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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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Circles: Healing through restorative justice

from the article by Laurel J. Felt:

“Who or what inspires you to be your best self?”

This is hardly the question that most Angelenos would ask at 9:30 in the morning on a gray, rainy Saturday. But for the 80+ adults and youth who gathered on March 2 at Mendez Learning Center in Boyle Heights, this introspective query kicked off “Circles,” a rich, daylong exploration of Restorative Justice.

Apr 18, 2014    ,

Restorative justice for everyone: An innovative program and case study from Turners Falls High School in Massachusetts

from the article by David Bulley and Thom Osborne:

Restorative Justice generally exists as an alternative to traditional discipline. In most schools a student who acts out will be referred to the assistant principal or to the dean of students who then makes a determination: Is the student a candidate for restorative justice or should they be disciplined the traditional way of detentions or suspensions? Often this includes a choice by the student. In fact, as part of most restorative conferences, the perpetrator is informed that participation is voluntary and that at any time they can opt out and subject themselves to traditional justice. One problem with this system is that too many students welcome an out of school suspension.

Apr 17, 2014    , , ,

Restorative justice – a third way

from the interview with Chris Marshall:

Crime and punishment—few issues generate more heated debate. How we deal with criminals is a particularly contested area. Should we lock them up and throw away the key? Or should we attempt some kind of rehabilitation?

Apr 16, 2014    ,

Learning respect for a victim’s pain – a powerful speech to prisoners and criminal justice officials

from the article on Sycamore Voices:

When I first began the program I was recovering from a broken right wrist, it was a bad break and extremely painful. In greeting the residents I had to offer my right wrist – these guys have strong handshakes and a couple of times I actually winced in pain.

In order for me to be acquainted with the participants I had to offer something of myself, which hurt. In turn the guys learnt to not shake my hand hard and they developed a respect for my pain. Eight weeks on I can offer my hand without the fear of pain, as there has been a healing process.

Apr 15, 2014    , , , , ,

Victim participation in transitional justice mechanisms: Real power or empty ritual?

from the discussion paper David Taylor:

Since the Nuremberg trials, recourse to transitional justice (TJ) as a response to serious violations of international law has become the norm rather than the exception. Seeking the truth about the past, holding the perpetrators of violence to account, reconciling divided groups and (re)establishing peace are deemed vital for victims, affected communities, and for the future of both state and society. To achieve these goals, institutionalised mechanisms such as truth commissions and criminal tribunals have often been relied upon. And as the practice of TJ has gradually evolved, novel approaches and new principles have been accorded greater importance. Victim participation is one such example, representing both an approach and a principle. 

 

Apr 14, 2014    , , ,

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