- Showing 10 posts published between Jun 01, 2011 and Jun 30, 2011 [Show all]
New Zealand study: Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases: 2008 and 2009
The aim of this study was to determine whether restorative justice conferences led to reduced reoffending. It is based on data for offenders completing conferences in 2008 and 2009 compared with a similar group of offenders who did not receive restorative justice.
The principal finding of the report is that restorative justice had a statistically significant impact on reducing the proportion of people reoffending, and for those who did reoffend, there is an indication of a reduction in the frequency of reoffending and a lower rate of imprisonment.
Restoring lives: Now that’s Justice
from Patrice Gaines' article in Yes!:
It was the summer of 2009. I was on my second day of work for the U.S. Census Bureau, knocking on doors in rural South Carolina.
My cell phone rang. It was my supervisor.
“Patrice, headquarters called me and told me to send you home immediately and to take back all government property,” she said. “I don’t know why.”
Restorative justice and large organizations as victims
One of the ongoing challenges we face here at Mediation Services is how to meaningfully involve corporations and large businesses in the restorative justice process.
The process is relatively clear when there is an offender and a victim – or even when there are multiple victims and/or offenders. Individuals have needs and interests and a mediator works to bring people together for meaningful and fruitful exchange. Of course, every situation is unique and demands an “out of the box” thinking in order to make any process effective for the participants.
But when the “victim” is a large corporation, there are at least two unique challenges for a mediator to address:
Ken Clarke was right to start a debate about sentencing in rape cases
Justice for rape victims does not simply equate to long prison sentences. The Victims' Champion (pdf), Sara Payne, has urged us to reconsider our definition of justice, so it is "not just punishing a perpetrator and preventing further crimes". She suggested that an offender who pleaded guilty on the day of trial should not gain a discount, but that incentives for an early plea of guilt should be investigated. A 2009 academic study (pdf) on rape and the legal process also recommended looking at ways to encourage early admissions.
Further support for this approach can be found in the Stern Review (pdf) into how rape complaints are handled, which the government has said it endorses in full. Lady Stern found that securing a conviction and punishment is important for victims, but so is simply being believed. She advocated policies which "honour the experience" of rape, with victims feeling that their experience has been understood, its effects acknowledged and holistic support offered.
Colombia moves past reconciliation and revives the idea of reparation
When unspeakable crimes have been committed, justice often falls silent, too. That’s why half a century after Colombia plunged into bloody conflict and oppression, the healing has barely begun. But a new law is trying to make victims of the violence whole in a country still fractured by brutal violence. In the process, it has revived an old debate over reparations, and how society should confront past injustices that still shape life today.
Colombia’s so-called “victims’ law” is the product of years of negotiation between the government and militia groups. The law centers on punishment as well as restitution. Many will be compelled to confess their crimes and, unlike many previous efforts at what’s been dubbed restorative justice, survivors will be allowed to petition for compensation.
Parole and restorative justice
The Restorative Justice Act, now being debated in the House of Representatives, introduces new concepts and challenges into our society, including the introduction of the parole system. In order to effectively implement the restorative justice measures, the input of everybody in society is crucial.
The discussion on the introduction of restorative justice measures in our system was first made following the publication of a White Paper by the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs in February 2009.
The basic principles of restorative justice are that when a crime is committed there are primarily three parties that are directly affected: the victim, the offender and society at large. The commission of a crime affects society at large – through fear, uncertainty and apprehension. Such apprehension may be appeased when the offender is caught and convicted. Yet, how many stop and think that, unless one is imprisoned for life, the offender will one day return to society?
Judge Irene Sullivan on learning a lesson in restorative justice from teenagers
In mid-May I traveled from my home in Florida to Evanston Township High School, just north of Chicago, to meet with students, school social workers and law enforcement officials. My intention was to talk to them about my nine years of service as a juvenile judge and the stories of the kids in court I wrote about in my book, Raised by the Courts: One Judge’s Insight into Juvenile Justice.
Boy, was I in for a surprise!
Instead of talking I was listening. Instead of teaching I was learning. Instead of being the center of attention, I was one person in a circle of 12. Instead of sharing my experiences with others, I listened while others shared some very personal and painful experiences with me. Instead of talking about guilt or innocence, crime and punishment, I found myself focused on the word “harm:” identifying the harm, acknowledging the harm and repairing the harm.
Characteristics of restorative / transformational justice approaches
from the entry by RadioGirl on Criminal Injustice Kos:
There is no monolithic approach to restorative/transformational justice initiatives.
Some initiatives emphasize community involvement and are intended to eventually replace the harsh punishment/expanded policing orientation of the criminal legal system, while others are designed to work wholly within that system, as a more recent feature of it. There are many "blended" approaches that involve the criminal legal system, but also have components that operate independently.
Restorative justice prison ministry manual available
from the article by Chris Meehan at crnca.org:
...."Restorative justice provides another way," said Lamsma. "Where retributive justice is concerned with violation against the state, restorative justice is first and foremost concerned with the person or people who were harmed in a crime . . . Restorative justice aims for healing of victims, for communities affected, and even for offenders, in the hopes that a cycle of destructive behavior will be broken."
Colombia to compensate victims of armed conflict.
From the article by Sibylla Brodzinsky in the Guardian:
Nearly four million victims of Colombia's long-running internal conflict could receive compensation and see their stolen lands returned under a new law.
Government and opposition figures as well as human rights activists have all hailed the legislation, which passed in the Senate last week, as "historic" and "transcendental".
The law aims to give financial compensation – equivalent to about £6,600 – for every victim reported murdered or forcibly disappeared. Colombia has one of the highest numbers of disappearances in Latin America, with more than 57,200 people still missing, at least 15,600 of which were forcibly disappeared, according to the UN high commissioner for human rights. More than 100,000 murders during the last three decades are attributed to rightwing paramilitary groups.