to expanding the organization's scope.
Limiting DNA testing and denying justice to victims
But for God’s sake, if we know we have hundreds or thousands of innocents behind bars must we not do everything in our power to set them free if we live in a civilized society? Absolutely. This court ruling will now make this work harder and slower.
As I said earlier, crime victims are hurt - not helped - by this ruling. The challenge on top of this urgent need to free those who are wrongfully convicted is to remember then that someone who is actually guilty of that crime is free at large. Ask a crime victim how they would view that fact. Having worked in the restorative justice field for 15 years I can tell you that crime victims want the system to get it right. There can be no restoration of crime victims, nor can there be offender accountability - two key elements of restorative justice, if the real perpetrator is not caught.
Crowded prisons endanger workers, union says
"BOP prisons have become increasingly dangerous places to work, primarily because of serious correctional officer understaffing and prison inmate overcrowding problems," Phil Glover, a union official, told a congressional panel Tuesday.
The inmate-to-staff ratio is more than one-third greater than it was in 1997, federal figures show.
New graphic novel on restorative practices in school
Bully is Life Skoolz’s first graphic novel. The book is designed to teach relationship building skills and restorative practice rituals to Middle School aged children. It will be complete later this month and available for purchase by the middle of September.
Short thoughts on justice
I realized first-hand the linear nature of our justice system. We have set up a system that can exclude the very people involved in the case. We have a system that did not allow me to meet my perpetrator in court and forgive him. (They refused to give me his contact information.) I could not even choose whether or not to press charges on a case that so directly involved me.
Personality and restorative justice
There is a balance that is needed between restorative justice and the traditional court system. I would say that ever professional in the traditional setting needs to have a restorative mindset. They could all model those we have working in Gunnison County. Personality and personal connections are life.
How restorative is Rwanda's justice?
From Ben Buchwalter's entry on Mother Jones: With the help of $44 million from the US government, Rwanda decided last week to extend its multi-layered judicial system for another year. The system is comprised of an international criminal tribunal for the most heinous criminals associated with the 1994 genocide, and the semi-traditional gacaca courts, which practice restorative justice on the community level.
The extension has been praised because it gives the government a chance to determine the innocence or guilt of many of the alleged criminals that remain untried. But Hutus claim that the Rwandan government is partial to the country's Tutsi minority—largely the victims of the 1994 genocide—and that the process is fueled by revenge, not justice. Is the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) government manipulating the courts for its own political and ethnic gain with US dollars?
Footpaths to pathways
Tony Mulder is the Police Commissioner/Alderman of Bellerive, Tasmania, Australia. He writes in his blog:
Alderman Tony Mulder has called for a change to Community Service Orders (CSO) for young offenders.
Alderman Mulder’s call was prompted by his apprehension of two youths in the act of vandalising the bus shelter near Rosny College on Sunday night.
“I’ve given the matter some thought”, Ald Mulder said “and current CSO tasks like painting out graffiti do not provide a pathway toward social re-engagement.” Instead, Ald Mulder suggests compulsory attendance at a pre-apprenticeship TAFE course. “If they don’t engage, it is no different to a CSO, but if they commit, they gain a pre-apprenticeship qualification and important employment and life skills.”
Dominican Republic: Losing freedom but not dignity
There are 236 women here [new model women's prison in Najayo, Dominican Republic], part of a plan to convert the entire penal system in the Dominican Republic to correctional centres of restorative justice.
That concept is broadly defined as institutionalising peaceful approaches to harm, problem-solving and violations of legal and human rights. These range from international tribunals like the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission to innovations within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, schools, social services and communities.