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Engaging Offenders In Victim Offender Mediation
In Washington State, community mediation programmes offer victim offender mediation (VOM) services. The different dynamics of working with crime victims and offenders offer unique challenges for these organizations. Eric Gilman, restorative justice coordinator for Clark County Juvenile Court, prepared the following document as a resource for facilitators in talking with offenders about VOM.
Located in Previous Editions / 2004 / October 2004 Edition
Victim Offender Meetings:A Restorative Focus for Victims
A sensitive issue for restorative justice programmes is how to approach crime victims about participating in the programmes. In this article, Eric Gilman, restorative justice coordinator for Clark County Juvenile Court, suggests that programmes should respond to victims restoratively, viewing them as people who have needs growing out of the harms they experienced in the crime, rather than simply as possible participants in a VOM process
Located in Previous Editions / 2004 / December 2004 Edition
RJ Article Pincock, Heather. Does deliberation make better citizens? Examining the case of community conflict mediation.
In this dissertation, I explore the educative effects of deliberation through interviews and observation at two community mediation organizations in Toronto. Theorists have long claimed that participation in deliberation can change the skills and dispositions of participants in ways that make them better citizens. Despite the normative work such claims perform in justifications for participatory and deliberative democracy, they remain theoretically and empirically underscrutinized. I seek to address this by developing empirically grounded insights about the educative potential that can realistically be attributed to deliberative processes. I argue that educative claims can best be examined when parsed into three categories of efficacy, interests and relationships. I identify empirical contexts ripe for the study of deliberation’s educative effects by sorting the deliberative field according to 1) collective decision making, 2) issue scope, and 3) participative intensity. One such context is community mediation, a process of facilitated negotiation for addressing small scale citizen disputes convened by staff and volunteers at Community Dispute Resolution organizations (CDRs). I study this case empirically through in-depth interviewing and observation at two CDRs in Toronto. I find limited evidence that participation in deliberation in this context can strengthen the efficacy or clarify the interests of participants. Furthermore, the efficacy and interest effects I do find are often limited to the specific context of the mediated relationship. I find that relationship effects are the most salient in participants’ post-deliberation narratives, but that they frequently characterize their renegotiated relationships in terms of mistrust, indifference, and avoidance. This runs contrary to the thrust of theorizing about the potential for deliberation to strengthen civic bonds between citizens. Yet participants praise this avoidance suggesting that it should be viewed, at least in some cases, as an appropriate ideal. I conclude that a wholly dismissive view of educative claims is not borne out by the evidence of modest educative effects reported by a minority of participants. It does however, provide reasons to moderate educative claims considerably and to reinterrogate standard conceptions of what constitutes “better citizens”. (Author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Robertson, Annette and Nicholson, Jan and Frondigoun, Liz. Building safer communities: cooperation between policymakers, the police and the community
Public safety, social justice and youth issues are all linked to current debates on restorative justice. Addressing the issues posed by these groups brings new challenges for Police and the wider communities they serve. The challenge is in developing a clear strategy which is effective for the wide diversity of sites and situations in which police and young people interact, but also in addressing the impact of gang–, alcohol- and knife-related youth crime on local communities. In some of the more socially and economically deprived communities, fear of crime is high amongst the general population. Effectively some communities abandon their streets to youth sub-cultures due to the high incidence of street fighting. The issue then for restorative justice is not a personal but a social one. How can communities be effectively reclaimed but also how can young people be included in that process and be given the opportunity to become part of a thriving prosperous community? Drawing on a qualitative study which evaluates an enhanced policing plan in an area of social and economic deprivation, historically characterised by gang culture, this paper explores the experiences of police, youths, youth leaders, local shops and community planning partners of working and living in such an area. (excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Gesko, Sandor. Community mediation in Hungary.
After the political changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hungary experienced such developments that fundamentally transformed the values of certain groups of society and their relationships with other groups. This was a common phenomenon in the region. The well-known and familiar relationships of the past, which had been positive and negative but nevertheless had specifically defined the position of various groups in relation to each other, started to deteriorate. (excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Mahaffey, Helen. Restorative Justice at the Heart of the Youth Community.
Restorative justice (RJ)is rooted in a wide range of community practices, most notably in the indigenous communities of Australia and New Zealand. What became known as "Aboriginal justice" in Australia and "Maori justice" in New Zealand addressed problems, including lawbreaking, collectively and informally. All relevant parties were involved in negotiations regarding how to respond appropriately to the offender and the harm he/she had done. RJ as originally conceived and practiced involved a restoration of the involved families and the harmed community has well as the offender's dignity, power, and freedom within the community. In England and Wales, interest in RJ principles is evident in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which explicitly endorses RJ principles as part of sentencing options for courts involved in youth justice. Restorative conferencing, family group conferencing, and youth offender panels became options for the processing of juvenile cases. Overall, the effectiveness of RJ interventions have achieved significant benefits for both youth who have offended and their victims; however, there has been a trend toward reducing the number and characteristics of those involved in RJ proceedings. Questions are being raised about community support for and involvement in RJ proceedings. Although research on RJ has compared its practices with the formal justice processing of youth, there has been little research on the comparative effectiveness of various RJ models. Such research should determine how the involvement of various types of community representatives influence case outcomes. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Gordon, Diana R.. Deepening democracy through community dispute resolution: problems and prospects in South Africa and Chile.
Post-apartheid South Africa and post-Pinochet Chile have taken significant steps to democratize justice. This article acknowledges conventional reforms of both countries' criminal justice systems but focuses primarily on case studies of participatory and restorative initiatives that have attempted to expand the theory and practice of public safety practices in non-state settings. The experience of resolving interpersonal disputes in new democracies and what it means for the people who do it is examined. The research hypothesized that public participation in matters of justice and security can foster more active citizenship, a contribution to deepening democracy in countries in transition, as South Africa and Chile have been since the early 1990s. The experiences of the Community Peace Program and the Barrio Sin Violencia shed light on both the potential and the limitations of efforts to deepen democracy through community dispute resolution. They suggest that whether or not public participation in matters of justice and security fosters more active citizenship in democratizing countries depends on complex cultural and historical influences, including perspectives on sources of authority, institutional patterns of justice, and mutual trust.(excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
Could restorative justice bring education antagonists together?
from the article by Pat Schneider in the Capital Times: It’s a painful irony for Ananda Mirilli that the School Board run she tried to use to call the community to come together to do better for Madison kids ended up embroiled in such controversy. ….Mirilli, a Latina who lost her bid for Seat 5 on the Madison School Board in the Feb. 18 primary, decided against a write-in campaign when primary winner Sarah Manski dropped out of the race just two days later. But Mirilli hasn’t given up hope that the election — despite Manski’s surprise withdrawal and the allegations of dirty politics and hypocrisy it incited — can yet be made an occasion to bring together people now sometimes working at odds to improve education in Madison schools. And as the Restorative Justice Program manager at YWCA Madison, Mirilli is wondering if restorative justice principles might be the way to do it.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
Community court set to go on trial
from the article in the Manchester Evening News: A project where ‘community courts’ decide how to punish criminals is to be trialled in Stockport. ….Low-level criminals and their victims will be brought together in front of a special panel, which will decide what community punishment to dish out. ….Rebecca Green, from ROC, said: “We looked at Brinnington as we are already established in the community with the cafe and there needs to be trust there. “The area can be highlighted as having problems so this scheme will have a good impact there.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
Finding space for Fido
by Dan Van Ness This is not the story about a violent crime or even school bullying. But it concerns a problem contributing to the quality of life of people in a neighborhood, and of the dogs that some of them own. Dog owners in the Kingfield neighbourhood of Minneapolis want a place for their pets to run free. While there is no park in their district that allows this, some of them unleash their dogs anyhow.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB