- Showing 10 posts published between Jan 01, 2011 and Jan 31, 2011 [Show all]
The Virginia Center for Restorative Justice
How does a community establish a restorative justice program? It happens at the local level when committed individuals decide to make it happen. Take the Virginia Center for Restorative Justice (VCRJ), for example, a nonprofit established late last year in Richmond, Virginia.
VCRJ was founded by its Executive Director, Judy Clarke, a woman whose commitment to restorative justice is grounded in her abiding faith in God and in the fundamental goodness of humanity. But this journey began for Judy many years ago when she visited the Richmond City Jail for a day with a group of business leaders who were charged with finding a solution to the jail’s problems.
Ahern to expand restorative justice scheme
The government has given the green light to expanding a restorative justice pilot scheme to the criminal courts. Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern approved a memo to cabinet before Christmas to allow for an expansion of the Tallaght-based Restorative Justice Service to the Criminal Courts of Justice. It also allows the Nenagh Community Reparation project to be expanded to Limerick and Tipperary.
Restorative justice measures could change trader attitudes
Restorative justice is the most significant advance for consumers of a pilot of civil sanctions to be enforced by the Office of Fair Trading and selected Trading Standards Services, says [Citizens Advice policy officer] Susan Marks.
“This scheme brings in the possibility of compensation for consumers which is a huge thing for us, something we really supported in the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 in the first place,” she says.
We can write the stories of peace with our lives
from the Fambul Tok website:
Fambul Tok (Krio for “Family Talk”) emerged in Sierra Leone as a face-to-face community-owned program bringing together perpetrators and victims of the violence in Sierra Leone’s eleven-year civil war through ceremonies rooted in the local traditions of war-torn villages. It provides Sierra Leonean citizens with an opportunity to come to terms with what happened during the war, to talk, to heal, and to chart a new path forward, together.
Fambul Tok is built upon Sierra Leone’s “family talk” tradition of discussing and resolving issues within the security of a family circle. The program works at the village level to help communities organize ceremonies that include truth-telling bonfires and traditional cleansing ceremonies—practices that many communities have not employed since before the war. Through drawing on age-old traditions of confession, apology and forgiveness, Fambul Tok has revived Sierra Leoneans’ rightful pride in their culture.
[More sensible ideas from the US!] Prison reform: A smart way for states to save money and lives
With nearly all 50 states facing budget deficits, it's time to end business as usual in state capitols and for legislators to think and act with courage and creativity.
We urge conservative legislators to lead the way in addressing an issue often considered off-limits to reform: prisons. Several states have recently shown that they can save on costs without compromising public safety by intelligently reducing their prison populations.
Governor Jerry Brown: Can he support restorative justice?
by Lisa Rea
Jerry Brown has returned to California Governor's office in 2011 having first been elected the youngest governor in the state in 1975. What's changed?
The incarceration rate has skyrocketed. In 1986 the state prison population was at 59,000. Now the state incarcerates 173, 000 inmates in its state prisons (Legislative Analyst Office, 2006). Although editorial writer Dan Morain of the Sacramento BEE speaks of Brown's close ties to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA, the prison guard union with more members than most unions in the state) I believe Brown will not be tied to the failed policies of the past. I expect something more.
Central America: Restorative juvenile justice and a region’s important choices
from the article in Creative Times:
In light of the vast challenges faced by the juvenile justice systems in these three countries, Orietta Zumbado, a Judge who leads USAID-SICA AJR’s juvenile justice component, recently sat down with international restorative juvenile justice expert, Victor Herrero. The two team members discussed alternative justice measures in Central America. Herrero, who has applied restorative juvenile justice in more than ten countries, is currently working with AJR to strengthen the institutions responsible for oversight and control of alternative sanctions imposed on minors, so that these more efficiently and more effectively impact recidivism indexes and improve the capacity for the social rehabilitation of offenders.
Restorative justice: My experience
from the article by Imran Ahmed:
Nearly a decade ago, I was grinning ear-to-ear, waiting for a cab in Soho. I’d just spent a night with my best friends in a bar in Soho celebrating my acceptance to a course at university. My family is South Asian and I speak the lingo so I asked the Pakistani cab driver in Urdu for a cab back to my flat.
The guy behind me grunted and tapped me on the shoulder.
“Don’t speak in Paki mate. You’re in facking England.” I was in no mood for a fight, so I just answered, “Well I speak English too, but I was just being respectful to my elder.” Clearly a bad move.
Jan 10, 2011 Story
Can restorative processes serve people with limitations?
When those who have a mental illness or a behavioral problem become involved in a dispute, what processes are available to help them resolve the conflict? What about children, ten or eleven years old, who break the law? How can their disputes be effectively addressed and involve them in a meaningful way?
In the past, the court system has been the principle process offered when people cannot resolve their disputes. As the legal system is a highly technical environment, it presents obstacles for people with limited ability. In a recent blog, We Must Do Better Justice, I wrote about Daudi Beverly who was sentenced to serve a long sentence, despite years of mental illness and seven hospitalizations for emotional problems prior to his conviction.
Crossing the divide
It has often been my experience that restorative justice can span the conservative-liberal divide. Concerns for victims and for reducing the costs of imprisonment are often common to both. The concept of offenders facing up to what they have done makes intuitive sense to many. Values such as responsibility, respect and relationship are often shared along the spectrum. What we mean by these values and ideas, however, and what motivates us to embrace them, are crucial issues.
The lessons to be gleaned from the movement against indeterminate sentencing in the U.S. are instructive. Eventually both progressives and conservatives came together to replace indeterminate sentences with determinate sentences motivated by a just deserts philosophy. The resulting lengthened mandatory sentences dramatically increased the prison population. While there was some confluence of policy positions, the underlying values and motivations of the various parties were quite different. The results have been in many ways catastrophic.