Punishment is Not Accountability

Published by EducationNews.org — Being forced to think twice is how we change behavior and develop a conscience. Webster’s Dictionary defines accountability as “The state of being liable to answer for one’s conduct.”  Everyone needs to be able to give an account for their actions at times.  In fact, they should expect to do so when […]

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Recidivism is Expensive, Let’s Try Something Else

Published by EducationNews.org — Trying to punish people into compliance costs a lot, and more importantly, doesn’t work. This is our third look at how Judge Pamela Williams, in her mental health court in Nova Scotia, successfully kept offenders from further contact with police, courts, and jail.  Using the CoSA model — see last week’s column — she […]

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Reducing Recidivism Requires Strong Political Will

Published by EducationNews.org — The challenge is to keep offenders from just cycling through traditional systems that don’t work. Back in the 1990s a Mennonite minister, Harry Nigh, developed a protocol for radically reducing recidivism among sex offenders.  The common assumption to this day — probably even yours — is that nothing can be done about […]

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The Justice System Can’t Ignore Mental Health

Published by EducationNews.org — We need to understand each other’s stories for justice to get done. Chief Judge Pamela Williams, Provincial and Family Courts of Nova Scotia A woman we’ll call Jane embezzled money from her company. She’d been feeding a nasty gambling habit and her boss figured it out.  She was arrested, jailed, and wound […]

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Restorative Justice in Vermont 22 Years On

Published by EducationNews.org — Centralized quality control and some standardization need to be balanced with local community culture. “Fifty years from now, people will look back and see a truly transformative model.  One that applies not only to what human beings really are, but also what they really need from justice.” I realize many a group […]

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Treat Juvenile Crime as a Mental and Social Disease

Published by EducationNews.org — Change the way we’re having this conversation.  Focus on the crime as a symptom. Crime among juveniles is a symptom of a problem.  Our system doesn’t question the root cause of the issue, but asks instead:  Is the kid guilty or innocent?  If guilty, what’s the punishment? As a result, this scenario […]

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#Cut50 Aims to Halve Prison Population in 10 Years

Published by EducationNews.org — Is record-breaking mass incarceration, mainly of men of color, really okay with most Americans? Photo: cut50.org — Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Van Jones and Newt Gingrich. Van Jones is the President and co-founder of Dream Corps, a Civil Rights advocacy group.  Jones got his law degree from Yale, writes best-selling books, has served […]

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What Does Mass Incarceration Say About American Democracy?

Published by EducationNews.org — How we chose to build up the largest prison population in the world. America’s torrid love affair with jails and prisons is hardly breaking news.  Since the late 1990s, academics called for the end of mass incarceration because their data revealed shameful racial disparities.  Fat lot of good it’s done.  Now we’re up […]

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Punishment is Not Discipline

Published by EducationNews.org — The end result of bad discipline strategy is prisons stuffed with high school drop-outs. Recently Eva Moskowitz took to the Wall Street Journal to blast New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for promoting what she calls “lax discipline” in City schools.  Her op-ed outright sneers at his efforts to expand disciplinary strategies […]

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Unintended Segregation in Schools of Last Resort

Published by EducationNews.org — Charter schools can be great for the kids who get in, but what about the kids who don’t? An odd clatter of wheelchairs and colorful walking supports accompanies a little convoy of physically-challenged middle-school students heading to lunch.  Blind kids find their way using sticks with tennis balls on the end.  Others, quite […]

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