Groups: RJ Today
Discuss your experiences, problems, triumphs, burdens, etc. with applying restorative approaches in today's criminal justice system.
Submitted by dan. on 2007-12-07 12:19.
Table 2 illustrates the vast disparity between the economic losses associated with four common crimes and the amount expended to incarcerate the offender
For example, the average loss associated with a robbery reported to the police is $1,258. The typical prison sentence for robbery in the United States is 94 months, or about eight years, of which the typical time served is 55 months. Together with the time spent in jail pre-trial, the average robbery offender is incarcerated for 60 months at a cost of approximately $113,000.
Read all of this informative and troubling report.
Submitted by dan. on 2007-12-07 12:05.
The Mediation and Restorative Justice Center, formerly the Blue Ridge Dispute Settlement Center, works daily to help increase the peace and safety in local neighborhoods, schools, and communities. When tensions build, Center mediators are available to spring into action and help parties work out disputes referred by the courts, schools, local agencies and the general public. The Mediation Center has been active in Watauga and Avery Counties for more than 12 years with the help of High Country United Way.
Three brothers, who are neighbors, have been hostile and have not gotten along with each other since the death of their mother five years earlier. Their wives are also involved and have been particularly vicious, attacking each other verbally near the property lines. The brothers have physically assaulted each other over a new survey and the question of who will mow the grass at several locations. The younger generation of cousins has taken sides and now no one is getting along. Warrants are taken out for assault, communicating threats and trespassing.
The Mediation and Restorative Justice Center accepts the case for mediation. During the mediation, trained mediators guide the communication, manage emotions and help the parties discuss the underlying reasons for the hostility. It turns out that some of the main underlying issues center around resentment over who paid funeral expenses, the choice of executor, and the division of the property including the mother’s doll collection.
After much discussion and frustration, one of the brothers says, “Well let’s just all stay on our own part of the property and have no communication – period!” The others agree at first, but then one says, “No, we’re getting old and if you were having a heart attack, I would come on your property to save you because you are my brother and I hope you would do the same for me.” The other two brothers agree with him. One of the wives offers to reimburse the others for the funeral expenses so they can begin patching up their differences and restoring harmony within the families. The parties continue to discuss the situation until they finally want to dismiss all charges.
Submitted by dan. on 2007-12-07 11:57.
The alternative programs are starting to work. County employees are seeing fewer children go through the justice system and end up in cell blocks. "It hasn't been incredibly significant but it has made a difference,” Merriwether said. “I think they're seeing a very good response from that program from the community as well as the fact that those juveniles are not coming back."
More kids are keeping themselves out of trouble, at least in Marathon County where county workers say fewer kids are finding themselves in the juvenile justice system.
Social services has found it is often best to put delinquent youth in alternative programs.
For some kids, a little counseling can stop them from ever committing another crime. For others the threat of finding themselves in the courtroom can work, but for a few, there’s only one option.
"The juveniles who come through with more intense offenses and appear to be more at risk, those are the juveniles who are referred to formal court," said Becky Bogen, the delinquency supervisor for Marathon County Social Services.
Nonetheless, most county employees who work with juveniles strongly believe court isn’t the best option.
"A lot of times its hard to balance protection of the public with the fact the they are kids," said Marathon County Deputy District Attorney Theresa Merriwether.
And that’s why the district attorney’s office is so thankful for the Restorative Justice Program.
A 22-year-old Luck man has been ordered to pay yearly visits to the grave of the man he ran over with a van and killed in September of 2006 as part of a sentence handed down Nov. 8. Derek Mosay will spend four years in state prison and four years under extended supervision in accordance with a sentence handed down by Judge Molly GaleWyrick.
Mosay was ordered to take part in the Restorative Justice Victim?Impact Panel and Victim Offender Conferencing, if the victim’s family so desires. He must visit the gravesite of the victim every year on the anniversary of the victim’s death while on extended supervision....
He was also ordered to pay $13,098 in restitution.
The National Police Agency plans to introduce a restorative justice system for minor offenses involving juveniles, under which there will be provision for direct dialogue between offenders and victims. It is hoped that the system will prove effective in preventing juveniles from becoming repeat offenders.
Now the NPA's decision to introduce restorative justice has been driven by the recent increase in recidivism rates among juveniles.
In 2006, 112,817 juveniles aged 14 or older were arrested or detained on suspicion of having committed a crime, 30 percent of whom were repeat offenders. The total number of juvenile arrests and detentions was actually down for the third straight year, but recidivism rates showed a continuing rise. Above all, the NPA is concerned by the increase in the number of repeat offenders among juveniles who were released without a court hearing or official legal adjudication--procedures that account for more than 70 percent of juvenile cases.
An analysis of previous adjudications in the cases of 4,482 juveniles who entered reformatories last year shows that 41.5 percent, or the biggest portion, were on probation, followed by 18.1 percent who had previously been detained only to be released without a hearing or adjudication.
This indicates that measures taken after minor offenses were insufficient, and suggests that measures taken during this period could help prevent repeat offenses. The findings led the NPA to introduce restorative justice.
Youths who carry out minor crimes could be forced to face their victims to make amends. If ministers give the go ahead, Devon and Cornwall police aims to run a pilot scheme administering restorative justice on youths who commit low-level crimes instead of prosecuting them.
The Echo revealed three weeks ago that thousands of pounds are being spent taking youths to court and criminalising them for offences such as stealing marbles and nails because of the system of Home Office targets for police.
The move to restorative justice would mean youth courts would not get clogged up and the youth offending service could focus on more serious cases.
Submitted by dan. on 2007-11-06 17:39.
There's a growing social movement that -- if fully implemented -- will dramatically change the way we deal with crime in this country. It's called "Restorative Justice." The present system of punitive justice has resulted in higher rates of recidivism and more prisons. It's clearly not working.
Restorative justice requires an offender to compensate victims, express remorse, perform community service specific to the crime, and take steps toward self-education that can reduce recidivism.
Read it all. Be aware, however, that the recidivism claims are questionable....
Submitted by dan. on 2007-11-06 17:02.
Nine deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department underwent four days of intensive training in “restorative justice,” an alternative to the traditional “catch ’em, bail ’em, and jail ’em” approach to criminal justice.
The training — led by New Zealander Allan MacRae — focused on techniques that bring juvenile offenders and their families together with the victims of the offenders’ crimes, forcefully acquainting juvenile defendants with the human impact of their actions, in hopes that they will not offend again.
The theory behind getting relatives involved is that family members can do a much better job keeping the offenders out of trouble than could overworked probation officers. And they can help the defendants make restitution.
MacRae said many people initially confuse this approach with “some kind of softer, Kumbaya version” of juvenile justice. “It’s actually a lot tougher and harder, but for a shorter period of time,” he said. And, he said, it’s achieved solid results in New Zealand.
Submitted by dan. on 2007-11-06 17:00.
“They will be longed for always,” the Web site said, and I believe it, imagining the hole in the lives of those who loved the three men Jeanette Sliwinski killed. I also hear the unbearable sorrow in these words from a newspaper account: “From her jail hospital bed, Sliwinski has begged for forgiveness.”
Between these two rending cries stand all the rest of us, whether we want to or not. When we pretend we’re not involved, that we have no stake in the matter, the level of public stress builds and things just get worse....
Does our definition of justice really contain no possibility of what all parties in this tragedy desperately require, which is healing?
To answer this question, we must step out of the tight little world of law, which speaks so often not in human language but the exclusionary tongue of legalese, and open ourselves to the dawning concept of restorative — as opposed to retributive — justice, which is premised on the possibility of healing and isn’t tied to a court’s timetable.
Submitted by dan. on 2007-10-01 15:11.
What does this responsibility mean? in my opinion, an opinion strongly informed by restorative justice, it means he needs to respond.
He needs to respond to the suffering that he has caused. he needs to be part of the healing for this young woman, who may now be suffering from PTSD herself. What that type of restorative justice looks like depends on many factors but saying, “PTSD made me do it” doesn’t sound responsible to me.
Restorative Justice Planned in Japan - NPA Hopes Victim-Juvenile Offender Dialogue Will Cut Recidivism Rates |TODAY|
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