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Victims of crime: Meeting with a killer

August 12, 2009

….When I was on the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, I had the
opportunity to educate myself about the criminal justice system.  I
took advantage of that opportunity and turned a part-time unpaid
position into a full-time unpaid position.  I spent six years studying
prisons, probation and parole in a very hands-on way.  I went to
conferences and sat in endless workshops; I visited most of the prisons
here in Texas and talked to everyone I could; I got involved in sex
offender treatment issues and began to understand more about what works
and what doesn’t work in treatment of sex offenders.  I spent a lot of
time learning about probation and parole as well and, in summary, I
became a very educated board member.

However, I found myself
searching for something more, but I had no idea what that was.  When I
toured my first prison, I remember standing in front of one of those
tiny cells for two and thinking, “Well, this is definitely punishment,
but what kind of person will we be putting back into our community?”
The answer came to me when I heard a speech about restorative justice
at an American Probation and Parole Conference in the mid 90’s.   At
that moment, I knew that restorative justice was what I had been
looking for and I began searching for a way to get involved.  It didn’t
take long for me to become an “restorative justice groupie” like so
many others.   Restorative justice is the more peaceful, hopeful and
healing vision of the criminal justice system that I had been searching

Read the whole article.


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