- Showing 2 posts filed under: Correspondent:Lynette Parker [–] published between Aug 01, 2010 and Aug 31, 2010 [Show all]
Where do we draw the line?
Sometimes interesting things happen when I’m pre-conferencing juvenile offenders with their parents. Often, it’s the juvenile and his/her mother there for the meeting. Generally, we start with the parent being defensive, protective of his/her child. Yet, as we discuss the incident that brought their family to restorative justice, other things tend to come up such as conflict between the parent and juvenile. Sometimes these are related directly to the offense sometimes they are not. I always feel that I’m walking a fine line as facilitator when this happens.
Not Just an Apology
Recently, I read the headline Apologising to victims will not reduce reoffending rates in a Google news alert. I quickly scanned the article. The author was very critical of restorative justice, questioning the possibility that restorative processes could help lower reoffending rates. In describing the criminal justice system, Mark Johnson says, “The job of the criminal justice system is not to be victim-centric but to be detached, clinical and fair.” He goes on to say, “…how can empowering victims cut reoffending? Only working with offenders can do that.”
As I finished reading his arguments, I had to agree with part of what Johnson said. But, I also realised that some of the criticism has a lot to do with a misunderstanding of restorative justice.