- Showing 10 posts published between Feb 01, 2010 and Feb 28, 2010 [Show all]
Giving crime victims the right to meet with their offenders: Virginia legislative developments
by Lisa Rea
Should a crime victim have a right to meet his/her offender? It is very good to see that the Virginia State Legislature is considering the benefits that come with victim offender dialogue and restorative justice programming in general.
Prison Ombudsman seeks apologies from staff for unfair treatment of prisoners
by Stephen Shaw, England and Wales Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, writing in Inside Time:
As Ombudsman, I have tried to pioneer a restorative approach to complaints investigations. If a prisoner has been treated unfairly, a properly worded apology from the staff concerned is the best way of putting things right.
Asking Questions and Speaking the Truth
In 2006, Kathy Key's husband was killed on his way home from work when his motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver was arrested for driving drunk. Through a restorative justice programme, Kathy met the man responsible for her husbands death. In this two minute interview with BBC, Kathy explains her reasons for participating in the meeting and what she felt the offender got out of the meeting.
Exonerated man, accuser forge rare bond
Cage, then 26, was shocked when the police arrested him.
"I'm innocent," he insisted.
That didn't matter. Two years later in 1996, Zilinger's testimony would convict Cage, sending him to prison for 40 years. Zilinger was absolutely sure. Even his voice sounded like her attacker's, she said.
After four appeals and 14 years in prison, Cage won his freedom. A sample of the assailant's saliva, retrieved from the victim's body in 1994, was the proof he needed. A DNA test, which was not available at the time of the trial, was performed on the saliva and excluded him.
Cage was exonerated in May 2008.
It's wonderful to see the coverage of the 50th anniversary event at the Smithsonian commemorating the first sit-in, at the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth's by those four brave, imaginative N.C. A&T freshmen. A portion of that historic lunch counter is now at the American History Museum in DC, and the store itself just opened as the new International Civil Rights Center & Museum.
But the coverage ignored a subsequent Greensboro civil rights event of possibly comparable future importance: Creation of our nation's first Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Feb 17, 2010 National Reconciliation
Philly's felons: One-man show offers unique perspectives on violent crime in the city
....After interviewing lifers at Graterford Prison, talking with victims of crime, and observing the city and its politics, Lewis came to know Philadelphia as a city struggling with violent crime and the fear it generates. The play he wrote and stars in, "City of Numbers, mixtape of a city," captures the complexity of this urban issue.
In this one-man show, Lewis delivers monologues spoken by more than a dozen characters - prison inmates, crime victims, political figures (including Mayor Nutter) and besieged citizens.
"City of Numbers" has been two years in the making.
Panel: Tribunals as restorative justice
from Erin Walrath's blog:
Just a day ago I attended a panel titled Tribunals as Restorative Justice. The purpose behind this attendance was to orient myself with the judicial side of tribunals. Technically, I would argue that there is not another side of tribunals but I am sure that others would disagree with me. (Assuming that some others see tribunals as a sort of a SA Truth and Reconciliation equal, though they are quite different).
The panel was a number of Korbel professors... with a range of knowledge regarding law, international law, and tribunals. Restorative justice was the primary concern. It incorporates a focus on victims, the harm done and the needs of those harmed, obligations and accountability, and participation of relevant stakeholders.
According to Susan Sharpe (in Restorative Justice: A Vision for Healing and Change) there is an aim to put key decisions in the hands of those most affected by crime, make justice more healing and, ideally, more transformative, and reduce the likelihood or future offenses. Restorative justice is more common in European court systems but it seems is making its way into the US, especially in juvenile cases... so I have heard.
To follow a true R.J. model then, the victim is involved in the process and feels heard and satisfied at the outcome, offenders must understand how their actions affect others and accept responsibility for them, outcomes must repair the harm done and address the reasons behind the offense, and both the victim and offender gain a sense of "closure".
Experts call on government to fix juvenile justice system
from Today's Zaman:
Turkey needs a system of juvenile justice cognizant of children's rights, especially because the number of children in conflict with the law is rapidly increasing, experts have said.
....“We need a juvenile justice system in which the rights of children are observed from the first moment a child enters the system until it exits the system. Such a juvenile justice system should be designed in a way so that it has a strong self-regulating body and is able to rapidly find solutions for every child. But such a system can only be established if Turkey adopts a policy on minors based on rights,” Emrah Kırımsoy, from the Agenda Children Association, said.
Feb 15, 2010 Country:Turkey
"Belinda's Petition" a perfect primer on the subject of reparations
Only 65 pages in length, Belinda's Petition is exactly what it describes itself to be: a concise overview of the long history of struggle to repair the damage wrought by the transatlantic slave trade, making it a perfect primer on the subject of reparations. Winbush begins with the story of the first formal record of a petition for reparations made in the US, which was made in Massachusetts in 1783 by an ex-slave known only as "Belinda". Belinda, who was about 70 years old at this time and had been kidnapped from her home in Ghana before her 12th birthday, petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for the years of unpaid labour for her former slave master. Belinda argued that Isaac Royall--who had since escaped to Nova Scotia--profited from her labour, which entitled her to lay claim to his estate. She won and was granted £15,12 shillings per year payable from the Royall family estate.
From there, Belinda's Petition moves through the different epochs of the reparations movement from the early 15th Century to the present. By correcting misconceptions and exposing myths about the reparations movement, Winbush shines a light on what is arguably the greatest crime against humanity to date.
New Items in the RJ Online Database
New additions to the RJ Online research database over the last week covered several including restorative justice in prisons, restorative justice in Islam, and transitional justice.