- Showing 3 posts filed under: Offender [–] published between Jul 01, 2011 and Jul 31, 2011 [Show all]
After the crime: the power of restorative justice. Dialogues between victims and violent offenders
Violence, rape, murder and other abusive crimes: not usually pleasant subjects to read about, yet Susan Miller's book left this reader with a positive feeling. This is largely due to Miller herself, who presents the information in a straightforward, sympathetic but non-judgemental way; to Kim Book, who started the organization Victims' Voices Heard after her daughter was murdered; and to the participants themselves. Not all victims felt able to forgive, and this should not be a criterion for 'success'; but they followed the Amish precept: don't balance hurt with hate. Not all offenders accepted full responsibility. Miller divides restorative justice into diversion, taking the place of the criminal justice process for relatively minor cases, and 'therapeutic' RJ, where the offender is already in custody or has served a prison term. These cases are all in the latter category.
Colorado mother wishes for meeting with son's killers
The 3-year-old boy affectionately known as "Biscuit" was sleeping in the back of a parked old Cadillac when the shooting began.
Fourteen bullets hit the car in the drive-by shooting outside a northeast Denver duplex. Biscuit was shot in the head and died. His brother, Calvin, four days shy of his 7th birthday, and a teenage cousin were unhurt.
Sharletta Evans — mother of Biscuit, or Casson Xavier Evans — came to forgive the gunmen, who were 15 and 16 years old at the time of the Dec. 21, 1995, shooting. But it took years for her to decide she wanted to meet them in prison, hoping for closure.
A new Colorado law encourages the state Department of Corrections to facilitate such reconciliation meetings. Yet it's a process that requires they be safe and don't backfire on victims. And prison officials say there's simply no money to make it happen in the near future.
New Zealand: Rethinking contributes to Circles of Support and Accountability
Developed by a Mennonite community in Canada in the 1990's, COSA are groups of volunteers from the community into which the offender is released. They meet with a sex offender regularly, provide support for their reintegration and at the same time, hold them accountable for their actions. The volunteers receive extensive training and are fully informed of the offender's history, patterns of offending and the thoughts and behaviours that are likely to signal regression. The Circles begin working with the offender before they are released and are headed by a Circle Coordinator who is connected to other relevant agencies and professionals (e.g. probations, the police and clinicians) calling upon their support and advice as required.