- Showing 10 posts published between Apr 01, 2010 and Apr 30, 2010 [Show all]
Gang injunctions do not work
I am a former gang member, juvenile felon from Oakland, California. I now have a Ph.D. from Berkeley and am a Professor of Sociology who studies youth-police relations. Based on my studies with hundreds of gang associated youths I can tell you that gang injunctions are a failed attempt at addressing youth violence.
Gang injunctions cannot guarantee gang violence reductions. Sociologists like Cheryl Maxson, in Los Angeles and Irvine have found that years of gang injunctions in Southern California have not produced results. Instead, youth crime and violence has increased in communities where injunctions have been implemented.
Apr 16, 2010 Gang
Restorative Justice in Prison: Report from the UN Crime Congress
On 15 April, I had the opportunity to participate in an ancillary session discussing the use of restorative justice in prisons organised by the Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers) and Prison Fellowship International. Panel presentations included an international overview of restorative justice in prisons, racism in the prison setting and in-prison programmes serving both victims and offenders.
Peace Studies programmes
from the entry on PCPJ Blog:
Michael Westmoreland-White compiled this....
As a service, I thought I would list all the U.S. colleges and universities that have programs with names like “peace studies,” “peace and global studies,” “peacebuilding and conflict resolution studies,” etc. I found there were enough that I decided just to list the church-related ones and do the others in a separate post. Typically, such programs are multi-disciplinary involving faculty from several departments including international studies, history, philosophy, religious studies, international law, economic development, and/or political science or sociology. The earliest such programs in the U.S. were in institutions related to the “historic peace churches” (Mennonites, Church of the Brethren, and Friends/Quakers), but it has spread beyond them.
More on Restorative Justice at the UN Crime Congress
Day two at the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice didn’t yield as many comments of restorative justice, but there were some interesting statements made especially by the delegates from South Africa and Peru. On 13 April, the Plenary continued its discussion on Children, Youth, and Crime with more member states as well as non-governmental organisations and independent experts.
Restorative justice offers a better way to cope with crime
If asked to define “justice,” most Americans use words such as fairness, similar or equal treatment, absence of discrimination, enlightenment, due process and equal opportunity. Yet, when asked what is meant when we hear that someone has been “brought to justice,” Americans inevitably think first of punishment — often severe punishment — that must serve as retribution for wrongdoing. We know that justice is a larger concept than punishment, yet we are mostly aware of a very limited set of choices about what justice means in response to crime.
It has been said that Americans are addicted to punishment. But it is more accurate to say that this addiction is characteristic of policymakers who run on “get tough on crime” platforms that seem to thrive on retribution. Crime makes us angry and afraid, but a number of surveys have shown that most of us want accountability for crimes rather than simply retribution. Of greatest concern is the fact that retributive justice is inherently offender-focused — leaving crime victims on the sidelines of the justice process.
AI hopes for wide debate in Taiwan on death penalty
Moreover, Rife stated that AI had found that "the idea that the death penalty gives reconciliation or restorative justice to victims or survivors of victims of grievous crimes false."
While acknowledging that "it is very difficult to meet the emotion needs and expectations of victims," Rife said that "what people do want is justice and it would be sufficient if society and the government can work out a sufficient response to crime without transgressing world human rights standards."
Restorative Justice at the UN Crime Congress
I’m in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, representing Prison Fellowship International at the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Later in the week, I will be participating in sessions on restorative justice in prisons and restorative justice in Latin America. So, I was quite interested to hear several references to restorative justice in today’s opening events. I wanted to share some of what was reported and a few of my thoughts.
Violence in Byron Bay, Australia – it takes a whole society to raise one violent boy, says Pip Cornall
from the entry on Malechallengemedia's blog:
“Perhaps it takes a whole society to raise one violent boy,” says Male challenge (formerly sustainable-masculinity) advocate, Pip Cornall, who, after more than two decades working to prevent violence in the USA and Australia, is appalled by the rising youth violence showing up as teen gangs, homicides, teen porn, those damaging large group parties, vandalism, drugs, burglary, violent and sexist music. You’ll notice these behaviours almost always involve boys and young men—it’s a male thing, but it is a male thing that is growing.”
....When asked if we can solve the problem of youth violence he replied, “Sure we can. For example, in workshops with gang members and violent teens, when we help them drop the “tough guise,” we expose a vulnerable boy with terrible self esteem. Once we identify the root causes of male violence, we can design solutions—solutions of an immediate nature, and longer term preventative approaches.”
Apr 12, 2010 Gang
A safe place to call home: Securing the right of Rwandan genocide survivors to resettlement outside Rwanda
Genocide survivors in Rwanda have great difficulty receiving refugee status and right of asylum to allow them to settle outside of the country. The standard reply that they receive when making queries about the possibility of immigrating to Europe, Canada, or the United States is that there is no longer persecution on the basis of ethnicity in Rwanda, and thus there is no legal merit to their request.
It is true that there is no government sanctioned persecution on the basis of ethnicity in Rwanda today. However, social persecution, discrimination, marginalization, threats, and intimidation towards survivors of the 1994 genocide of the Tutsi prevail on a popular level amongst many Rwandans.
Genocide survivors are targeted for physical and psychological torture and have been attacked and killed in various parts of the country. Fifteen years after the genocide many lack physical and psychological security.
20 years after Winnetka murder, women remain inspired by sister’s dying statement
from John Kielman's article in the Chicago Tribune:
As Nancy Bishop Langert lay dying in the basement of her Winnetka home, mortally wounded by an intruder's bullets, she found the strength for an act that even now, 20 years after her murder, continues to inspire those who knew her best.
She crawled over to a metal shelf and tipped it over. Then, with her own blood, she traced symbols onto its surface.
The characters were not perfectly formed, and lawyers would later argue over what they meant. But to Nancy's family, the message was plain: It was a heart, followed by the letter "U".
"What she clearly was saying to us is that love is the most important thing in the world," said Jennifer Bishop Jenkins, 52, one of Nancy's two sisters.
Since then, the sisters say they have tried to live up to that idea. They have spent years battling against capital punishment and for gun control, causes they believe are in keeping with their sister's final message.
The life of an activist, though, is complicated. The sisters have tasted the fury of others who have lost loved ones to murder, and they've broken with former friends over one of their causes — ensuring that juvenile killers who receive life sentences never get parole, a measure being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.