Category Archives: Victims

Facilitating Restorative Justice loss of life, embraces the essence of the loved one.

Please note, this blog topic, facilitating Restorative Justice in a situation of a fatality, is not intended to promote practitioners stepping beyond their own skill set and training.  Mark Umbriet’s week-long course, a masters in counseling and additional trainings in grief, trauma and restorative justice contributed.  Serious crime and violence cases should be done in pairs, with support and in-depth training.

“I wish he would have been my Dad”

This statement was so powerful because it was spoken by the young man who was driving the car that caused the death of the “Dad”  he mentions.

“She would have done this for any one of us”

The speaker referring to “she” is talking about a relative killed in a traffic crash.  What she would have done, meet with the driver of the car and offer her forgiveness.

There is grief after loss.  When that loss is sudden, preventable and outside of the natural life cycle, that loss has trauma.  People respond individually to loss and trauma.  Crime victims in fatalities also have ”crime trauma” – having to internalize that another human being intentionally or not, caused the death.  There are those who have to deal with various levels of intention by the offending party.

Some decide that Restorative Justice should be part of their journey. It is both humbling and an honor to serve on these cases and in these situations.  I say serve because a helper or fixer is a different relationships.  (article by Remen)

The relationship of a Restorative Justice practitioner is delicate in a loss of life case.  You become familiar with the essence of the loved one lost.  I believe our essence is what lingers in others.  If we are loved by another, that means we live forever in their hearts.  (I saw that on Facebook, so it MUST be true).  The circumstances around someone’s death should not be the final definition of who that person was and how they should be remembered.

Two very important things are necessary for healing.  Those are hope and courage.  Courage to face another day and hope it will and can get better.  Those same two values, hope and courage are so alive in a Restorative Justice conference around a fatality and loss of life.  What is amazing to bear witness to is the transformation for each party after the session.

I literally see people shed pounds of emotional weight.  The careful, careful preparation, and the space to let others do their work is a balancing act.  It is not mine to do.  My place is to guide the process, set up safety, find road blocks, share my map, discover the most pressing needs so those can be addressed respectfully.

If you are called to do the work of a serious crime and conflict case, start with good conferencing experience.  I also recommend Circle Training as a way to understand the essence of Restorative Justice.  This is not easy work, and it would require that you feel that call and connect to values for a healing experience.  See this blog post: The will to live is the will to heal for more on that.

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Filed under Community, Conferencing, Full Circle Experiences, Kris Miner, offenders, personal growth, Practitioner Skills, Restorative Justice, Tip of the Week, Victims

I’ve neglected the blog, back and sharing about work with victims.

Blogging in the manner I do takes strength.  I tell the truth, my truth and tie it to teaching about Restorative Justice.  Well, I make every attempt to do that.  I show my experiences and what I have learned.  I try to get an ah-ha moment in the post.  That’s not easy when I have a 500 word style to maintain.

The strength needed to consistently blog, is in the form of discipline.  I am not very disciplined.  I don’t know how I ever quit smoking.  I can’t quit doughnuts or carbs.  Beyond the discipline of taking time to write, it takes strength of vulnerability.  To put my lessons and learnings out there here means showing where I had to grow.  Growing gets us places, it really does.  It just isn’t always easy to put a name to it.

When I have gaps in blogging, it is like gaps in talking.  It means I have retreated back a little bit.  This gap was no different.  I believe that the conversation is the relationship.  Walk away from someone with the last conversation conflicted, the relationship feels conflicted.  Walk away from the last conversation connected, relationship feels connected.

I so admire my teacher friend who greets each student hello and goodbye – it shows skills in connection.  Connections and conversations are relationships and relationships are teachers.

My relationship to this blog is a teacher.  All I have to do is start to think about the blog itself.  I know the pulse, weak or strong.  It has been weak for a while.  I don’t share about it as much when I am not active on here.  I know the connection creates a connection to my work.  Connecting to our work makes it more meaningful.  The more meaningful our work, the happier our lives.  The more we find meaning, the more we feel fulfilled.  Did you know we are most unpredictable when we are unfulfilled.  Anyone who works with juveniles should work on the kids fulfilment levels.

I recently got some fulfillment, I was invited to do a community presentation around Crime Victims Rights Week. I am sharing the powerpoint here.  Reminding those that work with victims, the importance of listening.  I hope what I shared helped others, and I hope it might help you.  Cause for me, that’s why I blog, to help others.

Restorative Dialogue april 2012

 

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Filed under Community, RJ Resources, SCVRJP, Teaching RJ, Victims

Caution and blessing, Restorative Justice Circles can quickly create a culture.

When Kay Pranis and Jennifer Ball came to visit SCVRJP, they met with a few of our volunteers and stayed for a Controlled Substance Intervention Circle.  I realized that SCVRJP has developed a culture of Circles.  As we spoke about our work, it was consistent from Underage Consumption Panels to Circles with alternative school students, SCVRJP has a consistent method and manner for our Circle work.

I stick closely to Restorative Justice values, I do all I can to make sure our volunteers, community representatives are aware of the Mission, Vision and Values of this work.  SCVRJP Circles have consistent Restorative Justice Circle elements, consistently.  I have 253 posts on this topic of Circle process.  Each year we keep the paper plates stacked in an area and we watch them grow.  I still have 2011 plates in my office and when you have a meeting with me, you sit right in front of that stack of values.

I recently helped in a North St. Paul elementary school, spent the day going class to class introducing Circle.  The school is implementing Olweus.  I don’t align with some of the methods, however I do support a great deal of it (anything that excludes, in my opinion is perpetuating violence).  This day in the Elementary school, was not my first, I did some training there a few years ago.  Circles are used consistently, classroom morning meeting, school wide Circles to address situations that could erupt in the school.  They even do Circles to support students during difficult times.  I heard a great story about preparing students for a school break, and how they loved hearing a perspective from the school police-liasion officer.

Students in 5th grade, had been in Circles since 3rd grade.  They had been in Circles for the beginning and end of the day, those students KNOW Circle.  They let me know, my Circle was not long enough!  They knew the basics for Circle in their community:  tell the truth, eyes on speaker, quiet hands and feet and listen.  These 4 were simply the theme of the Circles I helped conduct in the school that day.  I realized the school has developed its own culture for their Circles, an effective means for using the process, consistent patterns for communicating for community building and for problem solving.

SCVRJP also holds Victim Empathy Seminars.  We’ve had a few that ended without participants recognizing the harm to the greater community.  I heard feedback to the point I called someone into the office to talk about it.  I hadn’t been keeping those Circles and I had an opportunity to get back to it recently.  When we did the 3rd stage of the Circle, the Community Representatives all passed.  This was something different, I always prepare people and enourage them to role model, and not pass.   The next round the Community Representatives all passed the piece across and over the participants.  I was nearly having a panic attack!  This style didn’t demonstrate core Circle values.  I was feeling uncomfortable, I realized something had developed in our culture that was inconsistent with our vision.

What happened in that moment was a division between us and them.  NOT a quality of Circle.  It became clear to me, that a pattern of doing the VES emerged, a new aspect to the culture.  When I got the talking piece, I immediately changed it out and addressed this.  I pointed out I was confused by the community representative passing and then the round where the talking piece did not go person to person.  I explained the next round going to each person directly.  I reaffirmed that the Circle is about equality.  Then I specifically framed a question everyone in Circle could answer.

What is important in being a good citizen?  If you had a do-over about your citizenship what would it be?

This round had each and every person answering.  This round also had each and every person being teacher and student.  I saw people finish the Circle with accountability and realizations that they caused harm and can move on in a better way.  I even got a new volunteer out of the mix, demonstrating our inclusiveness was effective in growing our community.  Even with a strong committment to a culture, it is important to always make sure the culture is consistent with key values.

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Filed under Circle Keeping, Circle Process, Circle Stages, College Circles, Community, Practitioner Skills, Responses from participants, Restorative Justice, SCVRJP, Teaching RJ, Tip of the Week, Victims, Volunteers

4 Tips for Restorative Justice programs, skills with victims and addressing domestic violence.

My first experience in the helping profession was as a volunteer in a domestic violence shelter.  I would stay weekends when my daughter was a baby.  I did other evening shifts, helped around the office and became very close with the director and co-directors.

I learned a great deal about working with women, families, answering a hot-line, getting restraining orders, working with law enforcement and the community.  I did this work while I was working on my MS in counseling, and I had the domestic violence lens on my learning.

Little did I know then, that in a few years, I myself would be on the door steps of a shelter.  I stayed one night.  These experiences are the cornerstones to my perspective.  As a therapist, I saw first hand the impacts of sexual abuse, violence, family violence.  My work as a social worker for violent adolescents helped me learn intervention and change strategies for those who inflict that violence.

I’ve been working with Restorative Justice for 14 years, full-time the past 6, going on 7 years.  I read all I can find, I am passionate about using a holistic response to people, finding the strengths and power for transformation and healing in Restorative Justice.  These 4 tips come from experience and education.  This blog does not replace professional training and is not recommending that practitioners tread lightly into the topic of domestic violence.  These tips are intended to be the start, to help your work, promoting safety.

Tip 1) Understand and examine yourself.  What are your theories of violence?  The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence site, hosts a very interesting article, that can help you understand perspectives.  This article, WHY, by Susan McGee, provides some insights and it is full of resources.

I encourage advanced training for crimes of severe violence, and my training in this area has been crucial to my work.  On going training is important as well as a network for feedback.  Mastering a skill set of helping others help themselves takes practice, coaching and experience.

Tip 2) Study.  It is very, very important to educate yourself about DV and victim advocates.  If you are a Restorative Justice practitioner or advocate, you have to read the 22 page document, Taking Victims and Their Advocates Seriously: The Listening Project.  This is not a new publication, it is very, very important.  I offered this post in July of 2010, when I had memorized the specific needs of victims.

Tip 3) Don’t freak out (externally anyway).  You MUST be comfortable in seeing red flags.  You have to be able to be compassionate and open.  Sometimes you have to ask if violence occurring?  You should know as a program, how you handle these kinds of situations.  How do you treat someone who reports violence to you?  You should know ahead of time, because you never know what RJ case, might have an undertone or aspect of DV.  Even if the referring incident was not related to DV.

If you are non-judgemental, that means you can be trusted.  I’ve had offenders relate their own past victimization.   A victim of a traffic crime shared about abusive behavior as an offender.  You have to be able to share the message, violence is NOT healthy.  Promoting healthy living, encouraging people to take care of their bodies, their spirits, their connections and to get professional help can be done respectfully, supportive and compassionately.  This may completely change the course of your restorative work, you need to let it.

Tip 4) Refer when needed.  Safety First.  Always be curious about people wanting to see you together.  Meet with victims alone.  I know it seems common sense.  I don’t want to believe that kind of harm and evil can exist.  You have to learn to listen to your gut.  If you have to ask yourself if you see signs of DV, that means there are signs of DV.  You might need to use outside resources, I have referred situations out for AODA assessments and returned a referral back to court, because the situation was more complex than the services we had available.  This is tough, because there was a chance no other appropriate services were available.

Take care of yourself.  Domestic Violence is tough work, burnout from dealing with the trauma can challenging.  Restorative Justice practitioners should be caring and supportive of our friends in violence work.  We should keep a strong committment to our work with violence prevention with youth and in schools.  Restorative Justice provides empathy development, which can prevent violence from escalating.

I’ve seen the field transition from “absolutely not, never” with regards to DV and RJ – - to programs that provide surrogate dialogue, survivor panels, sentencing circles.  Research is growing on the planet.  It is a dynamic time to be watching and learning.

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Filed under offenders, Practitioner Skills, Relationships, Tip of the Week, Victims

Sharing for repairing. Restorative Justice, volunteering as a storyteller.

At SCVRJP we provide a variety of different talking circle sessions and victim impact panels.  We utilize volunteers that are willing to tell their story.  Here is a flyer with details: Speakers Information.

There are two types of speaking sessions, impact panels and circles.  The impact panels are focused specifically on impaired driving.  Restorative Justice Talking Circles are held on a variety of topics, underage consumption, controlled substance, property crimes, conflict, suicide.  The storytellers are volunteers that offer their personal experience around a specific incident.

Some speakers are victims, some are community members.  Some of our speakers are former offenders.  The tragic consequences hit everyday people, from all walks of life.  At SCVRJP we support our storytellers with providing training, support, feedback.

Additional speaking tips.  We have found that people respond to hearing stories.  Research has found our brains sync up with story.  By telling your story, you can repair harm, take steps towards healing.  Find meaning in the most tragic of loss.

Restorative Justice Circles also add an extra dimension for our volunteer storytellers.  Volunteers get to hear how the story was absorbed by others.  The sharing of the story allows others to relate impacts of a similiar situation or incident.  In Circle each is student and teacher.  When you hear a story and are given opportunity to reflect on it, it becomes even more meaningful.

If you are interested in learning more about storytelling for Restorative Justice Circles or Impact Panels, please see the flyer above.  SCVRJP is hosting a storytelling orientation on May 2, from 6-8pm.  Call 715-425-1100 to register, see our website for more details or email scvrjp@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under offenders, Relationships, Restorative Justice, storytelling, Underage Consumption Panels, Victims

Restorative Justice, beyond the victim-offender conference.

From an article in the Eau Claire Leader.

HUDSON – Randy Spence admits it would take a miracle for him to ever forgive the drunken driver who killed his daughter.

But Spence also realizes how close he came to possibly taking the lives of four people years later when checking his phone and running a stop sign.

Spence, 55, an attorney who lives in River Falls, is very emotional when discussing the death of his daughter, Alyssa, and is humbled that an accident he caused didn’t have tragic consequences.

Spence regularly makes presentations at schools and other events. He provides a detailed, heart-wrenching account of the devastation he and his family have endured at the hands of a drunken driver.

“If I convince one person not to drink and drive, doing this is worth it,” Spence said last week at the St. Croix County Government Center during a St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program session.

Alyssa Spence, 21, died five days after a near head-on collision April 13, 2003, near River Falls. Ryan C. Foley, now 30, pleaded guilty in Pierce County Court to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

Foley, a UW-River Falls student who had been at taverns and a house party before the crash, was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five years of extended supervision. He was released from prison in October 2010.

Foley had a blood alcohol level of 0.235 percent, almost three times the legal limit, when he crossed the centerline and hit the car Alyssa was driving. She died on her mother’s birthday.

“When you lose someone it’s hard to let go,” a tearful Spence said. “That’s still how it is, how it always will be. I miss her every day.”

Ready to talk

Spence said he was never interested in taking part in the Restorative Justice Program, which involves school and community-based programs that emphasize repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It allows, in part, for victims and offenders to meet.

“I have no interest to ever be face to face with the murderer of my child,” Spence emphasized.

But his involvement with the program changed about 9:45 p.m. July 29, 2010, when he ran a stop sign after playing golf and having a couple of beers at a rural River Falls course. His car hit a Lexus SUV broadside. Two women in the SUV were injured, with one, 63, receiving three fractured vertebrae, a broken ankle and broken rib.

Spence assisted the people at the scene, where he also broke down emotionally and told police about the traffic death of his daughter, according to police accounts. Spence said he looked down to check a message on his phone when he ran the stop sign.

He was charged with two misdemeanor counts of causing bodily harm by reckless driving. He entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning the charges would be dismissed if he abided by conditions of the agreement, which included community service.

That service has included talks to students and others about the dangers of drunk driving and inattentive driving.

“My son (Adam) was on a cross country trip, and I saw the light flashing on my phone. I went into a panic with the memory of Alyssa, thinking something might have happened to him,” Spence said. “The whole thing was kind of ironic. I could have killed someone.

“I was allowed to enter into the DPA if I engaged in restorative justice,” he added. “I realized that my original hesitation with restorative justice was misplaced, and if my daughter was here, I know she would want me to do this.”

Making an impact

Spence starts his presentation with a video of his daughter that graphically displays her injuries from the crash, a presentation his wife, Bobbi, has never seen.

“My wife is the strongest person I know, but I don’t think she would ever want to see this; she lives the loss every day,” he said.

Deb Ottman, a family consumer science teacher at River Falls High School, has witnessed emotional and varied responses students have after Spence’s presentation, including one last week.

“It’s very hard to listen to. He definitely comes across with quite an impact, and the kids are very emotional and have lots of questions when he leaves,” Ottman said. “I can tell the kids have been affected at some level.”

Ottman’s life skills class is for juniors and seniors, and covers conflict resolution, decision making, grief and relationships, “items they will be dealing with their whole lives.

“Each kid takes away something different,” she said. “The idea is that we get to hear each other’s story and learn from it. In this case, kids might not be so willing to drink and drive or text while they drive. Any gain is a gain.”

Kris Miner, executive director of SCVRJP, said there is great value to victim impact panels, teen driving circles, victim empathy seminars and other programs.

“The key is to change behavior by a change of heart; the idea of choosing a different behavior when faced with a similar situation,” she said. “You make your choice, but you don’t choose your consequences.”

Rupnow can be reached at 715-830-5831, 800-236-7077 orchuck.rupnow@ecpc.com.

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Filed under Formal Justice, Full Circle Experiences, offenders, personal growth, Practitioner Interviews, Relationships, Restorative Justice, SCVRJP, storytelling, Talking Piece, Victims

Restorative Justice opening the heart opens the brain.

Restorative Justice (from RJ Online):

a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behaviour. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders.       

Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will respond to crime by:

  1. identifying and taking steps to repair harm, 
  2. involving all  stakeholders, and
  3. transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime.

What do you think about that?

If you are reading this blog, I bet you think that’s a pretty good idea!  What we THINK, usually involves our brain and our judgements about people.  What we feel, what we get intuitively, is usually a matter of the heart.

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Filed under Restorative Justice, Teaching RJ, Victims

Restorative Justice stakeholders discuss program experience.

 Valentine’s Day 2012 was a good one!  Judges, court clerks, law enforcement, social workers, fellow nonprofit providers, clergy, attorney’s and victim advocates attended a stakeholder meeting hosted by SCVRJP.  (New website launched today – check it out!)

The panel speakers came from a variety of backgrounds and experiences with Restorative Justice.

Randy shared the experience of losing his daughter, after a drunk driver, only a month older, caused a crash that took her life.  We reached out to Randy, and only after his own reckless driving, and deferred prosecution, did he engage with SCVRJP.  He now continues to volunteer, continues to share the gut wrenching and painful story of life without Alyssa.

Mark, a probation agent, explained his interaction with Restorative Justice.  He provided a case example, where the former “all american-kid” with no record caused a traffic fatality.  The young man, the former all-american, still volunteers telling his story.  The agent verified the work and outcomes of Restorative Justice.

Local prosecutor shared how he uses the program, offers “carrots”, which I explained to others can look like a stick!

A community volunteer shared her experiences with SCVRJP and Restorative Justice.  She explained the connections between prevention, intervention and treatment of health issues.  She had examples at every level, Circles that provided successful outcomes with each.

A middle school counselor shared using Circles in school, to develop emotional connections for students.  A college student shared his experience, relating how a blackout resulted in frightening a community member.  He shared how meeting with the victim helped the victim, helped him.  He shared the meeting started a little tense, yet was helpful to both parties.  He also shared getting two hugs on arrival, one from the RJ facilitator and the other from the victim.

SCVRJP collected surveys on what works, what’s needed and other helpful comments.  The power in the meeting was some brainstorming about potential sessions.  We showed people what we do, when Randy shared part of his story.  Each speaker provided a different perspective, building on the evidence that Restorative Justice works.

I feel so blessed to get to work in a community program providing Restorative Justice.  SCVRJP has specialized in Restorative Justice Circles.  We are starting year 11 of serving our community and today, was a perfect celebration of a community coming together and finding healing, connection and prevention!

 

 

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Filed under Community, Conferencing, Formal Justice, non-profit management, Relationships, Research, Responses from participants, Restorative Justice, SCVRJP, Teaching RJ, Victims, Volunteers

Restorative Justice, 3 C’s for increasing belonging.

Belonging.  Right there in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs, Restorative Justice helps people recognize where it is, rebuild it where it was torn or repair it where it was damaged.  Restorative Justice, experienced from the perspective of victim, offender, community member holds potential to increase belonging.  From bystander, family member, professional Restorative Justice gives us reasons to belong, because we all belong to humanity.

The smallest and the largest harms can be addressed in Restorative Justice, you simply expand the Circle as needed.  More training, mentoring, preparation time for the more serious the offense.  I feel so blessed to work in a range of environments from prevention (after school program circle) to a loss of life (mostly traffic fatalities).  This range of work causes me to clearly identify the core values, principles and tactics of facilitating, implementing and providing Restorative Justice.  I’m going to link you the principles for some elements of those tactics.  Beyond knowing the tactics (principles, philosophies), Restorative Justice requires you to know the art.  The artful skill of working with people hearts.

The art can be summarized with 3 C’s.  Compassion, Connection, Caring.  Bring your most balanced self to a restorative process.  It could be a pre-conference meeting, and Circle preparation meeting, the Restorative Justice conference or Circle itself.  The compassion you bring needs to be from a place of a balanced heart.  In order to reach another’s heart, be familiar with your own.

Connect to others.  Consider connection as a feeling.  I recently read that a sign of a highly empathetic person, is a familiar face.  People assume they met you before because the feeling of connection.  Compassion and empathy are different.  I believe compassion comes first, compassionate people care, compassionate people are strong enough to withhold judgements and empathize with others, versus judgements about another’s behavior, that prevents you from feeling what they might be feeling.

The notion of caring, is another heart skill.  These touchy feely, esoteric concepts are sometimes best described by others.  So clearly put, I have to use what someone said about a police officer.  I was asking someone I trusted for an opinion about working with another.  The feedback I got:  “His ‘give a shit’, ain’t broke”.  I understood what this meant.  People know if you care.  If you stay mindful of others, you genuinely have compassion, connection and caring, I believe your restorative work will be of benefit and provide even more belonging.

 

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Filed under Belonging, Circle Keeping, Community, Conferencing, offenders, Peace, Practitioner Skills, Relationships, Restorative Justice, Tip of the Week, Victims

Doing justice for Restorative Justice is not what to think, but how.

This article in Harvard Business Review, the author shares some success in sharing HOW to think, not WHAT to think.  Boom, in my brain, that is why I blog, to help people with Restorative Justice and Circles, and to provide insight in how we might advance ourselves, our services and our collective passion about Restorative Justice and Circles.  How to think about it,  here is an example:

The hot new social media trend is pinterest.  Pinterest is an online pinboard.   Whoever heard of that?  Basically, a pinboard is a place to post pictures that are links to sites, and you can look at what has been pinned, someone elses board of pinned items.  Make sure you have time when you go there, it is addicting.

My first visit to pinterest, I, of course, search the term Restorative Justice.  Results, about restorative yoga, restorative dentistry and lots of photos with comments on how the photo “doesn’t do it justice”.  After reading again and again, “doesn’t do it justice” or “does not do justice”, I put my meaning on the word justice, and began to think about criminal justice, restorative justice and why and how the word was being used in all these photo comments.

I came to this.  In the context of beauty, when a photo “does not do it justice”, it means something about it wasn’t captured, that in real life, there was something much more.  I think it has to do with capturing a spiritual essence, that a photo can not do and real life can.  I think, Restorative Jusitce brings different “justice”.  The kind of justice that includes a spiritual essence, that formal process can not do.  Recently hearing “there are as many definitions of justice as their are victims”.  I am in tune to the individuality of justice and the need to be individually aware of each persons experience and need for justice.

Crime is ugly, there is no way to say that it isn’t.  People are hurt, people are punished, resources and capacity are diminished in the presence of crime.  Humans are not acting on their own greater good when they commit crimes.  Generally here, it was a crime when Rosa Parks didn’t get out of her seat, but that’s another blog post.

Use of the phrase, “doesn’t do it justice” on pinterest, really had me thinking about harvesting the justice (beauty and spiritual essence) in Restorative Justice.  It was actually best said by a teen in Circle.  She looked at the speaker, who had shared the pain of surviving his daughters death, caused by an intoxicated driver, and she told him she was sorry for his loss.  She said it was terrible that it happened and she wished it hadn’t.  She said it was cool that he was telling the story like this.  I saw the expression on the storytellers face.  It appeared he was acknowledged and comforted.  I felt the beauty in that moment of connection between Circle members.  I saw an element of Restorative Justice, as the tragic and fatal car crash created a lesson and touched lives.  This storyteller was harvesting the justice (the beauty and spiritual essence) of what happened.  So much so, that a teen referred to as cool.  You do realize most teens don’t recognize people that are old enough to be their parents as cool?  And that word “cool”, in that moment, it really did do justice.

 

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Filed under Circle Keeping, Circle Process, Community, Full Circle Experiences, offenders, Practitioner Skills, Relationships, Responses from participants, Restorative Justice, Safe Teen Driving Circles, SCVRJP, Social Media, storytelling, Victim Impact Panels, Victims