- Showing 10 posts published between May 01, 2010 and May 31, 2010 [Show all]
National reconciliation and healing in Zimbabwe: Challenges and opportunities
For national healing and reconciliation to achieve the desired objective of uniting the fractured social and political groups, certain factors must be present.
Critical lessons in post-conflict security in Africa: The case of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
While the work of the Commission is now concluded, its Final Report and its processes provide penetrating insights into the challenges Liberia faces in consolidating the peace and providing security to its citizens. Many citizens testified to the erosion of public confidence in the institutions of the state, as these had become agents of oppression and were no longer delivering public goods and services. They also testified to the intense ethnic rivalries that the conflict generated and the need to re-develop a sense of the nation and national loyalty. The Commission’s second volume contains recommendations for institutional reform and national renewal. Above all, the Commission’s key finding was that the major root causes of the conflict were: poverty; greed; corruption; limited access to education; economic, social, civil and political inequities; identity; and land tenure and distribution.
Tougher legislation needed on hate crimes
....Here in Canada, the gravity of hate crimes was officially recognized in 1970, when the government amended the Criminal Code to include hate propaganda as a punishable offence.
In 1996, the government also introduced enhanced sentencing provisions for offences motivated by hate, and in 2001 included mischief to religious property as a specific hate-motivated offence.
Despite this evolution, we argue that these legislative responses to hate have not gone far enough. The problem most concerning to many diverse communities and law enforcement officials involves the fact that there are still no direct provisions in the Criminal Code to identify hate crime as a violent offence (such as assault) or as a crime against a person or individual property (such as vandalism).
Desmond Tutu meets victims and perpetrators of violence
From the moment I first met Archbishop Desmond Tutu back in 2003, it was always my intention to one day ask him to give a lecture in London on behalf of The Forgiveness Project, an organization which he supports that explores forgiveness and reconciliation through the personal storis of real people.
Knowing, however, that everyone wants a small piece of one of the world's most admired humanitarians, I did not imagine for a minute that I would succeed. But I had underestimated the man who gives so much to so many, and my request was in fact met with an enthusiastic 'yes!' via the Archbishop's personal BlackBerry.
MHA salutes Dennis Wittman
Dennis Wittman said Tuesday he didn't do anything special in his 25 years of leading the county's Genesee Justice program.
People who attended the Mental Health Association of Genesee County annual meeting heard a different recounting of Witman's career. Wittman received the Constance E. Miller Award, given to a person who shows a strong commitment to mental health treatment in the community.
...."I believe he has gone above and beyond. If you know Dennis Witman, you know that he's excellent," said Kathy France, former board member with the Mental Health Association, the organization that presented Wittman with his award.
What's next for Minnesota's ex-cons?
What does it really take to keep a person from going back to prison? Let's see. Resources that work, perhaps faith and prayers, a change in peers or environment, and, most important of all, the willingness and commitment of the offender to do what it takes to make that change.
....Given that up to 95 percent of offenders eventually return to society, we need to do better. According to one major study, two-thirds of offenders are arrested again within three years of their release. In Minnesota, up to 36 percent of offenders are sent back to prison for a felony within three years of release, pretty much mirroring the national situation.
....Minnesota's Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP) was devised five years ago and funded three years ago to help cut the recidivism rate.
Church arsonist doubts God will forgive him
A man who torched two Wetaskiwin churches in what a judge described as a "totally senseless wanton act of destruction" was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.
But he was offered hope by one of the ministers whose church was destroyed.
"We have not been abandoned and we don't want you, Peter Terence Jones, to feel abandoned," Wetaskiwin First United Church minister Ruth Lumax told the 24-year-old arsonist in her victim impact statement, which was read in court.
Can prisoners also be victims? Promoting injustice through legislation
by Kim Workman
Last week’s introduction of the Prisoners' and Victims' Claims (Expiry and Application Dates) Amendment Bill, brings to mind one of the most shameful incidents in the history of New Zealand’s prison system. As Head of Prisons at the time, it gives me no great pleasure to reflect on the incident and the subsequent political response to it.
In January 1993, three young prisoners at Mangaroa (now Hawkes Bay) prison were systematically beaten and tortured by prison officers. They held the young men naked in outside exercise yards, and used hit squads to repeatedly beat them over a three day period. The prisoners were initially denied access to medical support for injuries which included bruising and cracked bones.
Who knew you could gain staff and lose ground, two crucial time management tips!
I’ve had more staff around me in the last 3 months, than the last 3 years! I worked solo (with the help of MANY great volunteers) or had one other person employed at SCVRJP. The last few months have included 2 staff and an intern. Great dedicated helpful people.
Yet I feel like I have lost my footing, the ground under me has slid away. I’m disorganized, missing appointments, finishing tasks just under the wire. WHAT? From the woman who was running the entire show!? It’s not like I haven’t delegated, believe me I’ve delegated. One of my coworkers pointed out she can’t complete certain project, because of the assignments I add-on each day.
Realize that despite your skills, connections, talents and abilities, if you fail at managing your tasks or your time, you can fail in general.
The fun in social justice
once again, northern voice, vancouver’s annual blogging and social media conference, was a lot of fun. two inspiring sessions were about making a difference in the world: one about doing good by darren barefoot, and another about social media and social justice by ajay masala puri and jeremy osborn. the one about social justice, which took place outside in the grass on a beautiful sunny afternoon, challenged all participants to commit to doing one thing towards social justice.
....as i was thinking about a possible commitment it occurred to me that while i do dedicate a good of amount of my time and some of my money to social justice, there are moments when the term seems a bit heavy, maybe a little too serious. that’s how i came up with the commitment of looking at the fun side of social justice. fun is important for me; fun sustains me. it makes sense, then, to invest something in the fun side of this – it’ll keep my interest in social justice going! so here are a few thoughts on the fun part of social justice.