Monday, October 26, 2009

Parade features restorative justice

The newspaper magazine Parade, which is inserted in Sunday newspapers throughout the United States, this week (October 25th) featured a story about restorative justice titled A New Kind of Restorative Justice. I was impressed to see the popular press recognizing the value of the alternative to the traditional response to wrongdoing.

The article highlighted the restorative justice program in Longmont, Colorado, and contained quotes from Dr Beverly Title, a friend and colleague whom I respect deeply. I believe Beverly's Teaching Peace program is an example of best practice in the field of restorative justice.

Also quoted in the article is Professor Larry Sherman, who along with Australian researcher Dr Helen Strang have provided those of us working in the field of restorative justice evidence that restorative justice does indeed work in their 2007 publication Restorative Justice: The Evidence. In the Parade article Dr Sherman is quoted as saying that every dollar spent on restorative justice programs saves about $8 that would be spent in our traditional legal system. So why do policymakers, particularly in these lean times, ignore this wonderful opportunity? Dr Sherman believes it is simply a matter that these policymakers do not believe restorative justice is tough enough.

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