forgiveness Inspiration prisons Restorative dialogue (aka victim offender mediation) Restorative Justice Victims

Remembering Bob Shapel at a Walla Walla Prison Restorative Dialogue

In January 2011 I was asked to work with three people to facilitate a restorative dialogue (a.k.a. victim offender mediation) at Walla Walla prison in Washington State. The dialogue was filmed for Confronting on the Oprah Winfrey Network Colleen Shapel’s husband Bob, who was also her best friend for most of her life, was senselessly murdered in a February 2004 robbery. Melissa, Colleen’s oldest daughter, and William Schorr, a co-defendant who plead guilty to…

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APAC Prisons prisons Rehabilitation

Norway’s Halden Prison: A Humane Approach Works for Rehabilitation

Halden prison in Norway, close to the boarder near Sweden, is amazing:,9171,1986002,00.html Halden’s focus on how to treat imprisoned people humanely works to decrease repeat criminal behavior as illustrated in its 20% recidivism rate 2 years after release. An interview with a man imprisoned at Halden affirmed the value of its humane approach. According to the man, Halden is a “fantastic” prison compared to the other 5 he has been in. He said he…

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Rehabilitation Restorative Justice Victims

Albert Eglash & the history of restorative jusitce

Albert Eglash was a psychologist in the 1950s working with incarcerated people. He saw the need for his clients to be accountable for their behavior that hurt others and saw its rehabilitation value. Eglash wanted people to understand the value in their making restitution when they hurt others. He presented a paper at a conference on restitution in 1975: Beyond Restitution-Creative Restitution which was published in 1977 Restitution in Criminal Justice: A Critical Assessment of…

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Inspiration Restorative Justice Victims

Restorative justice helps heal emotional wounds

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. writes about her fascinating experience as a Harvard trained brain scientist who suffered a stoke in My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journal. I was fortunate to read Dr. Taylor’s book during a recent 6 hour train ride from New York City to Rochester. Dr. Taylor insightfully discusses how she healed both physically and emotionally, and says: Emotional healing was a tediously slow process but well worth the effort.…

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Reentry & Transition Planning Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice for People Who are Innocent & Wrongfully Imprisoned

For many, if not most restorative justice programs, a basic principle is that it should only be used for people who have committed crimes, and who admit their guilt. See for example: After working with restorative justice for the last 15 years, I think this principal needs to be more carefully considered, and can be abandoned in some cases. A restorative approach asking, “who was hurt, how, and what could be done to help…

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forgiveness Restorative Justice Self-compassion

Restorative Justice Can Increase Self-Compassion

Restorative justice helps us develop self-compassion. I know a lot about not being compassionate with myself. A couple months ago I wrote about how unforgiving I was toward myself for almost getting murdered by a stranger for The Forgiveness Project based in London. It’s always been pretty easy for me to be compassionate and forgiving of others, but when it comes to myself I tend to be unrelenting in intolerance for my failures, which intellectually…

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news prisons Reentry & Transtion Planning Restorative Justice Solution-Focused

3-day Training on Restorative Justice & Solution-Focused Reentry & Transition Planning Circles

March 16 – 18, 2011, Rochester, New York, Lorenn Walker & Rebecca Greening, will provide a comprehensive training on the innovative reentry and transition planning circle process developed in Hawai’i for imprisoned people and their loved ones. Also discussed on the VERA Institute of Justice website: Reentry & Transition Planning Circles are based on the principles and practices of restorative justice (RJ) and solution-focused brief therapy (SF) approaches. The Circles can be used for…

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prisons Reentry & Transtion Planning Restorative Justice Solution-Focused

Reentry & Transition Planning for Incarcerated People to help Repair Family Relationships and Increase Criminal Desistance

Since 2005 we have been piloting a facilitated group reentry and transition planning process, Huikahi Restorative Circles in Hawai’i for incarcerated people and their loved ones. The Circles use solution-focused brief therapy language and restorative justice to address the needs of individual incarcerated people for desisting from crime and drug use. The Circle process is self-directed by an individual incarcerated person who takes responsibility for addressing how they can meet their and their loved ones’…

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Inspiration prisons Psychology of possibility Restorative Justice Solution-Focused

The psychology of possibility: “I am in prison, but prison isn’t in me”

Most people have heard that they can look at situations anyway they want, that we don’t have to suffer by adverse situations. “We cannot escape pain, but suffering is optional,” but how exactly do you do this? It’s one thing to know something, but how to actually apply what we know and live it is not the same thing. This year I learned more about applying what we know when I heard a woman say,…

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courts Judges Lawyers Restorative Justice Solution-Focused Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Lawyers promote restorative justice & therapeutic jurisprudence

While a lot of “lawyer dissing” goes on, some of it easily understandable, many lawyers and judges (who are also lawyers) should be recognized for promoting restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence. Judge Gordon McConnell was instrumental in the first modern restorative justice case. John Braithwaite, in Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation, cites a paper by Peachy, D.E., 1989, “The Kitchener Experiment” In Mediation and Criminal Justice: Victims, Offenders and Community, edited by M. Wright and…

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