- Showing 10 posts published between Mar 01, 2010 and Mar 31, 2010 [Show all]
Death row lets victims' families down
Most debates about the criminal justice system and restorative justice are criticised for not focusing enough on the impact that violence has on victims and their families. Those objections multiply tenfold when the issue at hand is capital punishment: bring up the subject and many death penalty supporters will say that executions are the only way to meet survivors' needs for justice and closure, and that to oppose capital punishment is to be anti-victim. "What if it was your own son or mother?" they ask. "Wouldn't you want the perpetrator die at the hands of our justice system?"
As it turns out, the truth is rather different. During last week's fourth world congress against death penalty in Geneva, the voices of murder victims' families painted a picture seldom seen in the media. For a variety of reasons, a growing number of families do not support capital punishment. However, all families face decades of legal appeals over the execution of the perpetrator – a truly agonising wait for anyone seeking closure.
New payback justice: Both sides of the fence
Ruth Edmunds and Peter Woolf have been on either side of the Restorative Justice programme – and both believe it works.
Ruth decided to meet a teenage boy who was in a gang of three vandals that wrecked a Scout hut in Poynton, Cheshire, where she worked as a volunteer.
Peter's life changed for ever when he met the man he attacked and left bleeding during a burglary. Seven years on, he hasn't reoffended.
Kitchener seniors’ programs get federal funding
from the article in The Record.com:
The Alzheimer Society and Community Justice Initiatives were awarded federal funding for two seniors’ programs.
The Alzheimer Society of Kitchener Waterloo got more than $18,000 for their Memory Fit program, which is a community based recreational program for seniors in the early stage of dementia and their care partners for peer support and social interaction.
Mar 11, 2010 Practice
Restorative justice stops fights, keeps kids in schools
Juan Salazar used to be one of those students who got into trouble for fighting at North High School. Now he uses words instead of fists.
"If someone bumped into me, I started saying something," Salazar, a senior, said. "It always led to a fight."
It also always led to a suspension.
Knife robber meets victim
from the article in Lancaster Guardian:
A woman who was robbed at knifepoint visited her teenage attacker in prison to receive an apology from him as part of a restorative justice project.
Police offered Zoe Harrison the chance to meet Arron Burns, 18, at Lancaster Farms, to help her bring closure to her ordeal.
Dispute Resolution Foundation gets $34 million injection from EU
from the Jamaica Information Service:
The work of the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) has been bolstered by a J$34 million injection from the European Union for a project dubbed 'We Want Justice'.
The project, which aims to advance democratic rights, through the promotion of alternative dispute resolution, was launched Thursday (March 4), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston. It aims to carry out its mandate through mediation, arbitration and restorative justice practices.
Can restorative justice become too routine?
I feel a little strange asking this question, especially considering the work of advocates to see restorative justice become more wide spread. But, this is something that I’ve been pondering for a while and even more after seeing a brief news item about a defendant being referred to a pre-sentence restorative process for a “careless driving causing death” charge. The news item is short and I don’t know all the issues surrounding the case, but it gave me pause since the victim who died was the son of the defendant.
I began asking questions about who the victim would be in such a case. As the news item says, the defendant and her family all have to deal with the reality of the loss. While I can see some definite benefits for this family of coming together to discuss the incident and its affects on each of their lives, I also feel for this mother who is “offender” and “victim” at the same time. It just seems that the process will have to be different to respond to the needs of participants.
The real question is, "What's the purpose of the restorative encounter?"
Locking up non-violent youths costs millions and does little to reduce crime
Whilst much of our work focuses on unnecessary imprisonment, we also champion alternatives to custody which have the potential to offer young people, and the communities they come from, a better deal. This is where restorative justice, a way of resolving conflict and repairing harm by bringing the offender and the victim together through closely managed ‘conferences’ or meetings, comes in.
The case for restorative justice, or restorative approaches as it is also known, has been building on the ground for some time now, with many schools and residential children's homes around the country using restorative practices to great effect as an alternative to traditional forms of punishment and conflict resolution.
Why is criminal justice only partially privatized?
Ric Simmons has written an article that makes sense of two long-term trends in the privatizing of criminal justice. He links a growing body of legal scholarship about private policing to an enormous academic literature on restorative justice, and reframes them both as part of a long-term trend toward co-existing public and private systems for delivery of criminal justice.
Simmons begins this enterprise by describing the enormous growth of private law enforcement in the United States over the last few decades....
The second major component of this article is a review of the far-flung literature on “restorative justice,” a method of responding to crimes that emphasizes the experience of the crime victim, both during the adjudication of the charge and in the selection and execution of the punishment. After summarizing the diverse literature on this topic (drawn from criminology, psychology, and other disciplines) Simmons moves to the heart of his project: he draws out the connections between these two phenomena.
New Items in the RJ Online Database
New additions to the RJ Online research database over the last week covered several issues related to indigenous courts, work in Northern Ireland, paramilitary demobilisation, incarcerated youth, victim support and evaluation.