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Provides articles discussing restorative justice advancements in the Pacific. Articles appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.

Campbelltown Primary School's justice for all sees grades rise and behaviour improve
from Amy Noonan's article in Adelaide Now: Deputy principal Graeme Shugg said the effect of restorative practices at Campbelltown was immediate. "Teachers reported change within two weeks in their classes," he said. "We empower kids to question and take responsibility for what they've done and repair the harm and allow the victim to have a say. The bottom line is, the people involved in the problem are the best people to solve the problem." Suspensions dropped from 86 in 2003 to just 33 last year. In 2003, students were sent to the principal for discipline 683 times. Last year there were 76 referrals to the office.
Braithwaite, John and Charlesworth, Hilary and Dunn, Leah and Reddy, Peter Damien. Reconciliation and architecture of commitment. Sequencing peace in Bougainville.
It has been a peace that has progressively become more resilient since 1998. The sequential sustaining of the peace has been patient—what Volker Boege (2006) has called a slow-food approach to peacebuilding. One wave of bottom-up reconciliation has built on previous waves, expanding the geographical reach of the peace and the breadth and depth of forgiveness across the society. The architecture of the top-down peace settlement has also been sequenced, with linkages that require one side to meet a commitment before the other side will deliver their next undertaking in an agreed sequence (Regan 2008; Wolfers 2006a). In this architecture, international peacekeepers played an exemplary role in securing the credible commitments. While peacekeepers were rarely hands-on mediators of the indigenous reconciliation, one of their greatest contributions was to initiate conversations between local enemies who were afraid of each other, allowing initial meetings to occur under the peacekeepers’ security umbrella. (excerpt0
New Report Explores Indigenous Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Australia
In September the Indigenous Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management Case Study Project released the report Solid work you mob are doing: Case studies in Indigenous Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management in Australia. The report presents recommendations for improving conflict management work in the Indigenous context drawn from three in-depth case studies and several smaller snap shot studies.
5 amazing things I've heard during the Sycamore Tree Project(R)
by Martin Howard: At first, it sounds like a bizarre social experiment - natural enemies placed together inside a prison to see if they can get along. Men convicted of violent crimes alongside victims of violent crime. Even though the concept has been proven in over 25 countries, people still find it hard to comprehend the Sycamore Tree Project (STP). And it took a long time to convince the prison authorities in Queensland to allow it.
Youth Justice Conferences versus Children’s Court: A comparison of cost-effectiveness
from the article by Andrew Webber in Crime and Justice Bulletin: Aim: To compare the cost-effectiveness of Youth Justice Conferences (YJCs) to matters eligible for YJCs but dealt with in the Children’s Court. Method: The costs for Police, Legal Aid, Children’s Court, Juvenile Justice YJC administration and Juvenile Justice administration of court orders were separately estimated using a combination of top-down and bottom-up costing methods. These were combined with data from matched samples of young people who were to be dealt with by a YJC and young people who could have been dealt with by a YJC but instead were dealt with in the Children’s Court in 2007 in order to estimate average costs per person for each process.
I looked into the killer's eyes
Restorative justice: a way forward with the banks?
from the article by Martin Wright on no-offence.org There are calls to prosecute and imprison individuals, rather than merely fine the companies, but putting them in the dock is expensive and they can often use legal technicalities to avoid it. It does little for the victims over and above the compensation which the bank is paying anyway. So what can be done?
New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases: 2008 and 2009 – A Summary.
Restorative justice is a process for resolving crime that focuses on redressing the harm done to victims, while holding offenders to account and engaging the community in the resolution of conflict. It does this primarily through a meeting between the victim and the offender called a restorative justice conference.The aim of this study was to determine whether restorative justice conferences led to reduced reoffending. It is based on data for offenders completing conferences in 2008 and 2009 compared with a similar group of offenders who did not receive restorative justice. The principal finding of the report is that restorative justice had a statistically significant impact on reducing the proportion of people reoffending, and for those who did reoffend, there is an indication of a reduction in the frequency of reoffending and a lower rate of imprisonment. (Excerpt).
Marshall, Jayne. Port Lincoln Aboriginal Conference Pilot: Review Report.
The Port Lincoln Aboriginal Adult Conference Pilot commenced in September 2007, with the first conference and sentencing hearing held in November 2007. Under the Port Lincoln conference model, Aboriginal defendants who reside in Port Lincoln, have family connections to the local community and who plead guilty are eligible to attend a conference prior to the sentencing hearing. Conferences are facilitated by a Conferencing Coordinator and an Aboriginal Justice Coordinator and involve a Police Prosecutor, defendant(s), victim(s) defendant and victim supporters and respected members of a local Aboriginal community. Using non-adversarial methods, the meeting provides an opportunity to acknowledge the harm done to the victim and to contribute to the development of responses to the offending behaviour. A report of the conference is then provided to the Magistrate to assist in determining an appropriate sentence. (excerpt)
Can’t we just talk this over peacefully?
from the article by Anjana Ahuja in The Telegraph: When one of the Enga commits murder, he must answer to tribal law. Given that this is Papua New Guinea, and that the Enga set great store by the maxim “Do unto others as they do to you”, you might expect that law to involve swift and lethal retribution. Yet for the past seven years, an experiment has been taking place here that could change that perception. Instead of summary justice, there has been an airing of grievances, a public show of remorse – and the lavish consignment of live pigs to the victim’s family.
A justice that reconciles -- new study guide from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People. Inquiry into Restorative Justice Principles in Youth Settings: Submission
Stephanie Key, Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education, Minister for Youth, and Minister for Status of Women, goes into extensive detail about juvenile justice in South Australia.
Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People. Beyond the ritual - “What if we can’t have a conference?
This submission will describe the implicit nature of much of the restorative justice discourse and place this within a context of the general impoverishment of much of the practice within the community services sector. It will then explore the progression towards explicit practice, its definition, the elements of Affective Practice and draw on a number of case studies which illustrate the opportunities created through the explicit sharing of the theories and practice with individuals, families, teachers and students. In conclusion it will address each of the terms of reference and provide some recommendations for the Committee. (excerpt)
Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People. Inquiry into Restorative Justice Principles in Youth Settings: Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Youth Coalition of the ACT is the peak youth affairs body in the Australian Capital Territory and is responsible for representing the interests of people aged between 12 and 25 years of age and those who work with them. The Youth Coalition works to actively promote the well being and aspirations of young people in the ACT with particular respect to their political, cultural, economic and social development... For the purposes of this submission, the Youth Coalition consulted with a range of school personnel, including student welfare officers; alternative education providers; and youth and other community services. We also drew upon previous Youth Coalition consultations, including one involving young people affected by homelessness, and one involving young carers. (excerpt)
Standing Committee on Education, Training and Young People. Inquiry Into Restorative Practices in Youth Settings: Menslink
Incorporated in 2002, Men’s Link is a dynamic, not for profit community organisation that promotes the value, well-being and social participation of men, in particular young men, by providing appropriate and professional services with outreach activities. In practical terms Men’s Link was formed because of particular needs arising in our community that required a specialised community service that was good at engaging young men. (excerpt)
New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases: 2008 and 2009.
Restorative justice is a process for resolving crime that focuses on redressing the harm done to victims, while holding offenders to account. In the New Zealand criminal justice system, restorative justice is primarily delivered through a meeting between the victim and the offender called a restorative justice conference. Currently, the Ministry of Justice provides funding for about 1,500 conferences per year. The main objective of this study is to determine whether offenders who participated in restorative justice conferences in both 2008 and 2009 had a reduced rate of reoffending compared with a similar group of offenders who did not take part in restorative justice conferences. (Excerpt).
Proposed "three strikes" legislation in New Zealand
from the May 2010 newsletter of Rethinking Crime and Punishment: In recent months, the three strikes legislation has created concern across the political and ideological spectrum. The Maxim Institute, sponsored a speaking tour by Professor Warren Brookbanks and Senior Lecturer Richard Ekins of Auckland University. They also published an excellent report setting out the facts about the three strikes legislation. ....Brookbanks and Ekins report “Criminal Injustice and the Three Strikes Law” considers the legislation is both wrong and unjust for the following reasons:
Bouhours, Brigitte and Daly, Kathleen. Youth Sex Offenders in Court: An Analysis of Judicial Sentencing Remarks
This paper builds on an archival study of 385 sexual offence cases, which were disposed in court and by conference and formal caution, in South Australia from 1995 to 2001. Drawing on the transcripts of 55 cases sentenced by judges (i.e., the most legally serious offences), we analyse sentencing discourses and outcomes using both the explicit and latent content of the sentencing remarks. Specifically, we explore the judges’ orientations and aims when sentencing adolescent sex offenders, how judges reconcile the seriousness of offending and the youthfulness of offenders, and how they balance the competing interests of victims and offenders. (author's abstract)
Stalking accused trying to abuse system
from Ian Steward's article on Stuff.co.nz: 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".
Kim Workman: Communities of Restoration – Thinking Biblically, Speaking Secularly
For more than five years, Prison Fellowship New Zealand has run a 60 bed faith based unit at Rimutaka Prison, near Wellington. He Korowai Whakapono (HWK) is a 60 bed unit based at run in a partnership agreement between Prison Fellowship NZ (who provide the programmes staff, programmes and volunteers), and the Department of Corrections, (who provide the facilities and custodial staff.) It is a Christ-centred, transformational approach, based on a programme of spiritual teaching and prayer, with an emphasis on mutual accountability, and positive social engagement. Prisoners serving their last two years of a sentence can volunteer for the programme, which lasts around 18 months. Eight months before release, prisoners are matched with a mentor who will prepare them for release, and continue to mentor them for up to two years following release.

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