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Restorative Justice

The Militarized Divide

Robert Koehler | Posted 12.11.2014 | Chicago
Robert Koehler

Either we're united by our common humanity or we live in a broken world, a nation hellishly divided against itself, a roiling stew of privilege and squalor. And no one in such a world is free -- that is to say, fully himself or herself, fully human.

Restorative Justice and the Rebirth of Chicago

Robert Koehler | Posted 11.13.2014 | Chicago
Robert Koehler

RJ is about repairing harm, not punishing wrongdoers and, in the process, saddling them with a lifelong identity as criminals. It's also about telling the truth, and building relationships with truth as the bedrock. It's about connecting.

Learning Our Place

Sally Lee | Posted 11.03.2014 | Education
Sally Lee

Given these fears, should parents and educators train children to be submissive and obedient in order to stay out of jail, or simply to survive? Or should they be treated as full human beings entitled to freedom, self-determination and voice in our society?

DC's Attorney General Race: A Serious Impact on District Youth

Michael Shank | Posted 11.04.2014 | DC
Michael Shank

Now, more than ever, we must pay attention to the practices and policies of the office tasked with prosecuting our youth. In 2011, there were 3,464 arrests of youth in the District and more than 42 percent of these were for non-violent misdemeanors.

Prison for Teen Who Lit "Agender" Youth's Skirt on Fire Thwarts Healing

Sue Burrell | Posted 12.21.2014 | Crime
Sue Burrell

The news of Richard Thomas' seven-year prison sentence raises fresh questions about how the justice system intervenes in dangerous, but clearly adolescent behavior.

Cory Booker, Rand Paul Shine Light on Shadow Side of U.S. Justice System

Lisa Sharon Harper | Posted 09.10.2014 | Religion
Lisa Sharon Harper

As prophets did in the days of abolition, the anti-lynching movement, and the Civil Rights movement, modern-day leaders, like Michelle Alexander, have traversed the country shining light on the myth of equal justice in our justice system. And on Tuesday, the unlikely duo of Sens. Cory Booker and Rand Paul joined together to address this myth by introducing the REDEEM Act.

Pasta and Peacemaking: Learning Nonviolence From My Kids

Derek Flood | Posted 07.28.2014 | Healthy Living
Derek Flood

It's amazing to me how much of our spiritual and emotional problems have clear biological and physical causes. The reason he was so demanding is that his body was hungry, and so his brain went into alarm mode:

The 50-Billion-Dollar Question

Jim Liske | Posted 06.18.2014 | Crime
Jim Liske

For decades, "tough on crime" policies contributed to the explosive growth of the prison population -- and the amount of money we spend on locking people up.

The Political Rise of Restorative Justice

Molly Rowan Leach | Posted 05.26.2014 | Crime
Molly Rowan Leach

Restorative justice, realized in many states and localities as a new framework, views and responds to youth crime with a different lens.

The Leading Edge of Peace: Our Evolutionary Path Forward

Matthew Albracht | Posted 05.12.2014 | Impact
Matthew Albracht

If this burgeoning field of peacebuilding is to reach full potential, we must help catalyze and galvanize a movement behind it and create much stronger systems and infrastructure to support it.

I Am My Brother's Keeper: Why We Must Change the Code

William Lynch III | Posted 05.03.2014 | Education
William Lynch III

A cornerstone of the school-to-prison pipeline has been overly punitive school discipline codes, with disciplinary action applied disproportionately to people of color.

With the Fixed Presence of the Military, It's Time to Focus More on Grassroots, Community-Based Restorative Justice Initiatives in Egypt

Andrew P. Klager, Ph.D. | Posted 04.19.2014 | Politics
Andrew P. Klager, Ph.D.

When top-down "solutions" from the Egyptian government, military, or state police seem out of reach or otherwise too fickle to rely on, making space for a community to band together and take matters into their own hands through grassroots restorative justice initiatives is a far more reliable.

Saving the District's At-Risk Youth From Mayor Gray's Budget Cuts

Michael Shank | Posted 04.14.2014 | DC
Michael Shank

The mayor's office has a surplus, meaning that its decision to restrict funding from this organization is not only strategically ill-conceived, as it invariably invites more youth to pursue a path of violence and crime, it is morally unjustifiable.

Beyond Our Broken Dreams

Robert Koehler | Posted 01.23.2014 | Education
Robert Koehler

Something beyond the insane dance of crime and punishment is happening, at least this year, this moment, in Chicago's high schools. Young people are getting a chance to excel and become themselves, as more and more schools find and embrace common sense, also known as restorative justice.

Zero Tolerance Is Mean and Stupid

Mark Daniel Snyder | Posted 03.24.2014 | Gay 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 | Posted 12.21.2013 | DC
Michael Shank

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.