more on restorative justice in Colorado

Two videos on restorative justice in Colorado, both worth watching. I have written that compulsory attendance laws have shaped our public school system away from developing the relationships that are the heart of social groups.  A positive relationship with families is vital for any service supporting them. Restorative justice is a gift and a tool that can transform lives, and help move schools away from punitive practices (truancy and grading remain) and toward providing supportive services for their communities.

The first video gives a quick overview of the process and how it works. It shows the focus on the victim and the process that transforms those participating. The two restorative justice advocates describe the process and how it will work in all schools; they are professional and articulate but make no mistake about their drive:
"I refuse to allow the criminal justice system to capture our young minds .... We're not gonna save every kid, I'm not crazy enough ... I understand that ... but I will die trying."
The second, longer video is of Colorado state representative Pete Lee who proposed and helped pass Colorado's restorative justice bill. Lee and Colorado are making history by passing (unanimously) a restorative justice bill that affects the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system and is being implemented in schools. Denver has started that process.  Lee states:
"The courts and the schools belong to us, the people, [and] when they are not working, we must insist upon change and right now they are not working. Not when 1/3 of our kids fail to graduate from high school, not when 50% of inmates return to prison. ... Victims drive the process ... it is now their right to do so. ... Use it [in schools] to stop the cycle of expulsion, suspension, and dropping out. "
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment