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The intent of this statement is to initiate a community discussion about what Restorative Justice might look like at Woodstock Union High School. This is only an introduction to our vision of the Restorative Justice process. As such this will likely elicit more questions than answers. We are confident that the answers will become clear over the next few months as this community comes together to discuss how we can better serve the needs of our young adults.
The story at Scotsman.com on proposed new prison sentencing policy begins with a Key Quote from the Justice Secretary and an opening paragraph conveying a completely different perspective.
Identity Theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers and uses them for their own personal gain. This is called ID Theft. It can start with lost or stolen wallets, pilfered mail, a data breach, computer virus, phishing, a scam, or paper documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving). This crime varies widely, and can include check fraud, credit card fraud, financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft, and identity fraud.
The quest for a solution is not a quest for the intellectually satisfying answer to the problem of why evil is there in the first place. Rather, the quest for a solution to the problem of evil is a seach for ways in which the healing, restorative justice of the Creator God himself - a justice which will one day suffuse the whole creation - can be brought to bear, in advance of that ultimate reality, within the present world of space, time, matter and messy realities in human lives and societies.
We touch our experiences of violence (as victims, as perpetrators, as witnesses, as bystanders) and share those, to discover how our experiences are to all of us and to our communities as well as to the people we serve, a gift of God. This requires in depth encounters, in which we humbly learn to be open to one another, because precisely that openness is part of our service to peace building. We also try to connect serious reflection and analysis to the experiences of compassion - both need to complement each other, as reflection without compassion looses its heart, while compassion without reflection risks to reduce one’s commitment to simply tending wounds (working on symptoms) without reaching out to the causes of violence.
Schools and school districts preparing policies on bullying and school yard violence need to work past short-term solutions such as expulsion, says the author of a new book on bullying behaviour. Brenda Morrison, an assistant professor at SFU’s Centre for Restorative Justice, advocates a health care model built on interventions that restore the social and emotional health of young people and their schools. Morrison is author of Restoring Safe School Communities: A Whole School Response to Bullying, Violence and Alienation (2007, The Federation Press, Australia).
4. Restorative Justice Programs and Alternative Sentencing: Simply locking up criminals drains the financial resources of the state and has not reduced crime. Kevin Gallagher will push to give judges the flexibility to order alternative punishments for crimes. He will also work for more restorative justice programs where victims have a say in sentencing and criminals have to work to repair the damage they caused.
In Florida, victims have few protections to keep criminals behind bars from contacting them. There is no standing prohibition against inmates writing to their victims, nor is there a process to keep victims' home addresses out of reach.
Caryl won’t be expected to issue a public apology to the children and parents she stole from. Caryl won’t be expected to do any community service, either helping other parent organizations better protect their finances, offering personal testimony, or being required to do some other kind of service for the school. Caryl won’t have a felony conviction on her record or even face probation. Caryl transferred her children to another school, so she never has to show her face again at Ward Traditional Academy and meet her victims. What’s the lesson to the children? If you’re caught stealing, say you’ll pay it back through a third party, and you don’t have to face any other consequence?
Pattengill Middle School, which was the pilot site last school year, saw the number of student suspensions drop by 15.2 percent. A follow-up survey also showed restorative justice resolved conflicts for 93 percent of participants while teaching kids new skills they can use to avert future problems.
Restorative Justice Planned in Japan - NPA Hopes Victim-Juvenile Offender Dialogue Will Cut Recidivism Rates |TODAY|
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