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Violent Crimes

Restorative justice and victims and perpetrators of violent crime

Penn state: holding offenders accountable
Laura, I understand your comments. I, too, am a person of faith which is why I am passionate about restorative justice. However, in the cases [...]
Penn State victims/offenders restoration and healing
Hi Lisa. I completely agree that victims' needs must be a major consideration in any RJ events. I also need to remember though that the [...]
Penn State victims/offenders restoration and healing
Hi Lisa. I completely agree that victims' needs must be a major consideration in any RJ events. I also need to remember though that the [...]
RJ is the way!
Lisa I want to begin by saying this is a very interesting article. When I read the opening paragraph I was not at all shocked [...]
Penn State and the victims
Laura, interesting response to my column. As an advocate of restorative justice for 20 years I embrace RJ and believe it is applicable to all [...]
Penn State child.abuse issue: last.sentence.of my earlier reply
Forgiveness has no statute of limitations but until it happens we are all and will remain victims.
Penn State child sex abuse
Hardly a restorative approach to condemn in this way. Almost all abusers have also been abused as well in their early years. Forgiveness offers everything [...]
Penn State's response to child sexual abuse: What about the victims?
by Lisa Rea As the story comes out in more detail about the alleged sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, the coverage of the story seems to be more about the actions of veteran coach Joe Paterno--his resignation or the university's decision to fire him.
Conventional and innovative justice responses to sexual violence
from the article by Kathleen Daly in ACSSA Issues: Despite 30 years of significant change to the way the criminal justice system responds to sexual violence, conviction rates have gone down in Australia, Canada, and England and Wales. Victim/survivors continue to express dissatisfaction with how the police and courts handle their cases and with their experience of the trial process. Many commentators and researchers recognise that the crux of the problem is cultural beliefs about gender and sexuality, which dilute and undermine the intentions of rape law reform.2 These beliefs affect victims adversely, but at the same time, increased criminalisation and penalisation of offenders is not likely to yield constructive outcomes. This paper reflects on the limits of legal reform in improving outcomes for victim/survivors. Given the extent of reform to procedural, substantive, and evidentiary aspects of sexual assault legal cases, we may have exhausted its potential to change the response to sexual assault. We may need to consider innovative justice responses, which may be part of the legal system or lie beyond it.
Bougainville wants restorative justice approach to settling violence in south
from the report on Radio New Zealand International: The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville hopes to resolve a long standing impasse in the south of the main island by taking the traditional Melanesian approach of reconciliation. Despite six years of autonomy, few government services are available around the district of Konnou because the security of workers can’t be guaranteed.
Stefaans Coetzee is the face of restorative justice
from the article by Bobby Jordan in The Sunday Times: ....Today is no ordinary day for the 33-year-old who grew up in an orphanage in Winburg in the Free State. Head slightly bowed, he looks up at two imams who have finally been allowed to visit him at Pretoria Central Prison. Their two previous attempts failed. The imams are from Rustenburg, where some of their congregation were nearly blown up by two Wit Wolwe bombs outside their mosque. Now they want to ask Coetzee what it was all about.
Bill Pelke's journey after violent crime
Bill, thank you so much for your words. For many who read them I am sure they are like balm to the soul. Over at [...]
Listening to crime victims:
Lisa, Thank you for your work on the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference panel "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" that was sponsored [...]
Iranian woman blinded by acid attack pardons assailant as he faces same fate
from the article by Saeed Kamali Dehghan in The Guiardian: A woman blinded with acid in Iran has pardoned her attacker, a man who was scheduled to lose his sight in an eye for an eye punishment on Sunday. Majid Movahedi, 30, had been taken to Tehran's judiciary hospital to be blinded with acid after being rendered unconscious, but Ameneh Bahrami, his victim, spared him at the last minute, Iran's semi-official Isna news agency reported. Iran's judiciary had given the green light to the administration for the retributive punishment, which would have been the first blinding of a convict in the country, but human rights groups across the world called on Bahrami, who had asked for eye for an eye justice in the court, to pardon him.
healing & restorative justice for victims
Jennifer, I appreciate your comments. For those reading this blog you might remember that I have written a blog article or two on Jennifer Bishop [...]
The Power of RJ dialogues in severe violence cases
As Lisa stated in her summary of the Round Table at the RJ conference in North Carolina, victims voices can be powerful advocates for the [...]
Is Healing the Right Word?
Congrats to all involved in this very meaningful conversation and opportunity, and thanks to Lisa for telling us all about it. As always, I love [...]
Russ Turner's story--victims choose to meet their offenders
I was pleased to see Russ Turner's post here. Again, victims of violent crime are seeking ways to have a dialogue with their offenders. It [...]
Meeting face to face
I echo the thoughts above. I met with the young man serving 17 Years to Life for the death of my oldest son Jeremy. Our [...]
After the crime: the power of restorative justice. Dialogues between victims and violent offenders
by Martin Wright Violence, rape, murder and other abusive crimes: not usually pleasant subjects to read about, yet Susan Miller's book left this reader with a positive feeling. This is largely due to Miller herself, who presents the information in a straightforward, sympathetic but non-judgemental way; to Kim Book, who started the organization Victims' Voices Heard after her daughter was murdered; and to the participants themselves. Not all victims felt able to forgive, and this should not be a criterion for 'success'; but they followed the Amish precept: don't balance hurt with hate. Not all offenders accepted full responsibility. Miller divides restorative justice into diversion, taking the place of the criminal justice process for relatively minor cases, and 'therapeutic' RJ, where the offender is already in custody or has served a prison term. These cases are all in the latter category.

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