YES! Magazine: feature Restorative Justice in New Zealand

During the 1980s, New Zealand faced a crisis familiar to other Western nations around the world. Thousands of children, especially members of minority groups, were being removed from their homes and placed in foster care or institutions. The juvenile justice system was overburdened and ineffective. New Zealand’s incarceration rate for young people was one of the highest in the world, but its crime rate also remained high. At the same time, New Zealand’s punitive approach was also in part a “welfare” model. Although young people were being punished, they were also being rewarded by receiving attention. Yet they were not being required to address the actual harm they had caused... ..

RJ has a new law. How do we transform that law into known practice?

Posted by Ben Emery - So perhaps you were waiting for that day when restorative justice would be recognized and embraced by those in government. It appears that your dream has come true- at least in Colorado, via unanimously passed House Bill 11-1032. But as the practicing community is learning, there is much associated with turning a lawinto the law. At the June 7th bill signing ceremony, Representative Pete Lee, the bill’s architect, met with enthusiastic applause and celebration. He then delivered clear instruction. “Talk to your D.A.’s, Talk to your Judges. Let victims know that they need only ask for RJ....” In short, Lee charged the RJ community, himself included, with the success or failure of the law and its impact on the quality of life in Colorado.  ..

Restorative Justice Blog Aye?

Posted by Ben Emery - Yes. This blog is about restorative justice. It is also about power, community and the role of collective narratives in the service of justice. The point is, that Colorado is leading the field of restorative justice.

The recent groundbreaking legislation is merely a responsible reaction to the work of some 150 ground level organizations, community groups and municipalities practicing restorative justice in Colorado. That's you by the way. And for those folks popping in from around the country and around the world, welcome to you too. Consider this your lounge; your parlor room; your front porch. It was designed to support a conversation of curiosity. It was designed to explore what Justice with a capital J actually looks like.

There are venues for praising Restorative Justice as the holy grail. This is not that place. In the very spirit of restorative, this blog calls for the range of opinions and welcomes those with ideas and feelings that call for creative conversation. We at RJcolorado.org will constantly modify the site in order to keep up with a dynamic and constantly changing restorative justice movement. Please help us by writing and returning to write again as new ideas come to you.

Enjoy your visit and come back often. The movement needs you.

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Connecting to Restorative Justice

Posted by Debbie Wilde - I agreed to an appointment to the Restorative Justice Council because I have repeatedly experienced the transformation in people and relationships that restorative justice opportunities facilitate. Coming from a rural area on the western slope, I had little connection and information about all that is happening in our state with regard to RJ practices. The vast geography of our state as well as our busy lives, keeps us isolated. ..

Savannah Part 3

Third and final in Savannah series, continued here... Over the last year, my goals in life have changed a bit as well. I still want to be a therapist and help kids, but I have expanded on my vision about how that could work. I would love to do something with RJ because I feel like my skills and the RJ principles match really well. I would love to do something with drama and acting.

I feel so much more confident in the skills that I have now, especially in my acting and facilitating. I also really want to travel. I have been bitten by the travel bug and everyone knows it! That’s how much I’ve been talking about it recently! If I could have it my way right now through my career eyes, I would mash everything up into one.

I would like to have my MA in psychology, possibly have my own business that has to do with therapy but also incorporate the skills and principles of RJ into my practice. I would be an active member in an RJ program, do photography as a hobby outside of work and I would be out in the real world performing in big plays. I also hope to travel as much as I can—seeing Ireland is definitely the first stop.

As you can see, RJ has really helped me grow and become a better person. I live by the RJ principles as much as I can, knowing I am still a teenager. I do everything with a positive attitude and I do it with pride. I would really encourage anybody who has an interest in peace making, helping the community, being a leader in the face of conflict or changing the world, to knock on your local Restorative Justice door and get involved! It could be a life changing move…but the choice is up to you.

15 year old Longmont High Sophomore, LHS Restorative Justice Student Team Facilitator, Actress, Aspiring Therapist and Traveler... Savannah Iverson.

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