The encounter is a first for the California correctional system. Minnesota, Texas and other states have encouraged such dialogues, but California — its prisons beset by overcrowding and countless other woes — is arriving late to the game.
Using the principles of Restorative Justice, IPP offers this voluntary, intensive 20 week training for San Quentin inmates who wish to better understand themselves and how their life experiences and decisions led them to prison, and most importantly how their crimes have impacted their victim(s), their families and their community.
A report written by an expert group, including representatives of other denominations ranging across Catholics to Quakers, has taken a radical look at crime and punishment and wants to turn public opinion on its head. Indeed, it concludes that the church should be getting involved in running some prison services itself. It has adopted the prison inspector's argument that jail should not be seen as the norm. Instead of defining alternatives to custody, the group reckons custody should be seen as the alternative to effective rehabilitation elsewhere, leaving prison for serious and violent offenders from whom society should be protected.
Since January 2005, the Travis County sheriff's department has been enrolling hundreds of county jail inmates in Resolve to Abolish Violence Everywhere, or RAVE, a restorative justice program that includes General Educational Development classes, victim-offender meetings, counseling and job assistance when inmates return to the community. The program, which includes some faith-based counseling, is paid for with grant money and volunteer fundraising efforts.
Kevin Wallen and Prof. Charles Wesson discuss Rehabilitation and Restorative Justice in Jamaican prisons. Nesson and Wallen were joined by June Jarrett, Chief of Staff in the Department of Prisons in Jamaica, and Gile Campbell, Head of Rehabilitation in the prisons.
Prison Fellowship Western Australia has set up a Victim Relief Fund that encourages prisoners to donate to crime victims. PF also collects matching donations from members of the community.
What evidence is there that restorative justice works in prisons?
RJ and Prisons