Play teaches community about restorative justice
from the article by Jodi Schellenberg for Prince Albert Daily Herald:
....Theatre on the Beat, an Ontario-based group will put on the play, called Forgiven/Forgotten, in conjunction with the Mennonite Central Committee.
“It is a play that deals with an inmate who is coming out of jail and the community is in turmoil because of it,” said Ryan Siemens, reverend at Grace Mennonite Church. “It asks questions on how can we best deal or integrate an inmate in the healthiest way.”
Siemens is the chair of two restorative justice committees -- Person to Person and Circles of Support and Accountability. Person to Person is a prison visitation program the Mennonite Church has been involved with for 38 years and Circles of Support works with high-risk offenders who have been released back into society.
“We find that these ex-inmates when they have a group that holds them accountable -- a community around them -- most of them do not recommit,” Siemens said.
....He said restorative justice is an important subject for people to learn more about.
“(It is) especially for Prince Albert being a prison town and the fact that a lot of released guys do stay here, are there better ways we can integrate them into society,” Siemens said.
He hopes the play will help raise questions and help eliminate some of the prejudice communities have against former inmates since 95 per cent of all inmates are eventually released from prison.
Read the whole article.