General Restorative Justice Racial and Political Climate Fostering Discussion

General Restorative Justice Racial and Political Climate Fostering Discussion

Hello this is a Discussion and a reply. The discussion should be about 500-600 words long and the reply to another student should be around 300-350 words. You have to include the two books I will provide and look for one other source to answer the questions. I will give you to samples of other students and you can so create an idea of how to do it and also the reply is going to be just to one of those students. Let me know if you pick student one or two for the reply. For the first question in the discussion you can use charter schools and people in prison as an example because I myself was a charter school student. And yes I believe that it can change and become restorative justice if we try. The rest you can write from the readings I will provide and from the source and your own thoughts tell me what you will say before doing it right away. I do not need an outline page you do not need to spend time on that. PLEASE use APA format. and be respectful in the reply to the other student. I provided first the discussion assignment second I provided the reply assignment than I told you which chapters to read and included the books in the drop box and at the end I gave you the two students discussions. I think it is clear if not let me know if you have any questions.

DISCUSSION: Where do you see restorative justice in general playing out currently, schools, prison, family? Do you believe our current systems and country given it racial & political climate fosters the opportunity for restorative justice? Identify the dominant and alternative discourses that support the school to prison pipeline. Define restorative practices in your own words (based on your experiences, the restorative video posted, lectures, and readings for this week). How could restorative elements shift the dominant discourse? Describe the distinctions between restorative and retributive systems. Also be sure to reference the resources from this month as well as identify at least one outside restorative reference (website, book, article) to support your response. (min. 500 words)

REPLY: In approximately 300 words respond to another person in your group about their planned circle. What did you learn by reading about their circle? What did you find yourself agreeing with and disagreeing with about their plan? Do you have any other suggestions for them to add to their circle based on the purpose they set.

SOURCES read those to be able to answer the question

Marian Liebman please read chapter 1& 2

Braithwaite please read chapter 1

STUDENT 1

Where do you see restorative justice in general playing out currently, schools, prison, family?

During the recent surge in protest in support of the Black lives matter movement and the movement to end police brutality, I’ve witnessed dedicated global action right down to the members of my community in an attempt to right some of the various the wrongs committed against the black and brown communities all over the world.

I live in La Mesa and attended a protest at the police station this summer in which police employed tear gas on us. People of all races suffered under the effects of the tear gas but the images that resonated with me most were those of white people in severe pain flushing the gas out of their eyes. Some would say they have more to lose than to gain in this process, yet they chose to stand in solidarity with us that day. One of the aims of restorative justice is to encourage offenders to acknowledge the harm they have caused and present them with an opportunity for reparations (Liebmann, 2007). A sense of acknowledgment of harm and intent to right those wrongs was extremely salient to me throughout the crowd that day, and it was a very humbling event to be apart of.

Do you believe our current systems and country given it racial & political climate fosters the opportunity for restorative justice?

Yes, I do. A large section of Americans are demonstrating that they want things to change. Equality for our citizens has become a top priority and is being fought for through political activism. I believe now is the perfect time for a widespread discourse about restorative justice and how it can change the landscape of our prisons and black and brown neighborhoods. The current system is not only ineffective but it has also decimated our black and brown neighborhoods and families. I believe the reason we see so much activism across the board at this time is that people are truly realizing the pervasive and insidious nature of our current system and I believe people are more than open to a new system right now.

Identify the dominant and alternative discourses that support the school to prison pipeline.

The school to prison pipeline, like our justice system, engages highly punitive standards operating under the pretense of curbing escalating levels of violence in schools. But this narrative leaves much to be desired. There’s no detention or counseling for troubled students, or even just students having a bad day. Punishment is automatic (Mualimm- ak, 2014). Schools are being created to look more than prisons than schools, and once students have completed or left the school system, students in underfunded/ disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to find themselves in jail than college. Three out of four African American males experience some form of criminal justice supervision (Wood,2014). The cost of meeting the bottom line for the benefactors who support for-profit prisons means that the majority of our black and brown boys will be institutionalized and used as a source of cheap labor.

Define restorative practices in your own words (based on your experiences, the restorative video posted, lectures, and readings for this week).

Restorative justice practices seek to restore and rebuild victims, offenders, and communities. Restorative practices center around bringing the victim and offender together to experience a shared learning experience about how the crime has affected the victim as well as what antecedents positioned the offender to commit the crime. Restorative practices also focus heavily on providing supplemental resources outside of the meetings to assist both parties in recovery from this event and to help ensure that a repeat of said crime does not take place.

How could restorative elements shift the dominant discourse?

One of the main goals of restorative justice’s to produce empathy and remorse between victim and offender. In our current system, creating those feeling is often an afterthought. Even in cases when it is produced it often has little significance to the outcome of the trial.

Restorative justice seeks to make remorse and empathy meaningful experiences. It seeks to disrupt our current understanding of crime and punishment and interject an alternate position; crime and remorse.

Describe the distinctions between restorative and retributive systems.

In retributive systems, the onus is placed loosely on the correction of the offender and largely on the punishment of the offender. Removal of the offender from society or placing them under a different status during said “correctional” period are key points of this method of addressing crime. In restorative justice techniques, the emphasis is placed on healing and returning to the highest degree possible what the victim has lost as a result of the crime as well providing what was initially was lacking in the offender’s life which lead to the perpetration of the crime. Although oftentimes playing out in the background, punishment is notably absent from the tenants of restorative justice.

References

Liebmann, M. (2007). Restorative Justice: How it Works. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Mualimm- ak, Five. “School to Prison Pipeline .” Youtube, 21 July 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FCGUaOKRks.

Wood, Douglass. “Prison to School Pipeline: Education as Transformation ” Youtube, 1 June 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=yptwyUDgb6w.

Student 2

Where do you see restorative justice in general playing out currently, schools, prison, family? Define restorative practices in your own words (based on your experiences, the restorative video posted, lectures, and readings for this week).

Currently, I work at a charter/magnet school where all San Diego zip codes are accepted. As a result, we have a largely diverse population. When I first started working, the only experience I had within the school system was through my personal public school upbringing. In my experience, when students were “in trouble” they would get sent straight home, go talk to the principal, or receive detention. These were all practices meant to intimidate the student. The school I work with now is completely different with their handling of disciplining students. Students aren’t typically told “they’re in trouble” – we tell them they didn’t make the best choice, and we need to figure out why they made that choice, and how we can make better choices next time. We go through a process in which students will speak with their teacher, the director (principal), the dean of students (focussing on feelings and emotions), the other student(s) involved, and sometimes both families. We also have a school psychologist and education/inclusion specialists on campus at all times. In addition, our school provides all of the staff with extensive Positive Discipline training, which focuses on restorative justice practices. There are no suspensions (in school or out) and no one is expelled. I’m not sure if many American schools subscribe to a similar model, but I assume they don’t, more often than not. However, I think this model is an example of restorative justice that could be applied to other schools one day. I think it can be applied to families, and variations of this model could apply to prisons, but not currently.
To me, restorative justice demonstrates the idea that people aren’t inherently “bad”. It addresses the “why” things happened, and what circumstances may have caused them to occur. Often, if offenders are severely punished right off bat, they may think they are inherently bad, and continue to do “bad” things. Finding the root of the problem through provided resources and help, understanding remorse, and making amends with those you hurt, are just a few ways restorative justice can change this repetitive narrative of America. With support, this system could transform the current way we deliver “justice”.

Identify the dominant and alternative discourses that support the school to prison pipeline.

The dominant discourse in the school to prison pipeline is excessive punishment. Students are often expelled, suspended, and severely punished for minor infractions. Many schools have a police presence that often monitors and disciplines student offenses. This would be better handled by school staff, such as counselors, school psychologists, or other specialists. POC students are targeted more than their non-POC peers. “Restorative justice is often referred to by what it is an alternative to.” (Braithwaite, 2002). Restorative justice, a less retaliative model, is the alternative discourse to our current dominant discourse.

Do you believe our current systems and country given it racial & political climate fosters the opportunity for restorative justice?

In our current system, the simple answer is no. When you look at countries like Germany or Norway for example, and other developed countries abroad, they don’t have huge cash bails, and mass incarceration like America. People don’t sit in jail waiting for their trials like Americans do. There aren’t for profit prison systems, prisons aren’t full of people for petty crimes. The list goes on. Rehabilitation is the focus in other developed countries, and the revisitation rate is low. We will need a complete reboot of how our current justice system plays out. Although, I do think the necessary steps are being taken to go forth in that direction. BLM has made some serious impacts that can move us in the right direction toward a more restorative justice centered system. Beginning to defund police in certain cities, removing policing from schools and campuses, new laws being put into place. These are all significant steps towards a system that focuses on reducing excessive policing, and America’s immensely harsh “justice” system. I do believe one day it may be possible to an extent – some sort of variation of it, but not now. We are just barely touching the beginnings of a transformation into a restorative justice system. It’s going to take a lot of time, and a lot of work.

How could restorative elements shift the dominant discourse? Describe the distinctions between restorative and retributive systems.

Dominant discourse is put in place in order for people to recognize it as “normalcy” within society. Our dominant discourse is typically harsh punishments and little rehabilitation or resolution with victims or offenders. It also disproportionately affects minorities and POCs, as well as those living in poverty. Restorative elements can shift the dominant discourse by reducing the de facto carceral state we currently subscribe to. The dominant discourse of “justice” usually leads to repeating offenders. “Prisoner reentry in the American justice system is so prevalent due to the fact that programs are not implemented strongly enough to help keep offenders out of prison.” (Myers, 2020).

They don’t focus on identifying and resolving deep rooted issues, or making amends with others. Through restorative elements, the dominant discourse could be shifted to a more inclusive system that doesn’t focus on “justice” or “revenge”. Rather, it would focus on identifying the bigger picture, such as the “why” this happened, and what life circumstances may have contributed. Another significant aspect of shifting to restorative models is the offender taking responsibility; “Offenders are used to taking punishment, but this is not the same as responsibility. Taking responsibility means, ‘Yes, I did it, and I take responsibility for the harm I have caused.’” (Leibmann, 2007). It’s crucial we focus on the resources we can utilize to help discourage repeated behavior. Through professionals, social workers, therapists, interventionists, community outreach, we can get there. Healing through assisted measures, would play a large role in this model.

Restorative systems focus much more on the offender and victim, rather than the crime or violation that occurred. “Restorative justice aims to restore the well-being of victims, offenders, and communities damaged by crime, and to prevent further offending.” (Leibmann, 2007). The well-being of the offender and victim are the focal point in this model. It’s much more community oriented. Retributive systems are more focused on the dominant discourse, and having “justice served” through punishment. The main focus is the offender and convicting them. It can often look like justice is granted when a harsh punishment is given to the offender.

References

Braithwaite, J. (2002). The Fall and Rise of Restorative Justice. In Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation (pp. 3-28). New York: Oxford University Press.

Liebmann, M. (2007). What is Restorative Justice? In Restorative justice: How it works (pp. 25-34). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley.

 

Myers, A. (2020). SHU 2020 Academic Festival. Is Restorative Justice Possible in the United States?, 1-21. Retrieved September 8, 2020, from https://digitalcommons.sacredheart.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1523&context=acadfest.