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Stories of Restorative Justice

Read stories and case studies about restorative processes.

Julie and Anthony’s story
from the Restorative Justice Council's Restorative justice in youth offending teams information pack: After Anthony, 15, lost his temper during a game of football and assaulted another boy, he was offered the chance to take part in a restorative justice conference. Here, Anthony and his mum Julie explain how it helped them to move on from the incident and deal with his behaviour. Anthony: I was playing football and there was a lad there called Ben*. He had come out with me and my friends a few times before but I didn't really know him well. During the game I thought that Ben had kicked me but he hadn't really done anything. I got really angry. I just lost it for no reason whatsoever. After the game as he was walking off I chased after him and as he turned around I hit him in the face and cut his eye open. After that I just ran home....
How restorative justice changed a grieving family’s opinion of a hit-and-run driver
from the article by Douglas Quan in Postmedia news: There was no ambiguity in how Coral Forslund felt when the man responsible for her sister’s hit-and-run death was finally sentenced to prison. She “hated him.”.... But nagged by lingering questions — namely, was he remorseful for what he did? — Forslund, of Langley, B.C., reached out to a little-known federal program called Restorative Opportunities that arranges meetings between victims and offenders after sentencing. During their session in a B.C. prison, the offender broke down and Forslund heard him say for the first time that he was sorry.
Hergo: 3 testimonies. Conferencing in Belgium
from the announcement on European Forum for Restorative Justice: In Belgium, Judges of the Juvenile Court can propose a Hergo as a response to serious crimes. During such a conference, the underage offender (and his parents) and the victim, both with their personal supporters, look for redress towards victim and society. The minor also plans what he intends to do to prevent recidivism. A police inspector is present at the meeting. A neutral facilitator has preparatory talks with all parties concerned. He chairs the conference. Afterwards, the Judge ratifies the plan for redress during a session of the Juvenile Court. Every year, about 100 minors and the same amount of victims receive a proposal for a Hergo from one of the Juvenile Judges in Flanders. One in three cases leads to a real conference.
Tania's story
from the article on Restorative Justice Council: When Tania* was robbed on a busy street, her confidence was destroyed. Here, she talks about why she decided to take part in a restorative justice conference with her mugger, and what it gave her back. “I was on my way to the local shops when I felt what I thought was someone bumping into me. It took me a few seconds to realise that someone had grabbed my handbag and I was dragged, screaming, along the pavement. I tried very hard to hold on to it but I couldn’t and the man took off up a side road. It was broad daylight and so there were quite a lot of people around. A lady who had seen everything contacted the police straight away and several people tried to follow the mugger....
'I slept through the night for the first time since she died': The mum who went to prison to meet man responsible for daughter's death
from the article by Cathy Owen in Wales Online: Kate Morgan had struggled to come to terms with the death of her 22-year-old daughter Lona Wyn Jones in a horrific car crash two years ago. The 45-year-old from Dolgellau desperately wanted to visit the driver, Ian Edwards, who was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to dangerous driving. She said she had questions that only he could answer....
Addressing the harm done in a crime
from the article by Bill Pesch in Guampdn-com: ...To this day, nearly 20 years later, recalling these events still makes my blood boil. I have no sense of finality or resolution. Most disturbing, I never learned why the kid chose me to vandalize and I've never received an apology. I feel like the system let me down. These emotions welled up again in me a few weeks ago when I was attending a class in restorative justice at the University of Guam. Dave Afaisen, a counselor at the Department of Youth Affairs, and his son, Sage, were guest speakers. They told us a story very similar to mine.
'Premier League villains' go straight after meeting victims
from the article by Mark Tallentire in The Northern Echo: Durham Police chief constable Mike Barton said between them David Clark and Shaun Morton committed about 500 crimes a year. But after taking part in a restorative justice scheme, both are now drink and drug free and volunteering with other addict criminals.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
from the case report by Mark Creitzman: It was at this point, that Mr Q mentioned that he felt that he would like to be able to forgive R by the end of the meeting and that he had a challenge for R to consider. Mr Q asked R if he was up to a challenge and he nodded ‘Yes’. Mr Q said that if R could prove that he wanted to change the path of his life and made progress in Cookham Wood, that on his exit from the YOI, Mr Q would mentor him and support him through his transition. Mr Q told us that his long-term plan could involve R and himself using the negativity of the offence and turning it in to a ‘power for good’ and delivering sessions to schools, YOIs, colleges or universities.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
Held at Cookham Wood YOI in Rochester on the 15th October 2014 at 11am. From the case report by Mark Creitzman.
How restorative justice is steering young offenders away from crime
from the article by Anna Bawden in The Guardian: In a small workshop on an industrial estate, Jordan Lee Caffyn is putting the finishing touches to a beautifully handcrafted wooden memory box. The box is the culmination of several days' graft that Caffyn, 18, is rightly proud of. But Caffyn is not a trainee joiner. He is at the workshop as part of Surrey's restorative justice scheme following his arrest for criminal damage. Rather than prosecute him, Caffyn was given the opportunity by a panel of police and youth support workers to make amends in the community.
Oklahoma teen acts to right his father's wrong
from the report by Steve Hartman on CBS News: Seventy-eight-year-old Tona Herndon of Bethany, Okla., was vulnerable in every way. Her husband of 60 years had died just two weeks earlier.... She was mugged as she visited her husband's grave. The mugger got away with her purse and $700, but not for long. Police caught him, and the news put his mug shot on TV.
Fatal crash lies lead to home detention
from the article by Anne Clarkson in The Press: Two men who lied to the police after an accident that killed a man were sentenced to home detention in the Christchurch District Court today. Feng Sun, 39, told the police he was the driver of a truck that crashed off the road in the Otira Gorge in April 2012, and Yu Ouyang, 52, who was a witness in a car following the truck, also said Sun was the driver.
Toronto ‘spiceman’ case sent to unique restorative justice program before sentencing
From the Torstar New Service article: Before Naveen Polapady is sentenced for assaulting and throwing spices at a man he says he believed was a thief, he and the man he injured will take the unusual step of talking it out — no lawyers present. Polapady’s case was referred to a “vibrant restorative justice mediation service” at the St. Stephen’s Community House in Kensington Market, Crown attorney John Flaherty told the court Monday morning. It may be a chance for Manuel Belo, who needed six stitches to the head and was covered in welts after the violent altercation three years ago outside Polapady’s restaurant, to get redress for the wrongs done to him, the court heard.
Coronation Street bosses slammed over "completely inaccurate" restorative justice storyline by police
from the article by Rob Leigh in Mirror: Coronation Street has been blasted by police over their restorative justice storyline. The ITV soap recently aired scenes where Gail McIntyre met with Michael Rodwell (played by Les Dennis) in jail after he burgled her house. However, the plot - which has been branded "overly dramatic" and "disgraceful" - put a real-life crime victim off meeting the person who stole her credit card because she was "too scared".
Boulder's new restorative justice partnership
from the article by Bill Ellis in the Daily Camera: Under House Bill 13-1254 the 20-year-old Longmont Community Justice Partnership (LCJP.org ), will be expanded to become the 20th Judicial District's pilot project in Boulder. Boulder will import successful innovation from Longmont. Below is a snapshot of what you can expect.
Video: Inside the Sycamore Tree Project
from Sycamore Voices: In June 2014, six crime survivors talked exclusively about their experiences inside the breakthrough restorative justice program called The Sycamore Tree Project. We share this short video in the hopes that other victims of crime can experience the real life breakthrough that the program offers.
I wanted revenge but found compassion
from the article on Sycamore Voices: When I first heard of restorative practice I thought it was a load of rubbish. I thought that all the offender had to do was say sorry and that was it. So how would you know if they were genuine or not? I have come to realise that it is way more than that. To take part in a restorative practice session takes strength and courage from both sides and is way more than a simple “I’m sorry.” It is restorative on both sides!
Alternative sentence praised
from the article on stuff.co.nz: The hardline Sensible Sentencing Trust has come out in support of a judge's decision not to jail a drink-driver who killed a New Plymouth woman. Hogan Bolton, 31, of New Plymouth, was sentenced on July 4 to nine months' home detention following the death of artist and mother Carmen Rogers after she was hit in Brougham St on May 6. His breath alcohol was 1297mcg. The legal level is 400mcg. As well as making a $50,000 emotional harm reparation to the family he has agreed to appear in an anti-drink driving documentary.
Families of slain Israeli and Palestinian teens turn to each other for comfort
from the article on the Jewish Daily Forward: The families of murdered Israeli teen Naftali Fraenkel and murdered Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir are drawing comfort from an unexpected source: each other.
After assault, woman finds hope and career in restorative justice
from the article on NPR: Lorenn Walker works to help both victims and offenders after crimes are committed. She's a restorative lawyer from the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, where she focuses on violence prevention and works on reentry programs for prisoners. Her work in restorative justice began after a personal encounter with crime, when she was assaulted 38 years ago.

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Restorative Justice Online - Featured Video

A long-time repeat offender describes the impact of meeting with his victims.