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Enhancing communication, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge between volunteer restorative practitioners in the UK: An array of possibilities

from the paper by Ian Marder, founder of Community of Restorative Researchers:

My recent article outlined some of the reasons why it might be beneficial to establish a UK-wide organisation to represent volunteer restorative practitioners (hereinafter ‘volunteers’). I wrote this article following a number of conversations with volunteers in different parts of the UK over a period of several months. These revealed that their enthusiasm for their work was often coupled with feelings of isolation. Even in areas where groups of volunteers had created thriving micro-communities, many expressed the feeling of being separated from people involved in similar activities in other parts of the country. 

Apr 24, 2015 , , ,

Dan Van Ness: Restorative justice and the problem of minority over-representation

Over-representation of minorities in the criminal justice system is a problem around the world. It raises questions about the fairness of the justice system itself and of how larger social justice problems influence the justice system.

Mar 11, 2015 , , , ,

Does restorative justice work? An evaluation of the restorative justice programmes of Phoenix Zululand

from the chapter by Geoff Harris:

This chapter provides a case study of a bottom-up restorative justice intervention aimed at encouraging prisoners to take responsibility for their behaviour and at transforming relationships between prisoners and their families.  From focus groups and interviews with ex-prisoners and their families, the study found that forgiveness and reconciliation was frequently achieved, a finding which has important implications for the extremely high levels of recidivism in South Africa.

Mar 11, 2015 , , , , , , ,

Restorative justice in cases of domestic violence

from the report by Drost, Haller, Hofinger, van der Kooij, Lunnemann and Wolthuis:

...Intimate partner violence [IVP] may comprise a number of different behaviours, causes or sources of violence and consequences for victims and their children. Nevertheless, it is crucial to distinguish between coercive control in intimate relationships (intimate terrorism) and situational couple violence. 

In contrast to situational couple violence, intimate terrorism refers to recurrent, escalating violent acts in combination with the exercise of power and control: the victim is isolated and lives in permanent fear. Partner violence takes place on a continuum, with severely traumatized and isolated vulnerable victims living in fear,to strong victims who have support from family, friends and advocates.

TEA grant to School of Social Work Will take innovative discipline program statewide

from the University of Texas press release:

School and district administrators across Texas will be offered training in Restorative Discipline, an alternative to “zero tolerance” methods, through a grant from the Texas Education Agency to the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue (IRJRD) at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

Restorative Discipline is a prevention-oriented approach that fosters accountability and amends-making to resolve school conflict such as bullying, truancy and disruptive behavior. The $521,000 grant will be used to conduct training sessions in Restorative Discipline in 10 Education Service Centers, which provide support to school districts and charter schools throughout the state....

Feb 20, 2015 , , ,

Julie and Anthony’s story

from the Restorative Justice Council's Restorative justice in youth offending teams information pack:

After Anthony, 15, lost his temper during a game of football and assaulted another boy, he was offered the chance to take part in a restorative justice conference. Here, Anthony and his mum Julie explain how it helped them to move on from the incident and deal with his behaviour. 

Anthony: I was playing football and there was a lad there called Ben*. He had come out with me and my friends a few times before but I didn't really know him well. During the game I thought that Ben had kicked me but he hadn't really done anything. I got really angry. I just lost it for no reason whatsoever. After the game as he was walking off I chased after him and as he turned around I hit him in the face and cut his eye open. After that I just ran home.... 

Feb 18, 2015 , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

East Timor’s ‘Poet Warrior’ steps down

from the article by Elliot Brennan in The Diplomat:

Gusmao joined Fretilin, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor, in 1975. For a week of that year the country was independent as the Portuguese exited their former colony. Days later, in a revolving door of occupation, Indonesia invaded. So began nearly a quarter of a century of violence and rebellion....

Winning the presidency in a landslide in 2002, Gusmao negotiated the country’s post-conflict factional violence and sought stability as prime minister from 2007 to 2012 under president Jose Ramos-Horta and his successor Rauk.

Feb 16, 2015 ,

Restorative justice has unanticipated results

from the article by Christine Wolf in the Chicago Tribune:

Imagine this scenario: the sound of shattering glass echoes through your condo building as you watch two boisterous teenagers bolt down your street. Much later, after you've helped to clean up the mess and cut your hand on the shard-crusted baseball launched through a lobby window, you're asked to participate in a Restorative Justice Victim-Offender Family Conferencing Program. Your local police department wants you to face the troublemakers and help create a plan to address their behavior. Would you do it?

I'd like you to consider why you should....

Feb 11, 2015 , , ,

How restorative justice changed a grieving family’s opinion of a hit-and-run driver

from the article by Douglas Quan in Postmedia News:

There was no ambiguity in how Coral Forslund felt when the man responsible for her sister’s hit-and-run death was finally sentenced to prison.

She “hated him.”....

But nagged by lingering questions — namely, was he remorseful for what he did? — Forslund, of Langley, B.C., reached out to a little-known federal program called Restorative Opportunities that arranges meetings between victims and offenders after sentencing. During their session in a B.C. prison, the offender broke down and Forslund heard him say for the first time that he was sorry.

Feb 10, 2015 , , , , , , ,

Review: The psychology of emotion in restorative practice: how Affect Script Psychology explains how and why restorative justice works

The psychology of emotion in restorative practice: how Affect Script Psychology explains how and why restorative justice works. Ed. by Vernon C. Kelly jr and Margaret Thorsborne. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2014. 272 pp. 

Reviewed by Martin Wright:

The phrase 'hate the sin but love the sinner' is attributed to Gandhi, although St Augustine said something similar. More recent psychological thinking takes the idea further, saying that the person him or herself should be encouraged to greater self-esteem. This is one more plank in the case against punishment as an acceptable or effective way of controlling each other's behaviour. Students of restorative practices are moving from research into whether they work to explaining why they work, and this book is an example. (Another is Meredith Rossner's Just emotions: rituals of restorative justice, 2013). 

Feb 09, 2015 , , ,

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