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Showing 10 posts published between Feb 01, 2011 and Feb 28, 2011 [Show all]

Forgiveness scholar opens up on role of faith

from Francis X. Rocca's article in The Christian Century:

Today, at least 1,000 academic researchers and "countless therapists" specialize in forgiveness studies, Enright said, but at the time, a library search turned up not a single piece of scholarship on the subject in any of the social sciences.

Enright found himself drawn to the area and began leading a seminar on forgiveness at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he was a tenured professor. Among the assigned readings for the seminar were selections from the scriptures of various religious traditions.

Those texts raised questions that led Enright back to back to Christianity: first to what he describes as a liberal Methodist church, then to an evangelical Protestant congregation, and finally back to Catholicism.

Feb 28, 2011 , , ,

Justice as restoration of trust

from Howard Zehr's blog entry:

....What restorative justice offers, he says, is not so much new justice practices but a different view of crime and a new goal for justice: crime is seen as a source of harm that must be repaired.  Moreover, the essential harm of crime is the loss of trust, on both interpersonal and social levels.  What victims and communities need is to have their trust restored.  The essential obligation of offenders is to show that they are trustworthy.  The purpose of justice should be to encourage this process.

The overriding goal of justice, then, ought to be the restoration of trust.  The attempt to achieve this on both personal and social levels, he argues, can provide a unifying umbrella for our response to crime. Rather than replacing other, more traditional goals, it would become the overriding consideration in sentencing, providing rationales for and limits to the application of goals such as incapacitation and punishment.

Feb 25, 2011 , ,

Restorative justice and cheating in class

from Ben Chun's blog And Yet It Moves: Adventures in Teaching and Technology:

I busted two kids for cheating in my AP Computer Science class today. What I didn’t know last night, while researching and documenting the way they cheated, is how much I would learn from that experience.

....I think in some circles Restorative Justice (RJ) has been presented as or labeled a “soft” solution that avoids actual punishment. But what I saw today was a much more satisfying solution to a the problem than an arbitrary and possibly ineffective punishment. As the dean and I stepped the two students (individually) through the process of answering the set of questions, I decided to throw in my own: “Are there any other cases, in this or any other class, where you crossed the line from research into academic dishonesty or plagiarism?” Now I’m not sure if the answer would have come out via another process, but I want to give some credit to RJ for helping one student admit that, yes, there were other classes in which this happened.

Feb 24, 2011 ,

Restorative justice & restorative mediation

from Julie Speer's blog entry:

This past year I’ve had the good fortune of telling several stories related to restorative justice and restorative mediation. Colorado is leading the way with RJ (Restorative Justice), and has gotten a large grant from the Department of Justice to look at how using RJ can decrease the costs to the system. When offenders go through an RJ process, their rate of recidivism is astonishingly low!

Feb 23, 2011 , , , ,

So how do you know that an offender means it when they say sorry?

from Dave Walker's blog entry:

I attended a session in a well known, inner city prison full of local, inner city, young men with all the airs and graces of inner city life, drugs, violence and gang culture. These things don’t cease upon sentencing – if anything they can sometimes be more intense on a prison wing than on the street. Status can be everything on the wing and a new pair of trainers will do wonders for you on the respect scale.

To see a young man in an environment like this full of masculine front stand up to read a letter he has written to the parents of another young man he had beaten up in a gang related incident. To see this man physically shaking and weeping in front of the room I have described. To see some of the other men welling up at what they are hearing. To hear the regret that the realisation of their actions has induced: a realisation not at all prompted by the court process. To witness all this is the only way to have that big question answered. This is what I witnessed and I have absolutely no doubt as to their sincerity.

Feb 22, 2011 , , , ,

California's victims restitution fund running on empty

from the article by Jim Miller in The Press-Enterprise:

California's fund to help victims of crime is teetering on insolvency, with state officials this week scheduled to consider several cost-cutting moves to keep the account from going broke by next year.

The state restitution fund is the payer of last resort for crime victims and the oldest such program in the country. It has covered more than $2 billion worth of doctor's bills, burial costs and other expenses from hundreds of thousands of claims since it began in 1965.

....Victims advocates point to other causes for the fund's troubles: money taken by other parts of state government.

Feb 21, 2011 , , ,

Redeeming the Wounded: New book features new vision for victims’ justice

B. Bruce Cook, Redeeming the wounded: A prison Chaplain's journey into crime victims advocacy, Xulon Press, 2010.

from the press release at  PRWeb.com:

In 2008 approximately 16,262 people were murdered in the U.S., leaving family and friends to grieve the loss. (Source: NCVRW Resource Guide) Many faith-based organizations want to help but do not know how. Due to budget cuts, funding for rehabilitation and educational, faith-based counseling programs for prisoners and crime victims has suffered in almost every locality. A new way to handle these problems is discussed in Redeeming the Wounded by Rev. Dr. B. Bruce Cook (www.xulonpress.com and www.cvaconline.org under “crime victim resources”). Cook’s new vision of victim justice involves a concept of fair and equal treatment for crime victims and prisoners based on principles of restorative justice and restitution.

....Cook’s call to action includes: 

Feb 18, 2011 , , ,

Victim Support chief addresses restorative justice conference

from the organization's website:

Victim Support describes itself as "the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. We were set up 35 years ago and have grown to become the oldest and largest victims' organisation in the world. Every year, we contact over 1.5 million people after a crime to offer our help."

Speaking at the Restorative Justice Approaches conference on Thursday 27 January, Javed [Khan] said: “We have for many years supported restorative justice projects up and down the country. We know that one of the greatest benefits of restorative justice is to victims of crime and that satisfaction rates among victims are particularly high when it is victim led.”

Welcoming the government’s commitments to restorative justice he added: “I want to make sure that these are more than just warm words and that restorative justice becomes a right for every victim who wants it.”

Feb 17, 2011 , , , , , ,

Smart on Crime: Recommendations for the Administration and Congress

from the Executive Summary by Adrienne Benson:

Embodied in Smart on Crime are five basic principles the Coalition considers foundational, which Congress, the Administration and the judiciary should always consider when contemplating improvement to the criminal justice system. These principles include: 

Feb 16, 2011 , , ,

Stories from victims who had the opportunity for restorative justice

from the Why Me? website:

Why Me? gives victims who have experienced restorative justice the opportunity to tell their stories, through print and broadcast media, as well as directly to politicians and policy makers. We also highlight the benefits of restorative justice through a range of creative means, including drama, film and art. 

The absence of restorative justice in the criminal justice system highlights the lack of respect for the experience of victims and the lack of space for their voice to be heard. Confidence in the system is low. Many people, whether victims or not, feel marginalised, believing that the system is more about offenders than them. Why me is working with all victims who support our aims to find out from them how the criminal justice system can be improved. 

Feb 15, 2011

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