- Showing 5 posts filed under: Region: North America and Caribbean [–], Country:USA [–] published between Jun 01, 2010 and Jun 30, 2010 [Show all]
The population of Vermont has grown only ten percent in the last twenty years, and violent crime in that same period has dropped by thirty percent. But during these same years Vermont's prison population has swelled, and the cost of incarceration has skyrocketed. In these twenty years, Vermont has created more prison beds - and filled them - and still has to send some offenders out of state.
Mexico and New Orleans Learn About Restorative Practices
From the 11 June Restorative Practices E-Forum by Laura Mirsky:
Both Mexico and New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, are experiencing high incidences of crime and violence. To find new ways to deal with this issue, participants from both locations recently attended special four-day immersion events at the IIRP’s Bethlehem campus. An April 26-29 event involved 30 criminal and juvenile justice officials from 10 states in Mexico; a May 11-14 immersion included 15 educators and youth-justice professionals from New Orleans.
Both groups spent two days visiting the IIRP’s model program schools for at-risk youth, operated by Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont), and two days training in restorative practices. The participants were very excited about what they observed and learned, and most are hoping to begin implementing restorative practices when they return home.
The seeds for the Mexicans’ visit were planted when John Bailie, IIRP director of trainers and lecturer at the IIRP Graduate School, presented a paper at the First International Restorative Justice Conference: Humanizing the Approach to Criminal Justice, in Oaxaca, Mexico, in September 2008. Subsequently, Nancy Flemming, coordinator of the alternative justice area of MSI’s (Management Systems International) Programa de Apoyo para el Estado de Derecho en México [Support Program for the Rule of Law in Mexico — PRODERECHO] project, funded by USAID organized the IIRP visit to help immersion attendees find ways to improve their respective states’ criminal justice systems. This undertaking was mandated by a 2006 amendment to the Mexican constitution requiring states to reform their penal codes to make them more effective and more humane — to include oral trials, the right to legal counsel and other legal prerogatives. Many of the immersion participants are involved in this reform process, in a variety of ways.
What happens at the end of the year
It's late May. The last day of school for 2009-10 is about 11 days away. For most of the students, teachers, faculty and staff it couldn't come sooner. For Restorative Justice workers like myself, it can be a difficult time. Due to the cumulative effect of discipline, minor misconduct can result in suspension, often for the rest of the year. Student follow-ups are hard to do because of absences, field trips, and assemblies. Day to day operations take a different tack. I find myself wanting to be part of the whole school effort to end well and I practice being a peaceful presence all the more.
Ex-Chicago Cop on trial for torturing confessions from hundreds of Black Men
....Flint Taylor, an attorney who represented many clients who say they were tortured by Burge, said the next battle is to change the laws regarding torture.
"Well, that's the statute of limitations problem and one of the many unaddressed issues in Chicago. We are very pleased that Burge is being prosecuted, but there is much left to do, and that includes dealing with federal and state statutes, legislation that would make torture a specific crime," said Taylor.
"And since it's a crime against humanity, there would be no statute of limitations, like there is no statute of limitations for genocide or murder. And in that instance, in the future, if there were another Burge or other torture -- another torture ring and it were covered up successfully for many years, then he could still or they could still be prosecuted for torture," Taylor added.
Expert: End zero tolerance policies
An education-law advocacy group said ending zero-tolerance policies in schools as recommended in the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice on Thursday would have benefits far beyond the commission’s goal of preventing a recurrence of the “kids-for-cash” scandal seen in Luzerne County.
“Statistics show that any contact students have with police increases the likelihood of future contacts,” Education Law Center staff attorney David Lapp said. “People have termed it the ‘prison pipeline.’”
Zero tolerance became popular after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado, and former county Juvenile Court judge Mark Ciavarella openly advocated zero tolerance for many students who were brought to his bench. Ciavarella and former county judge Michael Conahan are accused of accepting millions of dollars for actions that benefited a private juvenile detention facility in Pittston Township.