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    'While I can talk about restorative justice from the framework of Scripture and theology, this week I will rely on experts in the field. Teachers and practitioners Elaine Enns and Ched Myers define restorative justice and peacemaking as

    “a range of nonviolent responses to injustice, violation, and/or violence with the aim of reducing or halting the presenting violence in order that victims and offenders (as well as their communities and other stakeholders) can collectively identify harms, needs, and responsibilities so that they can determine how to make things as right as possible, which can include covenants of accountability, restitution, reparations and (ideally) reconciliation.”'

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    'Envisioning Queer Justice Collaborative

    JUST RELEASED! After six community peacebuilding circles across the state of Minnesota (prior to the pandemic), over 100 pages of transcripts, and receiving input from those in the Queer community, Envisioning Queer Justice Collaborative is so excited to release the findings from our LGBTQ+ youth justice circles.
    To learn about how some Queer youth in Minnesota define safety, distinguish punishment and accountability, and envision justice, read the full report here: '

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    'Some advocate for training SROs to be more restorative; however, SROs have shown that training on how to interact with students as mentors does not change their racist policing behaviors. Before Minneapolis Public Schools terminated their contract with the MPD, they had been unsuccessfully trying to transform the role of their SROs from “enforcer” to “mentor” and still police officers were disproportionately “interacted with” black students. (Minneapolis Star Tribune) In 2016, the Police Accountability Task Force released a report that found systemic and institutionalized racism in all areas of the Chicago Police Department. The task force concluded that “CPD’s own data and other information strongly suggests that CPD’s response to the violence is not sufficiently imbued with Constitutional policing tactics and is also comparatively void of actual procedural and restorative justice in the day-to-day encounters between the police and citizens.”'

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    'A restorative justice approach works to repair harm and strengthen communities where wrong has occurred. It seeks to meet the needs of those harmed, while also considering the causes of the wrongful behavior in order to promote accountability and growth for the one who caused harm. This highly experiential workshop utilizes a trauma-informed approach, and provides frameworks for identifying and responding to the needs of all those who were impacted by the wrong. Participants will be trained in the philosophy of restorative justice and will learn the foundational skills for facilitating encounters that lead to restorative outcomes.'

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    'A new policing paradigm is called for as an integral part of policing, and not just an interjection of restorative justice processes into current policing practice. Restorative practices should underpin all policing and be guided by restorative justice values of respect, dialogue and relationships, and not focused on crime, but broadly on harmful wrongdoing and conflict and support for victims and affected communities. Restorative policing is a relational paradigm of policing that focuses on creating safer, more connected communities through restorative justice practices underpinned by restorative principles of safety, accountability, sustainability, relationship building and constructive engagement.'

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    'A new policing paradigm is called for as an integral part of policing, and not just an interjection of restorative justice processes into current policing practice. Restorative practices should underpin all policing and be guided by restorative justice values of respect, dialogue and relationships, and not focused on crime, but broadly on harmful wrongdoing and conflict and support for victims and affected communities. Restorative policing is a relational paradigm of policing that focuses on creating safer, more connected communities through restorative justice practices underpinned by restorative principles of safety, accountability, sustainability, relationship building and constructive engagement.'

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    'Restorative practices include teachers and staff working more collaboratively with students and encouraging them to express their feelings in different ways and to understand and respect others. A focus is on healing the hurt associated with negative behaviors. Opponents characterize restorative approaches as anti-discipline and claim these approaches don’t hold students sufficiently accountable for their actions. That is not true: Restorative approaches, by definition, provide high levels of accountability. They are emerging as an alternative to zero-tolerance approaches that see students who’ve committed wrongful actions be suspended without hearing about the impacts of their actions — directly from their victims — and without explicitly focusing on repairing the harm done.'

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    'This year’s IJRJ lecture will be on “The Indecent Demands of Accountability for Young People in Restorative Justice” by Dr William R. Wood (School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Australia). It will be introduced by EFRJ founder Ivo Aertsen (editor-in chief) and chaired by Estelle Zinsstag (managing editor).'

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    'In a Catholic response to crime, the first step is to see as persons both those who commit the crime and those hurt by it, each with a unique value, and to see the crime as a sign of broken relationships leading to a lack of due respect and a lack of connection to society on the part of the perpetrator. The challenge is to encourage the persons who offend to grow in respect so that they accept their accountability to the people offended and to representatives of the community. This is called restorative justice. Programs of restorative justice, most notably in the justice system in Sweden and in New Zealand Maori communities, work to build reconciliation based on truth and on being accountable to one another.'

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    'Restorative justice is a way of understanding crime in terms of the people and relationships that were harmed, rather than the law that was broken. Restorative justice values human dignity, healing, accountability and the hope of redemption for all involved. Restorative practices seek include those most impacted in repairing the harm through transformative encounter that models Jesus' reconciling way. Beyond the criminal justice system, there are countless opportunities use restorative practices in our personal lives, parishes, and communities.'

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    'They [the kids] sit down in a space and they listen to stories of people who have made similar mistakes and we attach every one of these stories to a different color Marti Gras bead,” Goode explained. “We’ll have a presenter speak and talk about their past with violence and they’ll say if you’ve ever had an issue with violence come down and get a red bead,” Goode said.'

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    'In the 1998 book Restorative Justice: A Vision for Healing and Change, author Susan Sharpe identified five principles for effective restorative justice, a rehabilitation system that focuses on reconciliation between offenders and victims. Employed discriminatingly by experts owing to its potential for retraumatization, the concept of restorative justice places as much importance on the victim’s relief as it does the offender’s restitution and return to society as a healthier, less harmful person. Ms. Sharpe’s principles are: participation of all parties, reparation of both tangible and intangible harm, direct accountability, reintegration where there has been division – meaning that offenders are not forced to leave town – and a future-focused effort to prevent further harm.'

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