- Showing 10 posts published between Apr 01, 2010 and Apr 30, 2010 [Show all]
A justice system that focuses on the victim, as well as the offender
From the article by Harvey Voogd in the Edmonton Journal:
When a crime occurs, it does not affect just one person, but also impacts their family members and the entire community.
This was personally made clear to my family in the fall of 2008 when our pickup was stolen in the middle of the night. Though it was parked in front of our home in Edmonton and under a street light, neither we nor our neighbours heard anything.
The truck was recovered near Alberta Beach, but was written off due to a combination of damage sustained and the age of the vehicle. We received $3,700 for the loss, but our new second-hand truck cost $11,000 -- a financial hit that we had not anticipated.
Maufas' daughter took items, superintendent says
from the article by Jill Tucker on SFGate.com:
The 22-year-old daughter of a San Francisco school board member stole a district laptop and $250 from another school board member and a district staff member while her mother attended board meetings in the same building, district officials confirmed Friday.
Francesca Maufas, the daughter of board member Kim-Shree Maufas, took the laptop and $90 cash from a third-floor office of a senior staff member during the school board's March 9 meeting at district headquarters, officials said. A surveillance camera captured the 22-year-old in the hallway and entering the office, said Superintendent Carlos Garcia.
She confessed to the theft the next day and disclosed the location of the laptop, which she had stashed in the building, Garcia said.
The younger Maufas also acknowledged taking at least $160 from board member Jill Wynns' purse, which had been placed under a desk in the board's office during a late February committee meeting.
Teenage vandals pay for their damage and apologise
from the article on ChesterFirst.co.uk:
Three teenagers who vandalised a new play park at a children’s nursery have paid for the damage to be repaired and have also apologised to the children.
The three 14 year-olds damaged the new soft play surfacing outside Mrs Roy’s Nursery on Westminster Road, Hoole, just after it was laid on March 16. The flooring was kicked up and names etched into it.
Students won't be prosecuted after drug raid
From the Article by Darrell Cole in the Amherst Daily News:
Most, if not all students arrested at Amherst Regional High School following a drug raid earlier this month will escape criminal prosecution.
Deputy Chief Ian Naylor of the Amherst Police Department said that while interviews still have to be completed with two of the 30 youth arrested, the 28 young people and all five adults detained qualify for either restorative justice or adult diversion.
"Our goal has always been finding a positive outcome and what we've been saying from the beginning is that we would look at all situations to see if they met the criteria for referral to the programs," Naylor said. "We have to be fair and we have to be consistent and that's what we have done."
Salinas gang prevention initiative loses funding, but not heart
A pilot program aimed at ending gang violence in Salinas has run out of money, but it hasn't run out of fight.
After two years, Community Building Circles has used up the $25,000 it received from the California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program, said the group's director Deborah Aguilar on Wednesday.
"Community Building Circles has lost the funding, but [I have] not lost the passion to service the needs of the community," Aguilar said.
Apr 21, 2010 Gang
Parallel justice for victims of crime
My friend Susan Herman, formerly executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, has argued for years that victims will never receive justice until their needs are addressed, regardless of whether the person who committed the crime against them is ever identified or prosecuted. As the title of her new book puts it, we need Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime because “all victims of crime are entitled to a separate path to safety and justice, one that does not replace, but that runs parallel to, the criminal justice process.” (p. 53)
Susan and I have had many discussions about the relationship between parallel justice and restorative justice. Some have been informal but others have been more formal. One time, for example, those of us at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding held a “palaver” on our campus in which restorative justice advocates and victim services providers dialogued with Susan around these issues. Another time Susan and I were part of a four-person panel sponsored by Safe Horizon at the New York City Public Library.
The time for alternatives
Restorative programs were first used for minor juvenile offenders with short records. The programs expanded to include adults and violent offenders. For low level offenders, restorative agreements can serve as the sentence. For violent crimes, like homicide, restorative agreements are simply used to heal victims and offenders.
There are three major types of restorative programs. First, victim-offender mediation (VOM). VOM sessions allow the victim and offender to reach an agreement on how to make things right between them. Cases are referred for VOM by courts, police, or even members of the community. Second, restorative conferencing. The victim and offender discuss the crime and how it impacted each of them. Re-integrative shaming is a large part of the conference. The process is meant to respectfully show disapproval for the offender’s actions and to help him or her reintegrate into society. Third, restorative circles. Circles are open to offenders, victims, their family and friends, and members of the community. Each participant has the chance to speak.
Restorative Justice: Crime and Healing
"I have nowhere to talk about this except here in a prison setting," Peg said. "You are my community."
The circle grew close, intimate -- sacred -- as the three women spoke.
There were about 35 of us in all, sitting on hard plastic chairs. Twenty wore green: the inmates. The building was wrapped in razor wire. It was a maximum-security prison called Columbia Correctional Institution, in Portage, Wis. Built for 450 prisoners, it houses, two decades after it opened, about 900. The setting was old justice, but something new was happening.
Not all that new, maybe. Restorative Justice -- a multifaceted system of criminal justice and conflict resolution that puts healing and truth-telling at its core, not punishment, revenge or the culling out of humanity's undesirables -- has been around and evolving for about 20 years now. It's slowly gaining a foothold in court systems and schools around the world: It is part, I'm certain, of an invisible wave of change that is transforming the planet. Nothing about it is simple, but something precious beyond compare can emerge from the process. Suffering can abate, torn lives and broken communities can heal, good can come from bad.
Restorative justice: A community response when bad things happen
Bad things happen. They did to Katy Hutchison on New Year’s Eve in 1997. Her husband Bob was beaten to death while checking on a party being thrown by their neighbour’s son. It happened in Squamish, a small town just north of Vancouver. A wall of silence grew up around the murder. It was four years before Ryan Aldridge admitted to having delivered the fatal blow, was convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to five years in prison.
Katy Hutchison’s response to the tragic event was not “get tough on crime”. She did not see how that approach would build a stronger community. She didn’t want to be re-victimized by the prevailing justice system. Instead, she courageously reached out to Ryan, first through a formal victim/offender reconciliation process, and since, has maintained close contact with Ryan and his family. She wanted healing, and sought it through Restorative Justice. Read Katy and Ryan’s story of forgiveness and restoration.
Restorative Justice Everywhere: Final Update from the UN Crime Congress
Friday (my last day at the UN Crime Congress) was busy with ancillary sessions and sitting through one of the main workshops. The first ancillary session, organised by Prison Fellowship International, looked at Latin American Experiences with Restorative Justice. I opened the session with a brief introduction of the participants describing the goal of the session as opening a dialogue on the various experiences with restorative justice in the region.