Apart from the fact that corrections facilities are over capacity, it is also acknowledged that existing sentencing procedures and outcomes don’t always address the root of the problem. Alternative dispute resolution methods are being utilized, if not considered, to be able to bridge these gaps. This webinar looks into the concepts of restorative justice and peacekeeping, the process, and their benefits for those involved and the community as a whole.
Leading this discussion is Margaret Crowley. She’s licensed to practice law in Nevada since 1991 and is the owner of Crowley Mediation, a firm providing mediation services for a range of issues. She is a partner in Mediator Training Center, which provides training in beginning and advanced mediation, and offers mediator coaching and customized classes.
Specifics of this session include:
- Margaret’s background in restorative justice and the pivotal incident that happened to her daughter that emphasized the need for and value of a peacemaking/restorative justice program.
- The primary characteristics and benefits of peacemaking and restorative justice approach in terms of…
- Collaboration, humanizing the court system, empathy, and respect that allows victims to have a voice in the process and facilitate healing.
- Voluntary and empowering for victim and offender where issues that matter to both parties are discussed, agreed upon, and resolved constructively.
- Transparent and flexible where the needs of the people directly involved in the case are taken into account instead of just abiding by specific rules and systems.
- Forward-thinking and impactful in terms of addressing things that are within the parties’ control.
- How peacemaking and restorative justice is being used in the traditional and less traditional sense.
- What peacemaking is, its inception, goal, premise, uses, and specific resources.
- The people who are tasked to facilitate peacemaking and its ceremonial and healing functions based on its indigenous roots.
- What restorative justice is, its beginning, core theory, and principles that pertain to accountability, repairing harm, facilitating healing, and reintegrating offenders back into the community.
- The key restorative justice questions to consider as they relate to the victims and the community.
- The three types of restorative justice programs employed by different legal systems across the world, their structure, goals, and procedures.
- The controversy surrounding the appropriateness of restorative justice in domestic violence cases and studies that illustrate its impact on domestic violence victim and offender outcomes.
- Evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of restorative justice in different populations as well as its potential harm.
- A rundown of the different entities that provide restorative justice services.
- Other areas of society where restorative justice principles are being applied into.
Points raised by the webinar participants in the Q&A are about:
- How restorative justice is being utilized in Reedley, California.
- What the basis should be on whether restorative justice is applicable in a specific case and where it results in most successes.
- Risks of leveraging restorative justice pre-conviction.
- Using assessments and other tools to determine whether and ensure specific individuals will not circumvent or abuse the restorative justice procedures.
- Focusing on victim healing instead of trying to undo the damage when thinking of repairing harm.
- Considerations when including elders in the restorative justice process.
- Factors that may affect the effectiveness of restorative justice particularly in juveniles and those with mental/developmental issues.
Resources and Handouts
- Handout: Peacemaking Programs
- Handout: Facilitated Alt Dispute Resolution Process Comparison Chart/Matrix
- Link: Indigenous Native American Peacemaking resources
- Link: Culture of Empathy Center
- Article Link: Sherman: UK/Australia study: Twelve experiments in restorative justice: the Jerry Lee program of randomized trials of restorative justice conferences
- Article Link: Wong: Can At-Risk Youth Be Diverted From Crime?: A Meta-Analysis of Restorative Diversion Programs
- Article Link – Journal Conflict Resolution: Healing a Fractured Community
- Resources Link: Additional Resources
- Article Link: Domestic Violence: A randomized controlled trial of restorative justice-informed treatment for domestic violence crimes (Arizona)
- Article Link: Domestic Violence: The next generation of court-mandated domestic violence treatment: A comparison study of batterer intervention and restorative justice programs (Utah)
- “This was, by far, the best webinar I have participated in for realistic, sensible information on restorative justice and peacekeeping.” — Glenda
- “Everything, I heard some things I did not know.” — Ginger
- “I enjoyed the personal touch Ms Crawley gave to the presentation because her daughter had been a victim.” — Catharina
- “The presenter was clear and provided examples of real stories. Very thorough and interesting.” — Janitza
- “I like that this is a newer topic/approach. While the facilitator could provide limited information, it showed how your agency is focused on providing new innovative philosophies to the criminal justice field so we can be aware of developments to improve services.” — Melissa
- “Great overview. We’d love to get more information on which types of criminal cases would be best served by these restorative justice principles. Thank you!” — Michael
- “I appreciated the distinction being made between domestic violence and other types of crimes, as well as the discussion around the timing of restorative justice measures in terms of guilty plea/conviction.” — Rachel
- “She broke down all the different types to make them easier for a person with no restorative justice experience to understand.” — Elisha
- “The overview and history of restorative justice was great, and I also appreciate the practical questions that were asked at the end of the webinar.” — James