- Showing 10 posts published between Jan 01, 2012 and Jan 31, 2012 [Show all]
How restorative justice can empower victims in serious crimes - two cases of rape
from the post by Jonathan Bartley in Ekklesia:
A frequently repeated myth about restorative justice is that it can’t work for “serious” or “violent crimes”. As restorative practices become more widely available however, this myth is being busted. Its role in shifting the power imbalance around crime towards the victim is becoming increasingly apparent. Its ability to help victims overcome the fear of crime and move on, in a way that more punitive practices often don't, is also being appreciated. Two examples that have been cited recently involve cases of rape.
Young vandals ordered to put Somerset factory damage right
from the article in the Western Gazette:
A gang of youths who broke into a Castle Cary factory have been ordered to make amends by washing site windows and picking up rubbish by a restorative justice panel.
A three-month police campaign which tracked down 14 children involved with causing £1,000 of damage to the Torbay Road factory ended last month.
Editorial: Losing tolerance over zero-tolerance policies
from the Denver Post:
Few events have shaped school discipline policies the way the 1999 Columbine High School massacre has — not just in Colorado but around the nation.
Zero tolerance became a catchphrase for "doing-everything-possible-to-make-sure-this-never-happens-again."
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission adopts a restorative justice approach to human rights disputes
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has changed its procedure for resolving human rights disputes. As of January 1, 2012, the NS HRC has adopted a restorative justice approach that emphasizes the need to reconcile the relationship between complainants and respondents,while reducing the time it takes to resolve a dispute (which the commission notes could have taken up to two years before the recent amendments).
Stalking accused trying to abuse system
A man described by police as "New Zealand's most dangerous stalker" has requested a restorative justice session with his latest alleged victim, though a judge has rejected it as a transparent attempt to "keep in touch".
Controversies around restorative justice
....Restorative justice may be poised for a breakthrough into public awareness. It would be a boon for budget-cutting politicians and taxpayers if only the public could buy into it. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area it costs around $50,000 to run a juvenile offender through the justice system, not counting the cost of incarceration if there is to be any, versus about $4,500 for a restorative process that typically leaves the victim much more satisfied, the young person reintegrated into the community without even being charged with a crime and much less likely to reoffend, and many community members relieved and grateful. Multiply the criminal justice cost many times for adults locked away for years.
Twenty years of restorative justice in New Zealand
from the article by Fred W.M. McElrea in Tikkun:
As I look back over the last twenty years, the following aspects of the family group conference system stand out as being both innovative and of potential value to adult systems as well:
Learning from Rwanda
....How do you mend a country when intimates killed intimates in such tightly knitted communities? How do you do justice when thousands of people were perpetrators and where you only have so much prison space? How do you do it?
Rwanda is doing it through a largely homegrown restorative justice methodology.
The fight room
Today we continue to struggle with other epidemics, such as the widespread persistence of interpersonal violence, structural violence, and violence based in inter-racial and inter-ethnic tensions. Not only is the cost great in terms of lost lives and personal trauma, but considerable resources are also spent on attempts to subdue, redirect, and control the violence. Yet, as in nineteenth-century London, we may continue to make little progress in treating this disease until we are willing to honestly re-examine our deeply held beliefs about its origins.
from the transcript on Religion & Ethics:
POTTER: More than two million Americans are now imprisoned, four times as many as 30 years ago. The major reason: mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes and drug charges. But the war on drugs, declared in the 1980s, has not had the effect its backers predicted. Arkansas Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has seen the results.
JUDGE WENDELL GRIFFEN (Arkansas Circuit Court): Drug use has not declined. All it has done has produced an explosion on our prison population. The whole mandatory sentencing guideline mantra was sort of like the Kool-Aid that we should never have drunk.