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Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results can be transformational.

To see how this approach is changing all aspects of criminal justice, visit the rooms above, the map to the right and the blog below.

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Prison for teen who lit "agender" youth's skirt on fire thwarts healing

from the article by Sue Burrell on HuffPost:

The news of Richard Thomas' seven-year prison sentence raises fresh questions about how the justice system intervenes in dangerous, but clearly adolescent behavior. Richard, age 16, was prosecuted in a California adult court after setting on fire the skirt of 18-year-old "Sasha" Fleischman, who was asleep on a local bus. Sasha identifies as "agender" meaning neither male nor female. Three days after the incident, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Richard as an adult, alleging assault and aggravated mayhem as hate crimes. The charging decision completely bypassed the juvenile court system....

Oct 23, 2014    , , ,

Peace room trumps suspensions at Lincoln Park High School

from the article by Paul Biasco on DNAinfo Chicago:

During his seven years as assistant principal at Kenwood Academy, Michael Boraz learned to believe that punitive justice was the way to a disciplined and well-oiled school.

The idea of a "peace circle" to handle problems rather than a five-day suspension or even a transfer was almost laughable to him.

Oct 22, 2014    , , ,

Oscar Pistorius' sentence: A missed opportunity?

from the post by Mike Batley on Restorative Justice Centre in South Africa:

The sentence that Judge Masipa has decided on reflects the careful balancing act required of a diligent sentencing officer. She has taken the calls by the State for direct imprisonment into account but not to the extent the prosecutor wanted; she has taken into account the call by the defence for Oscar to make a contribution to society by not imposing as lengthy a term of imprisonment as she could have....

These are some of the broader dimensions that could have been explored:

Oct 21, 2014    , , , , , ,

A 'local' response to community problems? A critique of community justice panels

from the article by Kerry Clamp in the British Journal of Community Justice:

Community justice panels have had a long and varied history and are now established at one level or another in most advanced neoliberal states. They involve local members of the community as volunteers in responding to crime and have been lauded for their potential to reduce offending behaviour and provide a more localised, culturally sensitive approach to crime committed by people from those communities. 

Oct 20, 2014   

Dad hurt in east Hull water pistol attack: 'Restorative justice is no deterrent'

from the article by James Campbell in Hull Daily Mail:

Humberside Police is extending its restorative justice programme and claims it is an effective way of dealing with some offences. But a father who was burnt in the face with a chemical while crossing the road in Southcoates Lane, east Hull, says the approach provides little deterrent.

Giving victims more of a say in how criminals are dealt with sounds like a good idea, but for Richard Scerrie it has been a frustrating experience.

The disabled father-of-two was burnt in the face when he was hit by a chemical fired from a water pistol by a gang of youths in east Hull.

But Mr Scerrie remains frustrated by his experience....

Oct 16, 2014    , , , ,

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