Conflict Management Restorative Justice

Dominic Barter’s Restorative Justice Work

I had the pleasure of meeting with Dominic Barter in Rio de Janeiro in July 2010. I had heard of his restorative circles work last year and was interested in learning more about it. Dominic is from England and has lived in Rio for about 18 years. His background includes experience with theater and drama. He is a teacher and he said he developed the restorative circle process because, “I had to do something about…

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APAC: Brazil’s Restorative Justice Prisons

On July 5 & 6, 2010, I visited two APAC prisons (Associacao de Protecao e Assistencia aos Condenados in English translated as: Association for Protection and Assistance of Convicts) in the city of Itauna, state of Minas Gerias, Brazil. The original APAC prison, which was in San Paulo, Brazil was reportedly the “first contemporary prison” to totally apply a faith-based approach to all parts of prison administration. (See: “Prison Religion: Faith Based reform and the…

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Bringing court to prison in Brazil

While in Brazil learning how it applies restorative justice in its corrections system, I met the wonderful Judge Cristiana Cordeiro.  She is young, enthusiastic, and  more interested in protecting children than she is in status and her own comfort. Once a month Judge Cordeiro travels to a prison in Rio de Janeiro to conduct hearings for incarcerated women helping them place their children into secure and stable homes. “It was much easier for me to…

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Inspiration Restorative Justice Solution-Focused

Restorative justice & solution-focused applications in Washington D.C.

The Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Collaborative (CHSFC) is a community based organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in Washington D.C. It uses restorative justice interventions and provides three basic levels of programs for the community: family group conferencing, youth violence prevention, and work training and jobs for adults. Solution-focused brief therapy principles guide all programs. CHSFC also provides capacity building and training for other agencies. From June 29 to July 2, 2010…

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Mountain Biking and Resorative Justice

Mountain biking is like restorative justice in an important way. Each is a practice on focusing on where we want to go. In mountain biking on narrow single-track trails with steep drops on the side of a mountain, you have to focus on where you want to go. You look down the trail in front of you and pick a line to follow over around rocks and roots that’s passable. If you don’t look where…

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Federal Measures Before Congress that Can Help Promote Restorative Justice

On Tuesday May 11, 2010 4:00 p.m. two measures will be heard by the U. S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security: H.R. 4080, the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Act of 2009; and H.R. 4055, the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Initiative Act of 2009. Reinvesting in crime and the HOPE programs could provide for restorative interventions. Judge Steven Alm a former U.S. Attorney for Hawai‘i, developed the HOPE program. While it…

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Randy Cohen’s Good Advice to Not Call the Police

Randy Cohen, The Ethicist, who writes an insightful and often humorous column for the New York Times Magazine, made a good case for using restorative justice recently.  He answered a question asked by a restaurant manager if he should call the police on a server who was caught stealing.  Mr. Cohen said no!  He pointed out the failings of our justice system in clear and undeniable terms.  The sever too had admitted guilt and offered…

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Restorative justice considers the merits of cases not just rules…

The disturbing case of Albert Holland whose lawyer failed to adequately represent him points out a growing problem with our traditional courts:  the focus on the law and rules vs. the facts and merits of particular cases in making rulings. Most American legal cases are being decided on procedure and law, “the rules,” and not on equity or the merits of cases. See Michael J. Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy.…

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Conflict Management Inspiration Restorative Justice

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy of Hope

Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 81 on his birthday January 15, 2010. He received the Nobel Peace Prize at age 35, and although he only lived for 39 years, his impact on the world was immense.  Not only is he a hero for his work to end racial injustice in the United States, but he left a legacy of hope that we can improve our world through non-violent means. When I was a…

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Creativity Restorative Justice

Restorative justice helps us learn to be creative & become more resilient….

A good article on how a Toronto business school is focusing on teaching students to be creative problem solvers was published in the New York Times January 10, 2010 The article reminds me of how restorative justice and solution-focused thinking, which I think are public health approaches to problem solving, offer us the chance to learn to be more creative and resilient. Being creative feels much better than complaining and whining about the hardships…

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