As described in a CPNN article, restorative justice is spreading around the world. It began in the ancient pre-colonial traditions of Africa. In recent times, it inspired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa led by Archbishop Desmond, which played such an important role in the transition from apartheid to democracy under the government headed by Nelson Mandela. And more recently it has been adopted in Brazil thanks in great part to the work of Judge Leoberto Brancher. Now restorative justice is being taken up in the United States. CPNN reported on initiatives in Oakland, Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California, Boulder Colorado and Burlington Vermont.
What does it look like in practice? Here’s a description from the Oakland program for young offenders: “It brings the young person and the victim – the offended – together; to talk about the offense, to develop a plan to restore the victim, and to engage the young person in a plan to address the factors that led them to commit the offense in the first place.””
And here is a description from the courtroom of Judge Brancher in Brazil: [I surprise people by] “bringing a facilitator in, and giving a new direction to the lives of the people involved in that conflict. In my Court we have such a door, which our facilitators call, affectionately, “the door of hope”. A service which allows, in real time, an interaction among the Judge, the other judiciary professionals in the proceedings, the stakeholders, the witnesses and the services professionals can also become a kind of powerhouse to spread Restorative Justice into other application contexts. . . ”
Below are CPNN articles since 2015. Links to articles from years before are available here.
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ARTICLES IN ENGLISH
November 19, 2019: Alternative justice strengthens the culture of peace in Chiapas
August 22, 2017: Mexico: With alternative justice, hope advances in Chiapas
October 14, 2016: Brazil: Restorative justice expanded in Rio Grande do Sul
February 24, 2016: USA: New Haven Peaces Out. A Bit
November 8, 2015: USA: Restorative Practices in Schools
March 27, 2015: USA: Discipline Reformers Get A “Restorative” Lesson
November 19, 2019: Justicia alternativa fortalece la cultura de paz en Chiapas
August 22, 2017: México: Una esperanza se consolida en Chiapas
October 14, 2016 Brasil: Justiça Restaurativa será ampliada no Rio Grande do Sul