Criminal justice reform: A revolution on the American right
....Conservatives have diagnosed our justice system as being very ill, and they have prescribed new policies to restore its health:
- Reserve costly prison space for dangerous offenders
- Focus on reducing future harm
- Fill each inmate’s day with productive activities
- Facilitate victim–offender dialogue
- Match offenders with mentors
- Provide opportunities for community service and r eparation
- Punish parole violations immediately
- Coordinate re-entry supervision and services.
Research shows that each of these policies is effective and keeps the public safe. Although these policies embody conservative principles, they enjoy broad bipartisan support across ideological, theological and racial lines....
Who will pay? Restorative justice in Texas
from the entry by Cyntia Alkon on ADR Prof Blog:
I recently learned of a proposed bill that involves restorative justice, which has some interesting pieces to it. This bill, S.B. 1237 , expressly authorizes the state to refer criminal cases to an “alternative dispute resolution system” if one already exists in the county. This can happen “regardless of whether the defendant in the criminal case has been formally charged.” However, “the state must obtain the consent of the victim to the referral.”
Minister overseeing justice reforms emphasizes neighbourhood justice
from the article by Owen Bowcott in the Guardian:
….One of Green's priorities is developing neighbourhood justice, a range of initiatives which include restorative justice and neighbourhood justice panels. Both place victims of crime at the centre of the process, enabling offenders to meet them and apologise directly. "These are neither soft options nor kangaroo courts," he said.
Isle of Man criminal justice system 'to reach 21st Century'
from the article on BBC News:
Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson said "languishing in prison cells" was not a good way for inmates to "pay their debt to society".
....One of the key areas under scrutiny is dealing with offenders after they have served their jail term.
"We already have community service but we could do more things around restorative justice, actually putting back what you have done wrong rather than low level beach cleans for example, which is what we have now," continued Mr Watterson.
Legislation introducing restorative justice for victims of adult offenders in England and Wales announced
from Lizzie Nelson:
New legislation for restorative justice with adult offenders and their victims will be introduced through an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill.
The new clauses will allow the Courts to defer at the pre-sentence stage in order for the victim and offender to be offered restorative justice at the earliest opportunity. This comes as part of the Government’s response to the Punishment and Reform; effective community sentences consultation, published today.
Center for Restorative Activism
Here are some basic principles that help to frame what restorative activism is about:
The historical moment calls on us to identify and focus on root causes. I believe the historical moment boils down to a choice between continuation with the life-denying worldview based on separateness, and a life affirming worldview based on the direct experience of interrelatedness. The belief in separateness can be singled out as a root cause of the crises we face and this shows us what we are really up against.
How the 2012 GOP platform tackles criminal justice
This week, during its quadrennial national convention, the Republican Party released its 2012 platform. The platform is yet another indicator of how conservative leaders are reapplying basic conservative principles to criminal justice. For example, the new platform contains language explicitly emphasizing the importance of prisoner reentry, a notable change from the 2008 platform which contained none. The new platform urges that “[p]risons should do more than punish; they should attempt to rehabilitate and institute proven prisoner reentry systems to reduce recidivism and future victimization.”
2012 party platforms on criminal justice policy (US)
from the report by the Sentencing Project:
The Washington Post recently reported that the gulf between Republicans and Democrats has never been wider. On issue after issue, the two major political parties often disagree in substantial ways. But in the area of criminal justice policy, we have seen in recent years the potential for a bipartisan consensus. A plurality of American voters say that too many people are in prison, and an overwhelming majority -- including voters across political, generational, and racial lines -- want policies that would exchange prisons for more effective alternatives. After nearly four decades of unprecedented expansion, a number of states have reduced prison capacity, even closing prisons, in recent years, thanks to innovative public policy. These advances suggest real momentum for reform.
Spotlight on restorative justice
....Singapore courts practice a limited form of such restorative justice. For example, the Community Court here is given sentencing flexibility and can issue the Community Service Order (modelled after the Corrective Work Order for litterbugs). It may also call for a pre-trial conference of family of the accused - and sometimes of the victim - to explore compensation and get an undertaking to attend therapy and so on. But all this is for minor crimes, and still offender-focused, not designed with victims in mind.
A tough job at Justice
from the article by Mark Easton on BBC News:
If the Conservative right see the appointment of Chris Grayling as a signal that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is going to re-adopt the slogan "prison works" then I think they may be disappointed.