Using restorative justice at the pre-sentence stage of the criminal justice process
From the article by Ian Marder on TransConflict:
Restorative justice is a form of conflict resolution in which those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, are brought together into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. The restorative justice movement is making waves in schools, community services, post-conflict societies, criminal justice processes and housing and care settings around the world, and the effectiveness of using restorative practices to resolve conflicts in these contexts is increasingly being recognised, leading to its underpinning in national and international legal frameworks.
Restorative justice can be conducted safely and effectively at all parts of the criminal justice process, but there are certain advantages which are specific to its use at the pre-sentence stage. This includes, for example, its ability to inform the sentencing decisions of magistrates and judges by giving them an additional opportunity to learn about the state of mind, character and level of contrition of the offender, ultimately leading to a better targeted and more responsive use of criminal justice interventions. Moreover, allowing for restorative justice at this point affords those involved in an incident the chance to resolve the conflict themselves with minimal state intervention.
Center for Restorative Justice braces for changes to marijuana law
With the state likely to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana this summer, the local nonprofit that handles court diversion cases is preparing for the changes....
Cipriano said decriminalization is not legalization, a distinction she fears may be lost on some young people as well as adults. Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana who are 21 and over will face a civil fine, but for those between the ages of 16 and 20 the penalty is expected to be similar to an underage drinking offense.
Judge's experience: Restorative justice works
....I would not write this commentary or support restorative justice if I did not see the results firsthand. I have written amazing anecdotal stories about the transformation of some of our youth and the communities, but that is not as relevant as the evidence supporting the success of the program.
Foremost among the statistics drawn from two years of studies of the program is that recidivism for youth that successfully completed the program is 5%. So, of about 300 teens that have gone through the program, 15 went on in subsequent years to either reoffend or violate the terms of their probation.
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus talks restorative justice
....First, could you tell me a little bit about the short course you taught at Grinnell the past two weeks?
The purpose of the course was to introduce students to the principles of restorative justice and their historical roots, to discuss current restorative justice programs and applications of restorative principles and to compare how our country currently addresses conflict and wrongdoing with how we might address those matters using a more restorative approach.
Youth Justice Conferences versus Children’s Court: A comparison of cost-effectiveness
Aim: To compare the cost-effectiveness of Youth Justice Conferences (YJCs) to matters eligible for YJCs but dealt with in the Children’s Court.
Method: The costs for Police, Legal Aid, Children’s Court, Juvenile Justice YJC administration and Juvenile Justice administration of court orders were separately estimated using a combination of top-down and bottom-up costing methods.
These were combined with data from matched samples of young people who were to be dealt with by a YJC and young people who could have been dealt with by a YJC but instead were dealt with in the Children’s Court in 2007 in order to estimate average costs per person for each process.
Victims of Crime Reform Bill to increase RJ referrals
The Victims of Crime Reform Bill will soon return for its second reading in the House. The Bill introduces a package of measures that are aimed at strengthening existing legislation to better provide for the needs of victims of crime.
Of significance for restorative justice providers is the proposal to increase the number of cases referred to restorative justice. This is in recognition of the domestic and international research showing extremely high levels of satisfaction amongst victims who go through the RJ process.
Dalhousie offers restorative justice option for students
from the article on updatednews.ca:
Dalhousie University students who end up in trouble with the law now have a way to try to right the wrong without having to go to court.
The University, police and the province’s Justice Department have set up a restorative justice program just for students of the school. It’s the first program of its kind for university students in Canada.
Restorative justice "is a postcode lottery"
from the article on PublicService.co.uk:
....The report said that restorative justice does offer benefits to victims, offenders and communities and it is being used in all areas of the criminal justice system – but patchy take-up and inconsistent application mean that not all victims, offenders and communities are able to benefit.
Restorative justice is the law
by Dan Van Ness
Heartspeak Productions is a remarkable Canadian group that describes itself as "on a continual quest to learn about & share the principles and best practices of restorative justice." It does this by creating excellent videos exploring dimensions of restoration. Fraser Community Justice Initiatives Association is a community NGO also in Canada that for 25 years has developed programs and training that help people in conflict find good resolutions.
New home for juveniles recruited to drug trade
Freddie knows he is lucky. If he were six months older, he could be in a state prison.
Or he could have been labeled a snitch and treated as such by Mexican cartel operatives.