- Showing 10 posts published between Feb 01, 2010 and Feb 28, 2010 [Show all]
New Items in the RJ Online Database
New additions to the RJ Online research database over the last week covered several issues related to youth justice, family violence, forgiveness, and victim impact statements.
Core capacities of restorative justice practitioners
In January a small group gathered in Seattle for several days of restorative justice dialogue and we’ve continued the discussion since then by email. (The participants are listed below.) One of the questions raised was what we considered to be the core capacities of effective restorative justice practitioners. Aaron Lyons, a practitioner in Vancouver and a CJP alumnus, took the lead on this discussion and I invited him to contribute a guest blog entry. The following is his contribution.
Hi fellow Howard’s blog enthusiasts -
Recently I’ve been asking, “What are the core capacities, in terms of values, analytical tools, and skills, of an effective restorative justice practitioner?” Below are a few thoughts, shaped by but not necessarily representative of, the discussion among my Seattle mentors. What would you challenge or add to this list?
Getting feedback is awesome, we should give it more often, directly.
NOTE: One of the reasons that Kris' blog is so useful is that she is transparent about her experiences as a facilitator and agency director. In this entry she talks about two kinds of feedback she received recently and how she intends to use both.
At the beginning of Circle, we write a relationship value on paper plates, we place these on the floor in front of us. We make a commitment to honor these values in Circle. If they are good values for our relationships outside of Circle, they are good values for our relationships in Circle.
We do a give and get activity. One person starts by picking a plate and giving it to someone else in Circle. An explanation of how the value was demonstrated and why it was given is part of the activity. Once you get a plate its your turn to give one.
Yesterday I got two plates: LOVE and INTEGRITY. I also got a phone call I was ‘reported’ to a statewide association. Getting the plates and getting the phone call, very different types of feedback, but I am going to accept them both as awesome. Let me try to explain that:
Economic analysis of interventions for young adult offenders
This report summarises an economic analysis of alternative interventions for young adult offenders. It concludes that, for all offenders aged 18-24 sentenced in a Magistrate’s court for a non-violent offence1 in a given year:
- Diversion from community orders to pre-court RJ conferencing schemes (following a police triage service in which police officers make an immediate assessment of the need and likely benefit from a community intervention) is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £275 million (£7,050 per offender). The costs of RJ conferencing are likely to be paid back within the first year of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of over £1 billion.
- Diversion from custody to community orders via changes in sentencing guidelines is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of more than £12 million (£1,032 per offender). The costs of changing sentencing guidelines are likely to be paid back within three years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £33 million.
- Diversion from trial under adult law to trial under juvenile law following maturity assessment is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £5 million (£420 per offender). The costs of maturity assessments are likely to be paid back within five years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £473,000.
Restorative justice and society
by Hans Barendrecht, Martine Cammeraat and Esther Klaassen of Gevangenenzorg Nederland, the Prison Fellowship affiliate in the Netherlands.
....The most important core value of Gevangenenzorg Nederland is the concept of merciful justice. This is an exciting concept that, at first, could seem like a contradiction in terms. It is not justice as contained in criminal law. Our judicial system is based on the principles of legitimacy and proportionality. This means that the punisher is working in accordance with the law and that the punishment is proportional to the offence or the crime. This is justice whereby the law may take its course but no restoration or fresh prospects are put forward.
On the other hand it is not the intention that merciful justice should be thought to be a denial of the existence of guilt and harm. Not at all! If that were to happen justice would lose all meaning. Without guilt there is no injustice and without harm no need for restoration.
What have I done? A victim empathy programme for young people
by Eric Assur
This book is very practice oriented. It looks and feels like a workbook. The accompanying DVD is to help with didactic use with groups of teens. The professionals Wallis acknowledges as having helped him are largely probation or ‘youth offending service’ professionals in the United Kingdom.
The Canadian, Australian, or United States reader immediately notes that the spelling of the Kings Language is of the British or UK variety. Regardless of spelling, this book is a simple, easy to use workbook to guide the skilled and the not-so-well-informed youth services professional who works with teens who have offended.
When culture and restorative justice values collide: Do you have suggestions?
A request for ideas from Dan Savou of Fiji:
I have tried in the past year to use the talking circle in restorative justice practices with my nieces and nephews and also with my siblings but I am posed with a challenge and that is how do I get people to talk when there is a culture of silence.. The problem I have is that in our Fijian culture, ‘silence’ is the norm.
In Western society it is considered rude to look down when someone is speaking to you while in our Fijian culture it is considered a mark of respect. In the Western culture it is considered normal to have both parties engaged in a typical conversation while in the Fijian culture the older or those who have a higher social standing is the one doing most of the talking. In my context, I am the eldest in my family and my father is also the eldest child, so I hope you can understand my predicament. Most of the time I am the only one doing the talking.
This is what one normally has to deal with in Fijian culture and my request to restorative justice practitioners is ‘are there options available which have worked which can bring people out their shells?’
What is justice? State program brings victims and offenders face to face
Martha Early, a middle-aged single mother, and Andrew Papke, the chaplain's assistant, sit silently across from each other in the chapel, their hands clasped tightly across a wooden table. To Early's right sits a stack of pictures of her daughter Beth, killed -- along with her boyfriend, Daniel London -- by a teenage drunken driver in 1996. In front of her sits a well-worn binder bursting with colorful stationery and letters full of memories of Beth; she brought them to share with Andrew. Next to the binder is her Bible.
Early gazes at Papke with a look of calm sadness, while Papke's head hangs solemnly. Seconds turn into minutes, and neither one moves. It seems as if the slightest murmur would send them back to earth, where they will be forced to communicate with words.
Finally, Early squeezes Papke's hand.
"I love you, Andrew," she whispers.
"I love you, too," he answers hoarsely.
Within moments, Papke's arms -- the very same arms that steered a car headlong into Beth Early -- are encircling her mother. After engaging in a brief hug, Martha Early gets ready to begin her three-hour drive back to Austin. Andrew returns to his prison cell at the Walls Unit in Huntsville, where he is serving 40 years for intoxication manslaughter.
Restorative justice: A travelogue
from Ryan Hollon's entry on Dr. Pop Blog:
I was heading to South Africa as part of a restorative justice delegation from the Windy City. Our group brought with it a diverse history of activism, action, and hustling for change.
Some of the delegates were working to transform the disciplinary culture of the public school system, others were community leaders deeply rooted in neighborhood life, several had been working for decades to reform the ways our society responds to domestic violence, and many in the group had dedicated their lives to working with young people to shift power in their communities.
All of us were practitioners of conflict resolution methods like peace circles, and all of us shared a basic belief in the power of groups to come together to address difficult issues, to deal with the conflicting forces in our lives.
PiRi explores restorative sessions
from Sue Klassen's article in the newsletter of Partners in Restorative Initiatives (PiRi):
PiRI is exploring the possible use of Restorative Sessions, based on research conducted by Lorenn Walker in the Pono Kaulike program in Hawaii. This pilot program, which reportedly achieved a nearly 50% drop in recidivism and high satisfaction from participants, combined traditional restorative conferencing procedures with Restorative Sessions, meetings that allow offenders to discuss their situations even when their victims decide against joining in the process.
Like PiRI’s work in the Town Courts, the Pono Kaulike program deals with misdemeanor level cases in which many victims choose not to participate.