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Violent Crimes

Studies have shown that restorative justice processes may be more useful for victims and offenders after violent crimes than less serious ones. These articles and resources explore that counter-intuitive finding and other matters concerning restorative justice and victims and perpetrators of violent crime.

Excellent summary
Thank you for the powerful summary of your experience working with these four victims. As you so elegantly put it, we need to shine a [...]
Excellent reminder of the power of victims' voices for RJ
Lisa - this is an EXCELLENT write-up about the power of victims' voices and a great reminder of the importance of providing forums for their [...]
Listening to crime victims: North Carolina restorative justice conference
by Lisa Rea When crime victims speak about the effect violent crime has had on their lives you have to listen. On June 9th I moderated a crime victims roundtable during the 3rd Annual Restorative Justice Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina coordinated this year by Campbell University Law School. The roundtable called "Listening to Crime Victims: Their Journeys Toward Healing" was sponsored by the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing. The four victims of violence who told their stories were Bill Pelke, chair, Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing (Alaska), Stephen Watt, Stephen Watt Ministries (Wyoming) , Bess Klassen-Landis, musician and teacher (Vermont), and Kim Book, executive director, Victims Voices Heard (Delaware). No matter how many crime victims panels I have moderated the stories are always riveting and often what I hear the victims say is new even when I am familiar with the stories. I learn something new as the victims move along in their lives---their own personal journeys.
book about Jackie Millar
There's also a book about Jackie Millar and her journey to healing, and to forgiving Craig Sussek - co-authored by Ms. Millar and Judith Gwinn [...]
Finding forgiveness
from SBS Dateline: Dateline has a touching story of friendship between a woman who was shot and critically injured, and the stranger who attempted to kill her. Jackie Millar took years to recover after she was shot in the head. She remains almost blind and permanently brain damaged, unable to even remember bringing up her own sons.
Ken Clarke was right to start a debate about sentencing in rape cases
from Clare McGlynn's article in The Guardian: Justice for rape victims does not simply equate to long prison sentences. The Victims' Champion (pdf), Sara Payne, has urged us to reconsider our definition of justice, so it is "not just punishing a perpetrator and preventing further crimes". She suggested that an offender who pleaded guilty on the day of trial should not gain a discount, but that incentives for an early plea of guilt should be investigated. A 2009 academic study (pdf) on rape and the legal process also recommended looking at ways to encourage early admissions. Further support for this approach can be found in the Stern Review (pdf) into how rape complaints are handled, which the government has said it endorses in full. Lady Stern found that securing a conviction and punishment is important for victims, but so is simply being believed. She advocated policies which "honour the experience" of rape, with victims feeling that their experience has been understood, its effects acknowledged and holistic support offered.
Shawn Verhey on The Salvation Army and restorative justice
This is great news. I run several RJ interventions at HMP Thorn Cross where I serve as the co-ordinating chaplain & I am very passionate [...]
Restorative justice in the spotlight
From Lyn Humphreys' article in Taranaki Daily News: A national report on the effect of restorative justice conferences is expected to reinforce their power in halting crime. A Justice Department draft report looking into the outcome of restorative justice conferences across New Zealand found that criminals who went through the process were less likely to offend, Chief District Court Judge Russell Johnson told a Taranaki Restorative Justice Trust meeting in New Plymouth earlier this month. However, the draft report, which is yet to be officially released, also appeared to show that it was not effective for criminals involved in the most serious crimes, Judge Johnson said.
The Salvation Army and restorative justice
from the article in The Dignity Project: “I will never forget my first brush with injustice” says Matt Delaney. “I was so hurt. I wanted pay back. I wanted to retaliate, to return the favour that I didn’t ask for. I did fight back. Strange though, after I unleashed my vengeance, all I felt was empty and alone. What was wrong with me? Where was the justice I was looking for? Why didn’t I feel justified?
Non-formal education in the Middle East: Giving adolescents a second chance
from Curt Rhodes' article on unicef.org: In May 2005 violence exploded during a soccer game among students who had just enrolled in their town’s first NFE class. Angry over a lost goal, Humam kicked his younger teammate Ayman to the ground. This kind of violence early in the programme jeopardized the entire approach to alternative education. Ayman was a shy, defenseless boy. Other boys like him might feel threatened, and the safety of the learning environment might dissolve if violence went unchecked. The teaching facilitators decided that the violent incident would best be resolved by the students themselves ruling on justice for the harmed and a penalty for the offender. They announced a trial – with students taking the roles of judge, jury, prosecution and defense – and explained the legal process to the two boys and the other students.
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!
thanks
Aba,      Thanks for sharing your story with me. I pray that everyone learns to forgive ultimately because Jesus commands it, but also it is quite [...]
Restorative Justice
Thank you for sharing your story. It is wonderful to hear how forgiveness has brought you peace and hope for the future. Dan Van Ness [...]
Restorative Justice
Thank you for this posting. I am just thrilled that Debbie found the Healing Power of Forgiveness. I also was able to find healing from [...]
rape victim & death row inmate
Thank you for printing this interview. It is probably very hard for some to read this interview because of the violent acts committed by the [...]
Interview with Debbie, a rape victim of Robert Power
from the interview by Ines Aubert: Ines Aubert was a pen pal of Robert Powers who had been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl. She discovered over time that Robert had changed profoundly and that he wanted, among other things, to extend an apology to any of his victims who wished to receive that. This took on some urgency at the end of 2010 as Robert neared the end of his life (he died of cancer on December 3). Ines contacted RJOnline Correspondent Lisa Rea for assistance, but they were unable to find a way to reach out to Robert's victims. Lisa wrote about this in an earlier blog entry on RJOB. Commenting on an article about Robert's death in a Florida newspaper, Ines wrote that he had wanted to apologize before his death but had been unable. Another reader -- one of Robert's victims -- replied to Ines that she had forgiven Robert. The two were able to connect, and Ines recently interviewed Debbie about her experience as a victim and the reasons for her forgiveness. The following is a short excerpt of an answer Debbie gave to Ines' question about how she felt when she learned that Robert had a pen pal.
Laura's Law: Remembering the victims of violence
by Lisa Rea Considering gun related violence and its impact on the victims, I remember the courageous work of Amanda and Nick Wilcox in Northern California in the name of their daughter, Laura. A recent press piece describes what they have done to fight violence since the shooting death of their daughter at the hands of Scott Thorpe on January 10, 2001.
restorative justice & gun violence
Thanks for your comments, Brian. I agree with many of your points. It is about safety, as you say. It seems, too, that as a [...]
Guns, RJ and Violence Prevention
Yes there is a place for community conferencing in local communities and specific groups whereby all parties can take responsibility, try to resolve the issues [...]
Guns, RJ and Violence Prevention
Restorative Practices can and perhaps should play a leading role in this discussion on the violence of guns. There are views that have polarised for [...]

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Restorative Justice Online - Featured Video

A long-time repeat offender describes the impact of meeting with his victims.