Deafening gunshots rang out just as James Martin arrived home. Troubled by the news of a 17-year-old young man dying in front of his house, he did what anyone would do – actually what most wouldn’t do. He grabbed his portable karaoke machine and stood at the sidewalk memorial erected for the young man and began singing, “Wake up everybody, no more sleeping in bed, no more backward thinking time for thinking ahead.”
KALW has partnered with radio producers inside California's oldest prison to bring you the San Quentin Prison Report, a series of stories focusing on the experiences of these men, written and produced by those living inside the prison's walls.
When an offender commits a crime, its repercussions impact not only the victim and the perpetrator, but families, friends, and whole communities.
Restorative justice is an approach that seeks to heal the many dimensions of harm that a crime creates. One way of achieving this is through a practice known as victim-offender dialogue.
Dionne Wilson's husband, a San Leandro police officer, was killed in the line of duty seven years ago, but she says it took her a long time to find a way to really heal.
“For many years, I carried around so much vengeance and hate. I realized at a certain point I had nothing left. I had no more tools. I engaged in a lot of self-destructive behavior. I tried to buy my way out of my grief; I tried to drink my way out for a short period. Thankfully, I didn’t take that too far. And I just didn’t have a way to move past being embroiled in the moment,” says Wilson.
Wilson initially thought the trial and conviction of her husband’s murderer would bring her some sort of comfort or closure.