restorative justice

  

Richard Spitler / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

 

Sonia Black is walking through the halls of Skyline High School, trying to get the last few kids to class.

Black is in charge of discipline and attendance for ninth and twelfth graders at Skyline. She’s been at the school for two years and this year, they’re trying something new: restorative justice.


Jen Chien


Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

Today we're talking about Restorative Justice and how some schools are shifting their approach to student discipline.  Eric Butler is the Restorative Justice Coordinator at Ralph Bunche High School in Oakland. There are over  20 schools in Oakland that have incorporated some sort of restorative approach to discipline. This means, instead of a punitive approach to issues at school, all parties are encouraged to address the harm that's done and then try to repair any harm that was caused in their community. Eric Butler says the approach is a complete shift from how schools traditionally deal with discipline.  

ERIC BUTLER: "We’re doing something different we’re apologizing for those messed up messages that we taught because we should’ve been teaching tolerance."

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview.

Leila Day

Not long ago there was a food fight at Ralph Bunche High School. And Angel Hernandez is in trouble. He’s 18, a senior, and he’s not admitting anything happened. He’s slouched in his chair in a circle in a room whose walls are covered with positive messages: ‘Respect,’ ‘Listen,’ ‘Trust.’ His mom, Maria Ramirez, sits at his side. Also in the circle is the cafeteria worker Miss Mina, and she looks pretty ticked off. “Everybody starts throwing stuff,” she says. “I said excuse me, how old are you guys? You guys want to clean up my kitchen?”

Under CC license from Flickr user MaestroBen

 

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.

San Quentin Radio Project: When victims and offenders talk

Oct 7, 2013
Flickr user John Weiss

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.


How does restorative justice work in California? On the next Your Call we’ll talk about programs in California’s prisons that bring victims and offenders of violent crimes together in dialogue. How do these programs work? And what can be gained from alternative methods of rehabilitation? We’ll learn more about restorative justice with members of the Insight Prison Project, a nonprofit that works inside San Quentin. What do you want to know about restorative justice? Join the conversation and call in with your questions on the next Your Call, with Holly Kernan, and you.

Sara Brooke Curtis

When people get into trouble with the law, they normally don’t have a chance to have a conversation with their victims. To explain what happened. Hear about the damage they caused. Say they’re sorry. But there’s a growing trend to try and make that happen, so both parties can move on.

East Bay Express: A people-focused solution

May 23, 2013

Students at Montera Middle School in Oakland said the school's eighth-grade class was full of "drama" earlier this year. There had been a fight between two girls, and the conflict had broadened to the girls' friends. Some students "were coming to school in sweats, ready to fight," recalled Yari Ojeda-Sandel, a staffer at Montera who coordinates the school's new conflict-resolution program known as restorative justice.

  

On the next Your Call,we’ll talk about how schools are dealing with discipline. Every year, 400,000 students in California are suspended, while another 18,000 are expelled. New methods of discipline avoid suspension and expulsion, including one Oakland program called Restorative Justice.  If you’re a teacher, administrator, student, or parent, what is your experience of school discipline? Join us at 10am Pacific Time or post a comment here. What really works?  And what is the overall goal? It’s Your Call with Hana Baba, and you.

Guests: