Why a court case is not always the answer
from the article from the Spalding Guardian:
Spalding’s top policeman has explained the force’s use of cautions and offering restorative justice settlements to offenders rather than taking them to court.
Inspector Jim Tyner has come forward after Lincolnshire Police were criticised over a case in Spalding when Hayley Clayton was knocked unconscious in the street.
Iowa Kids: After a crime, a second chance
From the article by Sharyn Jackson on DesMOinesRestister.com:
The night before finals week of his junior year of high school, Alec Neumann wasn’t home studying, and he wasn’t at the church group meeting where he told his parents he would be.
Instead, he was sitting on a curb in Waukee, trying to process the fact that he’d just been apprehended for shoplifting.
Restorative justice will cover the country
From the article on Voxy.co.nz:
Justice Minister Judith Collins has ... announced restorative justice services will be expanded and rolled out to all courts in New Zealand.
An additional 2,400 restorative justice conferences - totalling 3,600 in 2014/15 - follow the Government’s $4.4 million investment in adult pre-sentence restorative justice as part of Budget 2013.
Ms Collins says investing in pre-sentence restorative justice will help deliver results, give victims a voice in the justice system and make victims strong.
Six boys, one cop, and the road to restorative justice
from the article by Molly Rowan Leach:
It’s a warm summer night in Longmont, Colorado, a vibrant midsized city in the Rocky Mountains. On a dare, six young men aged between ten and thirteen years plan to break into a giant chemical processing plant. High levels of alcohol and testosterone, peer pressure and a moonless night propel the group towards the locked gates of the factory, and they break in.
Across town at the Police Department, Officer Greg Ruprecht is about to embark on night patrol. A former Army Captain and top of his class at the Police Academy, Ruprecht believes his job is to arrest everyone who commits a crime and throw away the key. Justice means punishment: an eye for an eye, no questions asked. You do something bad and you get what you deserve. There’s a clear line to walk. But what occurred at the chemical plant that night changed him forever by awakening a very different sensibility: instead of an instrument of vengeance, justice requires that we work to restore all those who have been injured by a crime.
Approaching juvenile crime head on
From the article by Leila day:
When people get into trouble with the law, they normally don’t have a chance to have a conversation with their victims. To explain what happened. Hear about the damage they caused. Say they’re sorry. But there’s a growing trend to try and make that happen, so both parties can move on.
Restorative Justice brings together the accused, the victim, supportive parties, and authorities. All at the same table in a safe space. It’s an old idea and it’s international. In fact, in New Zealand, where it was originally used by indigenous Maoris, it's a mandatory part of the criminal justice system. Here, in the U.S, these community conferences are increasingly being used in prisons, schools and as an alternative to juvenile detention.
Restorative justice handles punishment
From the article in the Courier Islander:
Five Campbell River residents including one juvenile found themselves in hot water after they were identified as the vandals who targeted the new Splash Park with graffiti and broke a bench almost as soon as the popular attraction was opened.
"The community in general was greatly annoyed at these events with many people taking to social media and local newspapers to voice their displeasure at the actions of those involved," said Troy Beauregard, Staff Sgt. and Operations Commander of the Campbell River RCMP.
Saying sorry is big success for fighting crime in Tameside
From the article in the Manchester Evening News:
Police have hailed the success of a crime-fighting project which puts justice in the hands of victims.
Around 41 cases have already been dealt with by victims and offenders sitting down together face-to-face at community resolution panels in Tameside.
Trained volunteers act as mediators at the meetings, which aim to strike agreements between both parties without cases going to court – saving police an estimated £100,000.
Using restorative justice at the pre-sentence stage of the criminal justice process
From the article by Ian Marder on TransConflict:
Restorative justice is a form of conflict resolution in which those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, are brought together into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. The restorative justice movement is making waves in schools, community services, post-conflict societies, criminal justice processes and housing and care settings around the world, and the effectiveness of using restorative practices to resolve conflicts in these contexts is increasingly being recognised, leading to its underpinning in national and international legal frameworks.
Restorative justice can be conducted safely and effectively at all parts of the criminal justice process, but there are certain advantages which are specific to its use at the pre-sentence stage. This includes, for example, its ability to inform the sentencing decisions of magistrates and judges by giving them an additional opportunity to learn about the state of mind, character and level of contrition of the offender, ultimately leading to a better targeted and more responsive use of criminal justice interventions. Moreover, allowing for restorative justice at this point affords those involved in an incident the chance to resolve the conflict themselves with minimal state intervention.
Restorative Justice 'can be justified' in serious cases
Frontline officers have a judgement call to make when deciding whether victims of more serious offences would benefit from Restorative Justice (RJ) rather than a prosecution, a senior officer has said.
ACC Garry Shewan, who leads on justice and community resolutions for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said there was not a “simple formula” and there was no prescribed list of offences for which Restorative Justice could be used.
Restorative interventions needed for 97% cases where defendants plead guilt
Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent? is an excellent new book by Dan Givelber, Northeastern Law School professor, and Amy Farrell Northeastern Criminal Justice School professor.
In this easy to read book, the authors provide valuable information and insights into how judges and juries behave, and how understanding acquittals better (acquittals occur once in every 100 cases) could improve our justice system....