Monthly Archives: May 2013

Victim-Offender Dialogue at San Quentin Prison

In 1990, a man by the name of Kairi was arrested and convicted of first-degree murder. He was subsequently sentenced to serve 26 years in California’s San Quentin prison. Twenty-three years later the San Quentin Radio Project spoke with Kairi about his experience in the prison’s restorative justice program which brings victim and offender together for a healing dialogue. After meeting with the sister of the man he had murdered, Kairi commented, “I wasn’t aware of the impact that I was causing to her family. Not just to her family, but the community at large. So when you sit across from someone that you’ve harmed, you’re going to hear from them personally what that affect was and how that affected their lives…”.

This powerful interview can be heard in its entirety here

Advertisements

Students and Faculty Advocate for RJ in Schools

Students, teachers, and parents across the nation are demanding an end to punitive school-based polices which have led to shockingly high suspension rates among students–particularly among the Black and Latino student body. With the goal of eliminating the detrimental effects that suspensions have had on teacher-student relations, as well as on the educational outcomes for targeted students, Fresno Unified School District has voted to dedicate half a million dollars towards the implementation of restorative justice programs in their schools. Following this national trend, New York City students have begun to demand an end to punitive punishments and policing of youth in schools, advocating instead for restorative justice approaches to discipline.

restorative-justice_med

 

To learn more about the movement to implement restorative justice practices in New York City schools, click here

Community Responses to Violence: Advocacy Based Counseling

Community United Against Violence (CUAV)–a San Francisco, California based advocacy group–is leading the way in violence intervention and prevention strategies. CUAV pays particular attention to violence and abuse within the LGBTQ community–a population which has historically been underrepresented within the domestic violence movement. The emphasis of CUAV work is on safety, healing, and skill building in order to support healthy relationships. In addition to leadership development and support groups, individuals dealing with abuse can receive short term counseling through CUAV’s Advocacy Based Counseling (ABC) program. With a focus on reinforcing the self-determination and autonomy of the participant, as well as the inclusion of partners, family members, and peers in the therapy process, the ABC model is unique among violence intervention programs.

For more information about CUAV’s anti-violence work visit their website, here

RJ in the Courts

Since it’s founding in 1907, The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) spearheaded efforts to apply innovative research to policy and practice models within the criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. In Alameda County, CA, NCCD has developed and implemented a restorative juvenile diversion program–the goal of which is to reduce rates of incarceration and recidivism while promoting healing for the victims of crimes.

Commenting on the beneficial outcomes of restorative justice within the criminal justice system, Sujatha Baliga–Senior Program Specialist for NCCD–had the following to say: “…in some ways, the state can even stand in sort of to remove power from victims at times, depending on the district attorney who’s involved. But when victims actually get to be part of participatory dialogue and decision-making, it is an incredibly empowering experience”

Listen to Sajutha Baliga speak more about NCCD’s restorative justice program in Alameda County here