Restorative justice and the rebirth of Chicago
From the article by Robert Koehler on Huffington Post:
This is the context in which restorative justice is emerging as a social force. This is not a government program. Elements of government are catching on and embracing RJ, but this is a social force as deeply grass-roots and fundamental as the civil rights movement. It's a movement based on healing and connecting and, as such, shifts our way of thinking from dominating and punishing -- and thus creating -- "enemies" to respecting all people, listening to them and seeking solutions to conflict that satisfy everyone's needs. At its core, RJ reclaims the tribal circle. We call it a peace circle: Every participant is equal and valued and safe to speak his or her truth in the peace circle. Amazing things can happen.
The vision to interlace Chicago with RJ hubs is, ultimately, a vision to create, rather than impose, peace. It's the opposite of the fear-based, every-man-for-himself culture that's been gnawing at our soul, and eating our young, for far too long.
One facet of the Restorative Justice Hubs movement is "recognizing that violence causes trauma and trauma causes violence; hurt people hurt people." We know this, of course, but not at the levels where power and money congregate and big decisions are made. At those levels, all we get is more of the same. Something has to jolt our world out of its commitment to war and violence, at the cost of our children....
Read the whole article.