- Showing 10 posts filed under: Policy [–] published between Dec 01, 2009 and Dec 31, 2009 [Show all]
Response to the (UK) Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
Note: The Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour was formed in the UK to seek:
...ways to reduce the damage that children and young people who take part in antisocial and criminal acts can cause to victims, to neighbourhoods and to themselves. In inviting views on how this should be done, we acknowledge the emotional and social harm as well as the financial costs that can result from such behaviour.
We are looking for ways of responding to youth crime and antisocial behaviour that are more clearly principled, as well as fair, humane and more cost-effective than those presently in place. We anticipate that such a system would not only meet the needs of children, families and the wider community more effectively, but also – through its grounding in agreed principles – prove politically sustainable.
Here are portions of Dr. Martin Wright's comments on a consultation paper released by the Commission for discussion. The full document is available below.
Short prison sentences for young 'should be axed'
All short-term prison sentences for young adults convicted of non-violent offences should be abolished, a charity has said.
The Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance made the call as it launched a report on young adults and the criminal justice system.
The report says thousands of vulnerable young adults with mental health problems, learning difficulties, drug and alcohol addictions, and backgrounds in homelessness and care, are being funnelled unnecessarily into the criminal justice system.
The T2A Alliance argues the majority could use support services in the community before they have to enter the criminal justice system and, if sentencing is appropriate, they should be given community sentences.
'Solution circle' starts healing at Boulder's Justice High
Six Justice High students on Wednesday faced one another, their families and the poor choices that landed some of them in the hospital two weeks ago.
The students, who got in trouble Dec. 2 for overdosing on prescription drugs while at school, were participating in one of Justice High's first restorative justice "solution circles."
The idea behind the circles is for students who get into trouble to discuss their behavior with their parents, peers, teachers and counselors and come up with solutions other than court-ordered punishments. Administrators at Justice High, a Boulder charter school for troubled teens, say the goal is to address problem behavior before it becomes more serious.
Restorative justice could cut 'reoffending and save €8.3m'
The government should introduce a restorative justice scheme by 2015 that is capable of handling up to 7,250 criminal cases every year, a new report has commended.
The scheme, which typically allows offenders to provide some form of reparation to victims rather than serve time in prison, could save the exchequer up to €8.3 million per year. It could also cut reoffending rates in half, according to the report to be published [17 Dec] by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern.
Compiled by the National Commission on Restorative Justice, it recommends that courts be required to consider restorative justice as an alternative to prison for offences where sentences of up to three years in jail are normal.
Rethinking school discipline
Classroom learning is a delicate balance between teacher and student -- a balance of discipline and nurturing that shelters students from the chaos of the outside world and replaces it with structure and inspiration to help focus on building their minds. But the recently published analysis by the Associated Press on in-school disciplinary actions in Illinois reveals that the disciplinary side of education is often too heavy-handed, sweeping away not just troublemakers but potentially successful students, too. These bleak findings show that while African American students make up 20% of the average student population in the past decade, they comprise nearly half of all public school suspensions and expulsions.
ZAMBIA: Justice delayed becoming justice denied
Harry Mubita was tired of his wretched condition in prison. He had been in Lusaka Central Prison for more than a year, and still there was no sign that his theft case would be heard.
Mubita, a tailor, accepted money from a woman who wanted him to make her a traditional dress known as the Chitenge Outfit – a long skirt and an intricately cut and sewn top, with a matching wrap-around and head-scarf. All made from a single length of material.
But he failed to deliver.
Mubita also did not refund the ZMK70,000 (about 14.40 dollars) payment, or return the six metres of cotton print. The aggrieved woman told the police, and two constables armed with AK-47 rifles arrested Mubita at his Kaunda Square Market shop. Mubita's case is not unusual.
Restorative justice practices will help us get at the roots
In my time in the District, I've seen clashes between students who come from very different backgrounds. I've also been a part of facilitating cross-cultural dialogues that were incredibly transformative for students and the school community, helping students break stereotypes they held about people of other races and ethnicities, and preventing inter-racial conflict and violence.
The recent attacks on Asian American students at South Philadelphia High School stand as a clear message that a tension exists between students of different backgrounds.
And our response as a District will show what our values are.
The need for a new kind of justice in youth crime
As the two leading providers of restorative justice for youth in Sonoma County — Restorative Resources and RECOURSE Mediation Services — we know what works when dealing with youthful offenders, and why. The restorative justice practices used by our non-profit agencies are firmly focused on repairing harm done to people and relationships, rather than imposing a punishment disconnected from the needs of those harmed. Restorative justice gives victims a voice in how they want things to be “made right.”
The evidence shows that in communities, including school communities, restorative practices build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision-making. When there is wrongdoing, everyone affected by the behavior gets to play an active role in addressing the wrong and making things right. This goes far beyond punishment; it makes real, positive change possible.
Platforms for a restorative society in Northern Ireland
Reconciliation has been an important concept in building relationships and structures in Northern Ireland that lessen the harm done to people in the midst of conflict. It is also an important concept in the language of Track One, Two and Three conflict transformation strategies.
Central to reconciliation is the promotion of right relationships and the securing of agreements and structural arrangements that build a new acknowledgement and respect between those seen as ‘different others’. Such work seeks to right previous imbalances and wrongs. Important elements of that agenda in Northern Ireland include the drive for legal remedies and new laws on equality, good relations, human rights, harassment and hate crime, and the exploration of how the past is acknowledged and how victims are respected and remembered.
As a transcending idea, reconciliation continually challenges current ways of living with different and previously estranged others. However, it is a concept that many men and women have difficulty applying to their own actions. There is a tendency to see it as an activity for others in important positions, rather than as something all citizens must contribute to as part of their daily endeavours.
Revise laws to lower prison costs, keep everyone safer
Michigan has more than an economic crisis -- we have a crime crisis, too. And we won't be able to solve the overall budget shortfall without making significant cuts in the corrections budget. Our current criminal justice system is costing us over a billion dollars a year, far more than our neighboring states are spending. Yet despite this huge expense for corrections, our communities are still plagued by crime.
Here are a few troubling facts:
- Michigan's violent crime rate is higher than all other states in the Great Lakes region.
- Corrections is the third most expensive item in Michigan's budget, with only health care and education costing more.
- The Michigan Department of Corrections employs one out of every three state workers....
But we have good news....