Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Restorative justice

I've been reading Howard Zehr's Restorative justice blog.
Thanks again to Paul Fromont who wrote the points below on restorative justice following some of his reading of Zehr:

To summarize restorative justice as a way of addressing wrongdoing, we might put it in a series of “threes:”
3 assumptions underlie restorative justice:
When people and relationships are harmed, needs are created;
The needs created by harms lead to obligations;
The obligation is to heal and “put right” the harms; this is a just response.
3 principles of restorative justice reflect these assumptions: A just response
acknowledges and repairs the harm caused by, and revealed by, wrongdoing (restoration);

encourages appropriate responsibility for addressing needs and repairing the harm (accountability);

involves those impacted, including the community, in the resolution (engagement).

3 underlying values provide the foundation:



3 questions are central to restorative justice:

Who has been hurt?

What are their needs?

Who has the obligation to address the needs, to put right the harms, to restore relationships? (As opposed to: What rules were broken? Who did it? What do they deserve?)

3 stakeholder groups should be considered and/or involved:

Those who have been harmed, and their families

those who have caused harm, and their families


3 aspirations guide restorative justice: the desire to live in right relationship

With one another;

with the creation;

with the Creator.

There are lots of interesting ideas and links to further reading on practical peace building and healing of memories on Zehr's blog. You can find his The Little Book of Restorative Justice and others on similar by his colleagues at Eastern Mennonite University.
However, because of my current interest in organisational learning and the role of the individual in the system I was intrigued by his post on 10 steps to avoid personal cooptation. It follows reflection on a book called The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo.

1. “I made a mistake.”

2. “I am mindiful.” (Be more aware of clues – operate less on auto-pilot.)

3. “I am responsible.”

4. “I will assert my unique identity.”

5. “I respect authority but rebel against unjust authority.”

6. “I want group acceptance, but value my independence.”

7. “I will be more frame-vigilant.” (Be more aware of how statements, etc. are framed.)

8. “I will balance my time perspective.” (Keep things in a larger time perspective.)

9. “I will not sacrifice personal or civic freedoms for the illusion of security.”

10. “I can oppose unjust systems.”

Quite a personal agenda, to say nothing of an organisational one. I may aspire to such integrity, am I able to practise it?


Hansuli John Gerber said...

Jane, this is an absolutely great posting, thanks. I've known Howard for many years and was part of an effort to have his Changing Lenses translated into Russian. Restorative justice remains still largely underestimated if not unknown to church circles and in society at large.

By the way, the fact that your two postings on love with Fried's poem, and on restorative justice are next to each other is a very substantial coincidence!

Paul Fromont said...

Thanks Jane. Sadly it wasn't be that summarized Zehr, it was Zehr on his blog. I don't have enough time to summarise something as well as the post. :-) Peace to you.