- Showing 11 posts published between Feb 01, 2012 and Feb 29, 2012 [Show all]
Let’s make restorative justice a reality in 2012
Having worked for many years in the criminal justice system, prosecuting and defending in criminal cases, I am acutely aware that the trial process does not - and cannot - address the problems faced by victims of crime.
Since my election to Parliament in 2010, I have taken an increasing interest in restorative justice and how it can play a bigger role in the criminal justice system in the UK. Restorative justice can help turn lives around for the offenders and aid the healing process among victims of crime.
Ford launches restorative justice guide for young people
from the article on Northern Ireland Executive:
Justice Minister David Ford has launched an innovative new guide to restorative justice for young people. The booklet entitled “Restorative Justice - a guide for young people” was produced by the Youth Justice Agency in collaboration with the Restorative Justice Forum (NI).
Launched during a Restorative Justice Forum seminar in Parliament Buildings, the child friendly guide uses a comic book format to explain how restorative justice can be used in a variety of settings including the youth conference.
The effects of prison visitation on recidivism
Following recent studies in Florida and Canada, this study examines the effects of prison visitation on recidivism among 16,420 offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 2003 and 2007.
The measure with which we measure
The decisive factor in overturning not only the ordeal, but the fear of Christians to will the punishment of others, was the inauguration of systems of law—first canon law which began its development in the late eleventh century and, in its wake, secular legal systems. With this epic turning of the moral tide, a third factor was brought into the equation of viewing human weakness: an offense was not only an affront to God and to the victim, it was also an affront to the law. In light of this legal revolution, perhaps the most influential revolution in Western history, the meaning of human acts against their fellows took on a new appellation and gravity. They were not only sins that required forgiveness by a priest in confession, they were also crimes, and the offender had to be punished because he or she had broken the law.
Christian critiques of the penal system
....While approaching the issues from different theological and philosophical traditions, the above authors nevertheless agree on the problems with contemporary criminal justice and together begin to trace the outlines of a solution. The problems: institutional forces benefit from a destructive status quo; the public view of prisoners makes citizens indifferent to their plight; and an emphasis on individual responsibility fails to take seriously the systemic injustice that prisoners face. The solutions: remember that prisoners, too, are made in the image of God; address the systemic causes of crime; and learn to love the people touched by crime.
Divine justice as restorative justice
from the article by Chris Marshall in Baylor's Christian Reflections issue on Prison:
The word “retribution” (from the Latin retribuere) simply means “repayment”—the giving back to someone of what they deserve, whether in terms of reimbursement, reward, or reproof. Usually the term is used in the negative sense of punishment for wrongful deeds rather than in the positive sense of reward for good behavior. When the word is used in isolation, it tends to evoke the idea of vengeance or retaliation. When it is paired with the word “justice” however, it implies a more measured delivery of punishment as due recompense for wrongdoing.
Restorative justice: The new way forward
from Lisa Rea's article in Baylor University's Christian Refelction issue on Prison:
.... Some might argue that our prison system was never meant to positively affect victims and communities. I will not analyze the original purpose of prisons in society, but we know that prisons have become something far different than what they were intended to be. Most societies have incarcerated individuals who were deemed to be a violent threat to others, but the United States prison system today has grown immensely beyond this rationale. As a result, the American state and federal prison population has expanded dramatically.
My experience with the Sycamore Tree Project(sm)
from the article by a British prison chaplain:
I’ve been facilitating the Sycamore Tree courses in my prison now for about eighteen months. Sycamore Tree is the Restorative Justice programme run by Prison Fellowship (http://www.pfi.org/). It is a six week course which runs one afternoon a week.
Over such time you would not expect very much to happen. How can you change a person’s outlook on their life in six short afternoons?
Accountability closer to home
by Susan Sharpe
Last Thanksgiving weekend, I opened a Wikipedia page and saw a banner asking me to help pay for the service I was about to use. I gulped. They’d hooked me. Having turned to Wikipedia many, many times, I finally anted up and sent a contribution to help pay for what I've been using.
I've never seen such a banner on RJ Online. Here, there is just a box that says, "RJ Online is a free service to anyone interested in the topic. If you find the site useful and are able to do so, please consider making a tax-deductible (US) donation to PFI."
Feb 03, 2012 RJ Online
Martin Luther King and life after hate
....“The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.” [Martin Luther King]
Review: A community-based approach to the reduction of sexual re-offending: circles of support and accountability
Often sex offenders are isolated people who have difficulty making relationships, and when they come out of prison the double stigma of prison and the nature of their offence isolates them still more – an extra hardship for them, and an increased risk that they will revert to their previous behaviour. So the idea of forming a circle of support for them is both humane and a safeguard. It does not fall under the usual definition of restorative justice, because it does not include dialogue with the victim, which would in many cases be unwanted and/or inappropriate. It does however restore or even improve the situation of the offender, and it involves members of the community.