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Restorative Justice

Zero Tolerance Is Mean and Stupid

Mark Daniel Snyder | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Mark Daniel Snyder

We live in a society that seems to thrive on violence and punishment instead of creativity and compassion.

Bereft of Democracy

Robert Koehler | Posted 01.16.2014 | Politics
Robert Koehler

I'm convinced that the human impulse toward democracy is powerful and deep; it's bigger than Chris Christie's lust for power and will outlast our current capitulations to celebrity and wealth. A democracy movement has quietly taken root in this country and around the planet, and it's growing.

A Better Story: Justice Redefined by the Gospel

Derek Flood | Posted 03.11.2014 | Religion
Derek Flood

This is justice based on people "getting what they deserve," and we find it again and again in the movies we love. We love them because they tell us a story we long to hear.

From Death Row to Restorative Justice

Marina Cantacuzino | Posted 01.29.2014 | Crime
Marina Cantacuzino

Restorative justice is a system that fundamentally views crime as injury rather than wrong-doing, and justice as healing rather than punishment. Whilst visiting New York, Minneapolis, Hawaii and Texas I've uncovered some remarkable US-based programs that bear this out.

Reclaiming 'Chiraq'

Robert Koehler | Posted 01.23.2014 | Chicago
Robert Koehler

The kids are dying. That's what they call Chicago: "Chiraq." The situation has to change; the community has to rebuild.

The Restorative Justice League of Le Grand High School Saves the Day

Jane Ellen Stevens | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Jane Ellen Stevens

It would be so easy to look at this dot of a place and assume that nothing cutting-edge is going on at its high school. But that would be so, so wrong.

DC Defunds Youth Courts, Pushes Kids Into Criminal Justice System

Michael Shank, Ph.D. | Posted 12.21.2013 | DC
Michael Shank, Ph.D.

Will the District of Columbia be able to provide an alternative for juvenile offenses that are better suited to reducing recidivism than prosecution in the court system?

Extreme Responses to Bullying Harm Us All

Judith Browne Dianis | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Judith Browne Dianis

Extreme disciplinary responses can actually make the problem worse, and even hurt the very students they are designed to protect. To defend themselves, victims of bullying often see no other choice than to employ survival tactics, which could include carrying a weapon.

Hope Flows From Hollow Water

Robert Koehler | Posted 01.23.2014 | Impact
Robert Koehler

Hollow Water First Nation Reserve may have felt utterly isolated in their troubles, but what a few of them started to do -- in synchronicity with people in other indigenous communities -- has spread hope and awareness across the planet.

Does Religion Promote Violence?

Derek Flood | Posted 11.16.2013 | Religion
Derek Flood

Does religion make you a better person, or does it in fact do the opposite, and instead foster hate, fear, and violence? One does not have to look far to find examples of violence done at the hands of religious power, but is religion itself really to blame?

A Better Story: Re-Thinking What Justice Looks Like

Derek Flood | Posted 10.27.2013 | Religion
Derek Flood

The tragic irony is that inflicting violence and harm in the name of justice does not in fact stop violence at all; it perpetuates it. When a person says "I want to make them hurt like they hurt me" what they are really longing for is empathy, for the person to recognize the harm they have done, and for them to care.

Lutherans Adopt 'The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries'

Norma Cook Everist | Posted 10.19.2013 | Religion
Norma Cook Everist

The statement affirms the fundamental principles of the U.S. criminal justice system, such as due process of law and the presumption of legal innocence, and it also recognizes serious deficiencies.

To Keep Kids Out of Trouble -- and Prison -- Teach Them to Understand Their Emotions

Katherine Gustafson | Posted 10.14.2013 | Impact
Katherine Gustafson

While the idea of turning our schools into the backdrop for a war-zone video game is alarming enough, the call for militarization of classrooms threatens to entrench an even deeper dysfunction in our school system.

Restorative Justice Bill Introduced in Massachusetts

Pierre R. Berastaín | Posted 10.07.2013 | Crime
Pierre R. Berastaín

The first victim-offender dialogue in Massachusetts occurred in 2006, when Janet Connors met with two of the men who had murdered her son Joel.

'Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here' In The Line Of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 3 Of 4

Suzanne Skees | Posted 10.02.2013 | Chicago
Suzanne Skees

Peacemaking circles, a cornerstone tool of the restorative justice movement, bring together victims and perpetrators, estranged or upset family members -- and on a weekly basis at The Center, members of opposing gangs.

"Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here" in the Line of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 2 of 4

Suzanne Skees | Posted 09.29.2013 | Chicago
Suzanne Skees

A tiny white nun with glasses and grey hair, Donna rolls down her window to wave to everyone she passes on the street, from heavily armed police patrols to clusters of men she knows to be gang members.

'Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here' in the Line of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 1 of 4

Suzanne Skees | Posted 09.28.2013 | Chicago
Suzanne Skees

"I'm always shocked by how many of our kids say, 'Let me show you my bullet scars.' One boy in our program still has a bullet lodged in his abdomen. It's not really about being cool, like other teenagers with their tattoos: It's more like, this is who I am."

Art as Restorative Justice in Brooklyn

NYC-ARTS | Posted 09.23.2013 | Arts
NYC-ARTS

Thanks to a 2013 "Our Town" grant announced last week by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), one might envy Brownsville as the place to be for ...

Restorative Justice Is on the Rise

Molly Rowan Leach | Posted 09.22.2013 | Crime
Molly Rowan Leach

Restorative Justice is not about excusing crime or letting people off the hook. It's not about forcing forgiveness or even about forgiveness per se. What Restorative Justice is makes it the most powerful answer to the justice predicament that we've yet seen.

The Zimmerman Verdict: There's a New Justice in Town

Brad R. Braxton | Posted 09.21.2013 | Religion
Brad R. Braxton

On Sunday, July 14, 2013, I preached at The Open Church, a radically inclusive congregation in Baltimore, wearing a grey hoodie, black jeans, and a purple baseball cap turned backwards.

Restorative Justice Behind Prison Walls

Pierre R. Berastaín | Posted 09.10.2013 | Crime
Pierre R. Berastaín

The men serving time at Norfolk Prison helped put together a retreat meant to inspire inmates to rehabilitate, mend the harms they have caused, and make promises to the community in and outside the prison walls that they will live more honest and honorable lives. It felt transformative.

School-to-Prison-Pipeline

Ted Wachtel | Posted 08.11.2013 | Crime
Ted Wachtel

Simple strategies, such as the use of restorative circles in classrooms, provide opportunity for students to communicate with their peers and teachers about feelings and concerns, reducing the anxiety and misunderstanding that produce tension and conflict in schools.

Just Restoration vs. "It's Just Policy": What Will it Take to Truly Reform School Discipline?

Sally Lee | Posted 07.29.2013 | New York
Sally Lee

It's easier to talk about the problems than to put money on possible solutions. At a recent symposium on the School-to-Prison Pipeline I found a disturbing lack of teacher voice, despite constant blaming of educators and schools for perpetuating the pipeline.

Restorative Justice: Re-storying What Happened in Boston

Pierre R. Berastaín | Posted 06.23.2013 | Impact
Pierre R. Berastaín

I still go to sleep wondering whether more bombs will appear in the city, whether my family will be okay, whether the sounds of sirens and the choppers of helicopters will bring memories of unease. I know I'm not alone.

With Thousands of Schools Curbing Suspensions, There's No Excuse for the Growing Discipline Gap

Jane Ellen Stevens | Posted 06.08.2013 | Impact
Jane Ellen Stevens

More than 23,000 schools out of 132,000 nationwide have or are discarding a highly punitive approach to school discipline in favor of supportive, compassionate and solution-oriented methods. Those that take the slow-but-steady road can see a 20 percent to 40 percent drop in suspensions.