The February 5, 2012 New York Times article by Kovaleski et al, For Killers’ Families, Struggles With Shame, Silence and Fear http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/us/killers-families-left-to-confront-fear-and-shame.html?ref=us shows why we need restorative justice.
The article describes how family members are also harmed by their loved one’s criminal behavior. It shows the need for restorative interventions that can help many families deal with the harm they suffer.
The article describes how lawyer Nader Hasen, whose cousin is the psychiatrist from Ft. Hood who shot and killed people, met with one of the murdered victim’s relatives. Today the two are working to prevent similar horrors.
Our mainstream justice system largely ignores the needs of those harmed by crime and instead mainly focuses on identifying and punishing people who commit crimes.
Here is a copy of my comments to the Time’s piece:
Thank you Mr. Kovaleski and NYT for bringing attention to this serious problem basically ignored by the mainstream justice system. Restorative justice on the other hand offers hope. For the last 6 years we have been providing a process for families to meet with loved ones who are accountable for wrongdoing in prison. We have provided 73 Huikahi Restorative Circles to date that 369 people have participated in. The healing these Circles have brought to children, parents and other family members has been overwhelming, 100% of the participants, that includes prison staff, believe the process was positive. Here is a paper on line about the process: http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/FederalCourts/PPS/Fedprob/2010-06/06_restorative_circles.html Thank you again for this piece.