- Showing 10 posts published between Jan 01, 2011 and Jan 31, 2011 [Show all]
Guns, restorative justice and violence prevention
by Lisa Rea
After reading It's time to inject sanity into the gun debate by LA TIMES columnist Steve Lopez and pondering the violent events in Tucson, Arizona on January 8th I wondered about restorative justice and gun violence. Some might think there is little or no connection between gun violence and restorative justice but I think they 're wrong. The principles of restorative justice which focus on making things right with crime victims AFTER crimes are committed and embracing offender accountability also must address the need for violence prevention in the front end of the system. To think that those of us who work for restorative justice around the U.S. and globally do not care about preventing violence is wrongheaded. There is a place for a discussion on crime prevention especially when gun violence appears to be on the increase in the U.S. Whether you question that statement or not it is clear that gun ownership is on the rise in the U.S.
According to the online news site Guardian.co.uk (1.12.11), "In the days since the tragedy, gun sales have increased dramatically. According to figures obtained from the FBI by Bloomberg, some 263 handguns were sold in Arizona the day after the killings, a rise of 60% on a year ago. Handgun sales were up 65% to 395 in Ohio and nationally increased by about 5% to 7,906."
Database Abstracts Added in January
Over the last month, we added 61 abstracts to the RJ Online database. Below is a list of the titles with links to the abstracts.
The promise of restorative justice: New approaches for criminal justice and beyond
Reviewed by Martin Wright
It is becoming increasingly clear that the principles of restorative justice can be used, as the editors say, outside the formal criminal justice system, and this book bears witness to that. Half is about criminal justice, and half about other applications in schools and elsewhere. The contributors reflect the book’s origins among a group at Fresno Pacific University in California, but other chapters come from Bulgaria, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
Restorative justice aims to reduce relapsing
....The new Bill will see the creation of a new section within the Probation Services. Its functions would be to draw up a victims’ charter, approved by the ministry, to establish the criteria for mediators’ appointment and to promote mediation between the victims and offenders.
The minister described this move as an ambitious one towards empowering victims and to give them the attention they deserve in the restorative process. Mediation helps victims understand why offences were perpetrated while the offender can take the responsibility of his or her offence.
Reintroduction of the Restorative Justice in Schools Act
from Tom Cavanagh's blog:
Become an supporter of the Restorative Justice in Schools Act. Below is the letter Congressman Steve Cohen sent to his colleagues asking for support for the bill.
We encourage you to cosponsor legislation that promotes providing school personnel (teachers and counselors) with essential training that has the potential to reduce youth incarceration.
Debating restorative justice
reviewed by Martin Wright:
This is the first of a new series of law books, each containing two essays of about 30,000 words on different sides of a current debate. Carolyn Hoyle suggests that there is more talk than action, and some of the action called restorative is actually punitive, such as the community service performed in conspicuous clothes. In her discussion of communitarianism she regards community participation as the presence of supporters and others at a restorative conference, but does not refer to the involvement of independent voluntary-sector mediation services (and admittedly they are thin on the ground). She considers that communitarians go too far in rejecting the state. In her view restorative justice and criminal justice are complementary: courts are necessary if the accused doesn’t admit involvement. This is true; Hoyle does not exclude the use of prison for retribution, but surely in a fully restorative system the courts would impose reparative, not punitive, sanctions. She does not explore whether these should try to be proportionate to the offender’s culpability or the harm suffered by the victim.
Promoting previously unthinkable ways
from the paper by Derek Wilson:
Building a more restorative culture in society is to: build a new practice that works critically and reflectively within existing traditions and institutions; enable people to transgress traditional boundaries and meet; support existing organisations re-envision their role in the light of a new and agreed political dispensation; and set free initiatives that are transformative because of their inclusive structures or the focus of their work.
....An initial question before reading this is “what are we restoring to?”
Rape victim faces her demon
One of the country's most notorious killers has told one of his victims what she has waited nearly 15 years to hear - he raped her.
Hayden Taylor, 35, who is on preventive detention at Paremoremo Prison for the murder of pregnant teenager Nicola Rankin in 1996, has confessed to Amanda Watt that he assaulted her in the months before Rankin died.
The pair met in prison in an emotion-charged restorative justice hearing.
The story is true
Our histories, our identities, our meanings for our lives are understood in and conveyed through our stories. We often experience trauma when those stories are disrupted. The process of transcending trauma requires us to “re-story” our lives. This is true for those who are victimized but it is often true for those who offend as well....
Judicial trials are also about story. [Bruce] Jackson notes in The Story is True that trials are a competition between different ways to frame ambiguous material. They are often more about winning more than about truth; the instrument is the development of a plausible story (p. 123).
Youth justice report claims restorative justice would be more effective than courts
The government is being urged to deal with the majority of young offenders in England and Wales through restorative justice conferences rather than the courts, in a report on youth justice hearings.
The report, called Time For A New Hearing, is based on an international comparison of how young offenders are dealt with and found that restorative justice conferences are more effective than courts in reducing reoffending.