Juvenile Justice and Restorative Conferencing

On The Law Matters with Municipal Judge David Bazar and Deb Morais, Julia discusses YRP’s Restorative Conferencing program in Rhode Island schools, and how this approach could bring new resources to the State’s juvenile justice system. We all agree that the focus of the justice system should be on “rehabilitation”, especially for young offenders. But that meansContinue reading “Juvenile Justice and Restorative Conferencing”

Chronically Misbehaving Kids Suffer Mental and Social Disease

Published by EducationNews.org — Sometimes these students get a chance to  shake off the ‘bad kid’ self-image.  Too often not. Naturally, Faina Davis, a lawyer and head of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), would have a happy-ish story about what happens when troubled kids connect with adults who practice Restorative Justice.  Far more often, kidsContinue reading “Chronically Misbehaving Kids Suffer Mental and Social Disease”

Online Interactions Are Cultivating Anti-Social Boys

Published by EducationNews.org — How do we help a kid whose social life is mainly with his screens? The boy shrugs off a question for maybe the 10th time that afternoon.  He seems incapable of simple human interaction.  Mom tries to talk for him as he wriggles and writhes at the table in her impeccable kitchen.  No, she’sContinue reading “Online Interactions Are Cultivating Anti-Social Boys”

When Parents Separate, Family Courts Make Bad Situations Worse

Published by EducationNews.org — The legal system is about winning and losing, not about helping a broken family heal. A Chicago firefighter and the mother of their 10-year old daughter Alyssa agreed to live close to each other so Dad could see his child every day.  The extended family, especially two doting grandpas, wrapped themselves around theContinue reading “When Parents Separate, Family Courts Make Bad Situations Worse”

Ask Kids Good Questions, Then Let Them Answer

Published by EducationNews.org — In conference, we understand why many parents want to speak for their kids.  But it’s very enabling. Today we’re in a conference with school staff, Mom, and her middle-school son who we’ll call Ryan.  Kids and their families come to conference when the youth’s behavior negatively affects the school community.  Conferences are structured meetings designedContinue reading “Ask Kids Good Questions, Then Let Them Answer”

Maintaining Good Relationships is Inconvenient

Published by EducationNews.org — When all parties feel heard, agreements tend to stick. In a convenience culture, busy people have little patience for the tedious, sometimes maddening work of sustaining good relationships.  Checking out perceived slights, apologizing, talking things through are hard.  Yucky feelings come up and it takes time to sort things out, sometimes aContinue reading “Maintaining Good Relationships is Inconvenient”

A Fabulous Question Rescues a Teen’s Life

Published by EducationNews.org — Restoration needs a caring community to help offenders see the hurt and wretchedness they’ve inflicted on others. At the ripe old age of 13, the girl had already spent a couple of years being prostituted by her mother and taking all manner of drugs, thanks to Mom and the johns.  Nice, huh? Continue reading “A Fabulous Question Rescues a Teen’s Life”

Create More Disciplinary Options Than just Suspensions and Cops

Published by EducationNews.org — “You’re outta here” gets the problem off the school’s plate — and postpones any real solution. If you look into school-suspension data — state or local — you’ll find a bunch of numbers that tell you nothing about the severity of the offenses.  You’ll find high rates clustered in vague categories likeContinue reading “Create More Disciplinary Options Than just Suspensions and Cops”

Children and Youth Voices are a Wealth of Information

Published by EducationNews.org — Part 5 of 5 on Leeds’ efforts to become a Child-Friendly City.  (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) Last November, the Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Leeds, England invited 10 sixth-graders, 10 and 11-year-olds, to tea at their home.  Annually, for the last 10 years, the Leeds City Council has invited all theContinue reading “Children and Youth Voices are a Wealth of Information”

What Is International Restorative Justice Week?

Published by EducationNews.org — The U.S. is lagging the developed world on this issue. Internationally, the Restorative Justice community set aside November 17-24 to celebrate the power of Restoration.  Of the many sites offering resources on this topic, I recommend Canada’s, for a start. But what is Restorative Justice? Well, crudely, it’s an alternative to the justiceContinue reading “What Is International Restorative Justice Week?”