- Showing 10 posts published between Mar 01, 2011 and Mar 31, 2011 [Show all]
I am sorry for breaking into your house
Editor's note: This letter was written as part of the Marathon County Restorative Justice Program, which connects juvenile and young adult offenders with crime victims. Victims work with the offender to resolve the issue and determine restitution.
Though this letter is published here anonymously, the identities of both J and Mr. M. were verified by Carrie Vergin, executive director of the Restorative Justice Program.
Sample Circle script, a guideline that does not replace training
I have always been resistant to scripts. When someone is in converstaion with you, do they read from a paper? Reading is best for with children on our laps and from books.
However, in order to teach the process and have others do it, you need to give some examples. So I am sharing a sample script. Each Circle is unique, the questions used should be unique. The shell or outer rim (values, 4 stages, talking piece, open/close) should be the same. The contents swirl within. The experience should be like a labyrinth going in deep to conversation and coming back out.
....When you “keep” a Circle you are making a committment to guide the process. Knowing and understanding the approach in a manner that you can be flexible to the needs of the Circle, requires a deep understanding of the philosophy. Training is crucial, being a participant in Circle is necessary to achieve the deep understanding.
The sample script:
Hate crime victims to face offenders
Greater Manchester Police are to ask antisemitic offenders to face their victims.
A restorative justice scheme piloted across GMP since November gives hate crime victims the option of meeting the perpetrators to explain the impact of racism and receive an apology. Victims can also ask a representative to meet the offender, request community service as a punishment for them, or opt for criminal proceedings.
Restorative justice for people who are innocent & wrongfully imprisoned
from Lorenn Walker's blog:
Recently, I saw how successfully RJ was used by someone who has steadfastly maintained innocence, and who does not take responsibility for the crimes she is in prison for.
The woman is serving several life sentences for crimes that she has denied since being convicted after a trial about 20 years ago. She was 18 when she went into prison and she has not seen two of her now adult children since then. Most of her children want a relationship with her and she wants one with them. The woman learned about restorative justice in a course we provide* in the prison, and she used an RJ process to focus how she could restore her relationship with her children, and address the harm caused them and herself, by her teenage drug use and her imprisonment.
Database Abstracts Added in February
Over the last month, we added 59 abstracts to the RJ Online database. Below is a list of the titles with links to the abstracts.
Private homes shun restorative justice
Vulnerable children are being unnecessarily criminalised because of a reluctance to deploy restorative justice techniques in private children's homes, a report has warned.
Government statistics show that between 40 and 49 per cent of children entering custody have been in care at some point despite the fact they make up just 0.5 per cent of the total population of children.
Restorative justice for recovering addicts
Restorative justice is an alternative method of justice that involves offenders coming face to face with their victims and the larger community to repair the harm they’ve done. It is often used when dealing with young or first-time offenders, and keeps them out of the mainstream justice system in the hope they’ll turn their lives around.
Gillian Lindquist, co-ordinator of the Victoria Restorative Justice Society, says this same philosophy can be used to help recovering drug or alcohol addicts.
Mar 10, 2011 Case:Drug Crimes
Possible ABC TV series showing victim-offender encounters
Last week I got a very interesting call from ABC TV. They’re developing a 20/20 episode or a series based on the subject of restorative justice. I had a long chat with Andrew Sullivan about his expectations for the piece and what they hope to achieve with it. He mentioned that they are actively seeking survivors who would be right for the series; I offered to help him reach out.
....After our conversation Andrew summarized the idea in an email to me. I’m sharing it with you in case any of you would like to follow up with him.
Interview with Professor Nicola Lacey
Professor Nicola Lacey is a Senior Research fellow and Professor of criminal theory at All Souls College, University of Oxford. She was in New Zealand recently to give the 2010 Shirley Smith Address on the subject of the Politics of Punishment. We took the opportunity to pick her brain.
....Rethinking: Someone said something to me the other day about how if we are going to put the requirements of victims in this process it should be their needs, rather than their wants.
NL: Exactly. You need to have the debate about which needs can legitimately be met by the criminal justice process.
I’ve hit my emotional limit
As a restorative conferencing facilitator, I often receive the brunt of a lot of strong emotions. This happens most when I’m making first contacts with individuals or in the preconference interviews. I can’t count the number of times I’ve called a victim to introduce the programme to receive a twenty minute monologue covering everything from the pain of the crime to their frustrations with the criminal justice systems to questions about how to move ahead.
These emotions are very real and the person expressing them needs to be able to do that. Just recently, I was the recipient of such emotion from the daughter of a crime victim. At one point she apologised for dumping her anger and frustration on me as I was only doing my job. I quickly responded that it was okay, that was part of my job. And, quite frankly, it is a part of the work. Even in what might seem to us to be “minor” crimes; we can encounter very strong emotions from those we are serving. This makes facilitator self-care very important.