Offenders' work is praised
HMP Hewell staff and two prisoners worked alongside students from the Forge Short Stay School on Easemore Road to create a flower bed as part of the programme which sees offenders putting something back into society.
Headteacher Roger Satterthwaite said it had been a very important partnership for them with a beneficial impact on the school.
Memorial plaque to victims of IRA bombing in Warrington is back on Bridge Street
from the article on This Is Cheshire:
A plaque put up to mark the Warrington bombings has been returned to the River of Life memorial on Bridge Street.
The plaque, which was damaged and stolen earlier in the year, has been recovered and returned.
It forms part of the River of Life which remembers the victims of the IRA bombings in 1993.
Sweeping to say 'I'm sorry'
from the article in the North Devon Journal:
....Dylan, who works as a butcher at Turton's in the High Street, said: "We were bored so we went and stood on the boat and pretended to be fishermen for a laugh.
"I don't know why we cut the ropes but we soon started floating out into the harbour so we jumped off and walked away.
"At the time it didn't occur to me how dangerous it was and what the implications could have been.
Littlehey inmates refurbish bicycles in 'payback' scheme
from the article on BBC News Cambridgeshire:
Inmates from HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire have been refurbishing run-down bicycles recovered by police, before they are donated to charities.
Chief Constable Simon Parr said the scheme was part of a "restorative justice agenda" enabling prisoners to provide a community service.
Baltimore's oldest black cemetery finally restored, with help of inmates
....After decades of neglect, interrupted occasionally by well-meaning but ultimately fruitless cleanup efforts, the cemetery in South Baltimore was officially rededicated Monday, due in large part to the labors of an unlikely group: state prison inmates.
As part of a program to put those serving time to work on meaningful projects, more than 40 prisoners have worked on the four-year effort to transform the cemetery's 34 acres.
Cause – Restorative justice can be fun!
The morning began standing in a circle with about 15 grimacing faces with heads hanging low to the ground. Interspersed among these glum beings were about five overly positive adult volunteers excited to get an early 8 am start in the garden. What a combination of folks; those who were forced to be here by their probation officers and those who were volunteering their precious time to offer growing food as an alternative to picking up trash, so these, seemingly ungrateful, teenagers could earn mandated community service hours.
May 31, 2012 Community Service
Helping the community, building connections
Recently, we shared the article “Give prisoners the chance to help the community” by Erwin James in which he describes prison as consisting of “enforced idleness” and working to “create model prisoners instead of model citizens.” Erwin describes the benefits of programmes allowing prisoners to do something for the community. Referring to his own participation in a Braille unit when incarcerated for murder, he says, “...it was the first time in our lives that we had experienced the satisfaction that can be gained from helping other people.”
I thought about Erwin’s article as I read about prisoners making trauma bears in the Australian state of Victoria. The programme – a partnership between Prison Fellowship Australia and the prisons – teaches prisoners how to sew and stuff the soft toys that are used by emergency service personnel to comfort children in trauma situations. The prisoners may also pay for the materials to make a soft toy for a loved one. Programme volunteers describe the paradox of watching the men who have caused harm work to create the soft toys. As described in the article, “Masculine hands clenched tight ready to harm or reaching out to thieve and finally bound for prison now develop something creative and productive that brings joy to traumatised children and their loved ones.”
Martin Luther King and making amends
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
This quote by King is helping recovering drug addicts find the wisdom behind restorative justice in the Brooklyn courts.
“Martin Luther King Day has really become a day of volunteer work, and encouraging people to do volunteer work,” said Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jo Ann Ferdinand, supervising judge of Brooklyn Treatment Court (BTC).
Nonviolent drug-offenders and criminal defendants in the BTC receive lesser sentences for successful completion of treatment and courses. Besides basic drug rehabilitation, the BTC mandates that the drug offenders volunteer their time and “give back to the community” that they harmed.
HMP Hewell wins accolades at Malvern Autumn Show
from the article in Bromsprove Advertiser:
A Malvern horticultural show was awash with autumnal golds recently as judges registered their approval of HMP Hewell, which was awarded ‘Best in Show’ for its edible garden.
Prisoners at HMP Hewell produced a show garden to illustrate both the negative and the positive aspects of life behind bars, and the real benefits of Restorative Justice Programmes by creating a productive vegetable plot for this year’s Malvern Autumn Show on September 25 and 26.
Dec 31, 2010 Community Service
Giving time instead of doing time, offenders save the city $65,000
A 90-foot mural painted by Seattle Community Court defendants on a cement wall beside the Lake City Community Center was dedicated last Friday (Oct. 15). Now a gray expanse that had been a frequent target of graffiti has become a bright, stylized depiction of salmon rollicking in a stream past familiar Seattle city landmarks, cedar trees, and a winsome bear.