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Pono Kaulike: Reducing Violence with Restorative Justice and Solution-Focused Approaches.

Walker, Lorenn
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Federal Probation 73(1):23-27.

As the Pono Kaulike pilot program developed, it became apparent that there was a need for other restorative interventions that did not require face-to-face meetings between all of the involved parties. It was additionally discovered that the facilitators could apply solution-focused brief therapy language skills with better outcomes for participants. As a result, Pono Kaulike developed three distinct facilitated restorative justice processes using the solution-focused brief therapy approach, which has been used successfully with incarcerated people (Walker, 2008). Restorative conferences are for victims, offenders and their respective supporters; restorative dialogues are for victims and offenders together without supporters; and restorative sessions are for individual victims and offenders who meet separately and are encouraged to bring supporters, but are not required to do so.

The key goals of Pono Kaulike’s three processes are to help people hurt by crime to heal and to decrease repeat criminal activity. Restorative justice assumes that most people who have hurt others and who have been hurt have the capacity to address what they and what others may need to heal (Zehr, 1995). Research shows that restorative processes increase participant satisfaction and rehabilitation more than prison and punishment for many types of crimes (Sherman & Strang, 2007; Shapland et al, 2008). By giving people a voice and the opportunity to consider what they and others need to deal with the consequences of crime, they are given the opportunity to learn and to improve their lives (Walker, 2000). (excerpt)


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