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Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results can be transformational.

To see how this approach is changing all aspects of criminal justice, visit the rooms above, the map to the right and the blog below.

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Witnessing change

from the article posted by Prison Fellowship England & Wales:

Rachel*, a Sycamore Tree volunteer, told us of how listening to a victim’s experiences had completely changed the attitude and behavior of an offender.

“Tyrone* was an offender that stood out to me. I remember him saying:

“In my past life I was a taker. I was robbing banks, shooting people, drinking, being involved in adultery, blasphemy and coveting my neighbour’s women. My sinning was prolific and I enjoyed it, I actually revelled in it.”

Jul 21, 2014    , , ,

20 essential principles for corrections-based victim services

from the document prepared by Developed by the NAVSPIC VOD National Standards Subcommittee:

1. A confidential post-conviction facilitated process initiated only by crime victims/survivors, sometimes many years after the conviction of the offender(s). 

  • Victims/Survivors usually initiate a request for VOD a number of years after the conviction primarily because: 
    • They want to tell certain facts and feelings to the offender(s) convicted in the crime(s) against them. 
    • They want to ask certain questions of the offender(s). 
  • Survivors see VOD as a way to make meaning or sense of what happened to them, but only when the courageous choice to initiate the request lies with them, not the offender. 
  • Experience has shown that survivors may feel that offender-initiated requests to meet and talk, or to apologize, can be intrusive, re-traumatizing, and contain risk of inappropriate self-interest. 
 

Jul 18, 2014    ,

Restorative justice: Coming face-to-face with your burglar

from the article in the Western Daily Press:

As Coronation Street fans wait to find out if unlucky-in-love Gail McIntyre’s friendship with the man who burgled her house, Michael Rodwell, played by Les Dennis, turns to romance, restorative justice has been thrust into the spotlight. Jon Collins, chief executive of the The Restorative Justice Council,  describes how it works in real life.

"Being able to say the things I wasn't able to say in court was a turning point for me. It gave me the closure I needed to put it behind me and move on."

Jul 17, 2014   

Another road to justice

from the article in Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

The group of men listens, mesmerized, as Lynn BeBeau talks about the last time she saw her husband alive.

"I told him the same thing I always did: `I love you. Be careful.' "

Her husband grinned back.

"Honey, don't worry about me. Me and God are like this." He held up two crossed fingers and smiled.

Hours later, the Eau Claire police officer was shot to death in the line of duty.

The hulking men in prison greens sit perfectly still as BeBeau fights back tears. They are murderers, armed robbers, drug dealers, child molesters.

Jul 16, 2014    , , , ,

Breaking a vicious cycle [Editorial]

from the article in the Baltimore Sun:

For far too many young people who get caught up in the criminal justice system, an arrest or conviction for even a minor, non-violent offense can become a one-way ticket to a shrunken future that slams the door on opportunities for the rest of their lives. Being arrested as a teen increases a person's chances of being arrested again as an adult, and teenagers sentenced to jail are more likely to be incarcerated later in life as well. Add to that the nation's harsh drug laws and stiff mandatory minimum sentencing policies and it's no wonder America locks up more of its citizens than any other country in the world.

Jul 15, 2014    , ,

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