What do we want a justice system to accomplish?

The modern judicial system and restorative justice (RJ) both aim to support public peace and safety. But their methods have radically different outcomes. For a quick orientation, check out YRP’s side-by-side comparison. For a deeper understanding of distinctions, let’s start with a brief look at the beginnings of modern RJ. Originating in tribal circles, RJ hasContinue reading “What do we want a justice system to accomplish?”

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 — sheContinue reading “Recidivism is Expensive, Let’s Try Something Else”

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 aboutContinue reading “Reducing Recidivism Requires Strong Political Will”

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 scenarioContinue reading “Treat Juvenile Crime as a Mental and Social Disease”