- Showing 3 posts filed under: Politics [–] published between Jan 01, 2012 and Jan 31, 2012 [Show all]
Controversies around restorative justice
....Restorative justice may be poised for a breakthrough into public awareness. It would be a boon for budget-cutting politicians and taxpayers if only the public could buy into it. For example, in the San Francisco Bay Area it costs around $50,000 to run a juvenile offender through the justice system, not counting the cost of incarceration if there is to be any, versus about $4,500 for a restorative process that typically leaves the victim much more satisfied, the young person reintegrated into the community without even being charged with a crime and much less likely to reoffend, and many community members relieved and grateful. Multiply the criminal justice cost many times for adults locked away for years.
from the transcript on Religion & Ethics:
POTTER: More than two million Americans are now imprisoned, four times as many as 30 years ago. The major reason: mandatory sentencing for non-violent crimes and drug charges. But the war on drugs, declared in the 1980s, has not had the effect its backers predicted. Arkansas Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen has seen the results.
JUDGE WENDELL GRIFFEN (Arkansas Circuit Court): Drug use has not declined. All it has done has produced an explosion on our prison population. The whole mandatory sentencing guideline mantra was sort of like the Kool-Aid that we should never have drunk.
This is restorative justice. And it works.
Strathclyde police deserve heavy praise. Not only have they curbed gang violence (see this Guardian piece from yesterday) they have persuaded a Tory (led) government of the merits of restorative justice.
In the wake of the summer riots Cameron pointed to the success of Strathclyde police in dealing with gang violence: “I want us to use the record of success against gangs some cities like Boston in the USA and indeed the Strathclyde police in Scotland – who have done this by engaging the Police, the voluntary sector and local government. I want this to be a national priority”(full text here)