Rev. S. Brandt
Restorative Justice as prison reform addresses the hurts and needs of the victim ,the offender and the community in such a way as they and the community are healed.
Its principles are based on voluntary ,
participation, holistic, inclusive, integrative, safe, supported,
confidential, truth and accountability seeking, it is reparative in focus, healing in orientation, respectful, transforamative and empowering.
We do not have a justice system in Canada we have a legal system.
There are 3 major initiatives of restorative justice:
1] family group conferencing
2] victim offender mediation
3] circles of support and accountability for high risk released offenders
This process has its critics though who say its:
1]soft on cons [hug a thug approach] 3]process may revictimize victim
3]there may be a rush for victims to forgive
However the vast majority of victims have found satisfaction from this process as they experience resolution and resistitution.
Victims are asked what would you need to right this offence?
Restorative justice wants to look at every other option other than incarceration.
Theories of Violence
Violence is use of physical, social, emotional, or spiritual degradation of the human spirit by using cohersion, power or control.
What breaks down for a person who is used to using violence?
Goldberg states there are 7 stages in this process.
1]Shame leads to self contempt
2]Inarticulatness leads to inability to express oneself
3]Agitation leads to excitability
4]Excitement leads to energy
5]Frenzy leads to identification and the offender hunts for a
6]Attack leads to violation of victim
7]Quiescence leads to sense of superiority
Freud: Thanatos theory “Death wish”
people do violence through a nee d to be punished
Jung: Shadow side “Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde”
we must recognize our own shadow
the dark side of our nature
violence is imitative or desirous and we are willing to
take that risk to get what we want
Bottled up rage
we can try to supress things that happen to us
but under certan circumstances the pressure can build up
and we can explode in rage
BOOK: Its all the Rage
Crime as Addiction
we can become addicted to the thrill of crime
BOOK:Addicted to Crime and The Rush
violence is a result of societel and spiritual decay
BOOK:Whatever happened to Sin?
Future violence is predictable
the way you dealt with fear ,stress and traumatic hurt in
the past will determine your future use of violence
BOOK: Speaking with the Devil
Shame based theory
because of experiencing self as shame one will use
power control and violence to avoid ridicule
People are programmed through violentization
BOOK: Why they Kill
1]Brutalization…violence or threat of violence by authority
2]Billigerency…dispirited subject listens to authority figure
and decides to resort to violence
3]Violent Performances…subject uses violence and gets off on
the respect and fear he sees in victims eyes
4]Virulency…excitment at using violence determines from now
on I will use violence in order to deal with people and I will
hang out with others who advocate the use of violence
Answer the following questions for yourself:
1]What are the instances of violence that are seen by some as “good” and by others as being “bad”?
2]What [if any] forms of violence have you or are you prepared to engage in?
from the book by Gaven Debecker “the Gift of Fear”
1]Trust your instincts
2]beware of forced teaming…when a stranger uses words like we…this pushes premature trust and is a sophisicated manipulation
3]charm and niceness to build rapport…to charm is to control by attraction…grooming and mesmerizing..niceness does not equal goodness
4]too many details in a converstaion is a clue to lying
5]watch for any typecasting or slight insults or name calling
6]loan sharking…watch when ” I want to help you” means” I will put you in my debt”…you owe me I owe you
7]any unsolicited promises
8]discounting the word NO [what part of NO dont you understand]
Stalking generally refers to harassing or threatening behavior an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or objects, or vandalizing a person’s property. These actions may or may not be accompanied by a credible threat of serious harm, and they may or may not be precursors to assault or murder. Most states define stalking as the willful, malicious and repeated following and harassing of another person. State stalking laws also vary in their threat and fear requirements. The (National Violence Against Women) survey defines stalking as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear” (Reno, Dwyer, Robinson, Brenden & Schwartz, 1998). Stalking, given the Department of Justice definitions, which are in whole or part followed by most jurisdictions, has specific behavioral and emotional standards that must be met. The behavioral set includes a repeated harassment, with the assumption that the individual (victim) is not interested in and/or has lost interest in the perpetrators stalking behaviors. The second critical element is that a reasonable person would become fearful of the behavioral set of the perpetrator. The third critical element is the serialized stalking behavior. Early, non-post intimate relationship, stalking behaviors are not particularly different then courtship behaviors. The differentiation between an intense courtship and stalking seems to lie within the reasonable fear factor. As the stalking continues, more controlling and fear-eliciting behaviors will occur (i.e. pursuit becomes violation).
The reasonable person fear factor within stalking clearly leads to some difficulties. During an assessment of college females a total of 13.1% had been stalked, with the average stalking lasting 60 days (Fisher, Cullen & Turner, 1999). The number of college females indicating stalking victimization is much higher than the number of reported cases of stalking. At least part of this differential can be explained by the ORI (Obsessive Relational Intrusion) (Cupach & Spitzberg, 2000) behavioral differential’s as applied to stalking. In the selected legal cases not all victims showed a reasonable fear, the elderly lady that was harassed by a former landlord never indicated that she was fearful but she clearly was upset. The elderly lady did not file for stalking but the behaviors of the landlord clearly indicate stalking within harassment. There is also the possibility that individual’s mistake stalking for an intense relationship by a significant other with devotion shown by being jealous, controlling and verbally abusiveness when they are “hurt” by the victims inappropriate behavior. Often these victims will end up in a significant long-term relationship because the level of fear is not sufficient for the victim to attempt to escape from the perpetrator’s “relationship offers”.
Surveys indicate about 1.4 million victims are stalked annually (Tjaden, 1997). The surveys seem an underestimation of stalking events. Victims may not develop reasonable fear and simply see the stalking behaviors as those of a devoted suitor. One of the legal cases includes a victim with no interest in the perpetrator but the perpetrator is successful in manipulation of the victim which caused the victim to eventually agree to marry the perpetrator; while uncommon this dynamic is not rare. The victim would have married her stalker, if the perpetrator had settled for that level of control with no escalation. The reasonable fear factor does not always occur even if it should. An individual who is highly dependent may marry and/or remain with a stalker because they are dependent, allowing the stalker to make unilateral decisions. Stalkers behavior variance is an essential part of understanding stalking. Stalking behaviors have an extraordinarily wide range and the patternization of behaviors does not present reliable predictive opportunities. The wide range of stalking behaviors and expectations therein can be derived from prior relationship history via utilization of the Zona, Palarea and Lane, Jr. (1998) obsessional model with the inclusion of Meloys (1992) borderline erotomania within the Zona, et. al. erotomania type.
The obsessional model allows for a typing of stalking behaviors. A review of the cases contained herein indicates the behaviors within a preexistent intimate relationship differ from the behaviors of the other types. The obsessional model also includes a false victimization reporter, the reporter complains of stalking victimization when no stalking has occurred. Most false victimization reports do not include ORI escalation or sufficient stalking characteristics, when careful evaluation of the complaint is completed. Stalking characteristics include: (Tjaden, 1997)
Victims are most likely to be women.
Victims usually knew their stalker.
Women victims tend to be stalked by a lone stalker.
Male victims tend to be stalked by a perpetrator with an accomplice.
Stalkers made overt threats to about 45% of victims.
Stalkers used surveillance with about 75% of victims.
Stalkers assaulted the victims property in about 30% of the cases.
Stalkers threatened or did kill the victims pet or pets about 10% of the time.
Victims as viewed by offenders:
Type of victim disposable worthless deserving
Group criminals deviants dishonost
outlaws outcasts suckers
Social attitude antagonism contempt indifference
Social reacion outright tacit inaction
to victimization relief approval inner
Desensitisation and Offender Justification
1] denial of victim…victim doesnt exist…act is victimless and the violation is “normal”
2] Depersonalization of victim…victim is only an object,a nonperson, a tool…act is victimless and the violation is “normal”
3] denial of injury to victim…victim will not be hurt in fact victim will enjoy act [as in sexual assaults]…act is enjoyable
4] blame the victim…victim is guilty and is aggressor…the act is an act of justice[vigilanteeism]
5] devaluing and denegrating victim…victim is deserving and worthless…act is necessary and warrented and blameless
15 steps to Victim Recovery
1] victim will need to begin to find there own words for there story
2] victim needs to deal with there trauma by naming there fears
3] victim will need to lament and mourn there losses
4] victim will need to heal they’re memories and begin to manage
there time again
5] victim will need to create a new support group for themselves
6] victim will need to meditate and get in touch with they’re
spiritual side again
7] victim will need to deal with there own guilt
8] victim will need to deal with there rage
9] victim will need to research the crime,offender,themselves and
10]victim will need to make an effort to restore community again
11]victim will need to decide how to deal with the offender
12]victim will need to write an impact statement and deal with the court system and parole board
13]victim will need to learn to be compassionate again
14]victim will need to take responsibilty
for the cost of the loss
15]victim will need to celebrate the moment again
Elie Weisal concentration camp survivor says:
“If you can tell the story you can bear the pain”
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice can be defined as a systematic response to wrongdoing that emphasizes healing the wounds of victims, offenders and communities caused or revealed by crime. Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will:
Identify and take steps to repair harm done
Involve all stakeholders
Transform the traditional relationship between communities and their governments
Some of the programmes and outcomes typically identified with restorative justice include:
· Victim offender mediation
· Victim assistance
· Ex-offender assistance
· Community service
Three principles form the foundation for restorative justice:
Justice requires that we work to restore those who have been injured.
Those most directly involved and affected by crime should have the opportunity to participate fully in the response if they wish.
Government’s role is to preserve a just public order, and the community’s is to build and maintain a just peace.
Restorative programmes are characterized by four key values:
Encounter: Create opportunities for victims, offenders and community members who want to do so to meet to discuss the crime and its aftermath
Amends: Expect offenders to take steps to repair the harm they have caused
Reintegration: Seek to restore victims and offenders as whole, contributing members of society
Inclusion: Provide opportunities for parties with a stake in a specific crime to participate in its resolution
CRIME AS ADDICTION
“all client names have been changed to respect anonymity”
While examining Dr.Charles Taylors book “Counselling Prisoners Addicted to Crime”, [Lancelot Press 1994] I intend to offer a critique and commentary based on 20 years of my own clinical practice on the notion that a person may become addicted to criminal activity.
Dr.Charles Taylor is highly esteemed in Canada for a lifetime of research into clinical pastoral practice with prison inmates and released offenders. At present Dr. Taylor is a professor at Acadia Divinity College in the Maritimes and his program based on his own research material is being used by the chaplaincy Department of the Maximum Security Prison at Renous, New Brunswick. He is also the author of several books on clinical and pastoral practice.
Joe grew up in a single parent home, dad having left when Joe was 3 years old. Poverty and alcoholism rendered Mom unable to care for Joe so he was placed in the foster care system. Joes grades were poor and his behaviour was often deemed hyperactive and attention seeking resulting in frequent moves from foster home to foster home.
As a young teen Joe discovered that using drugs and alcohol was a great way to medicate his inner emptyness and sense of abandonment. First it was shoplifting things he didnt even need then purse snatching, then break and enters and increased violence. Joes life spiralled out of control as he became more brazen in his crime sprees. He couldnt seem to stop and was almost releaved when he was incarcerated though he missed the thrill of getting away with a crime one more time.
This story is one I have heard a thousand times over my years as a nurse, therapist and street chaplain working alongside the homeless and addicted of Ottawas Innercity Ministries.
Joe often speaks of the high he feels when he gets away with his crime one more time.
Dr.C.Taylor states “I see people healing who floundered around in the mental health model for years”. He uses the term “healing” rather than “treatment ” when describing his recovery approach as this honors the soul of the individual. No one is beyond hope or the possibility of transformation so long as there is air in his lungs or as Dr.Taylor says” a spark in his soul”.
The question to always ponder is, “what would this individual be like if he were able to function at his optimal level of functioning?”. Dr.Taylor leans heavily on the ego/superego work of Dr Carl Jung. Jungs theory of personality says that when one has become disconnected from the centre of his core being the individual will find himself vulnerable to seeking stimulation from his outside world. This seeking external stimulation to alter unidentified inner needs leads to a behavioral mood altering obsession and eventual compulsion.
If I am out of touch with what I need to self soothe psychic pain than any amount of stress and anxiety may drive me to compulsive and often repetitive thrill and power seeking behaviour that will serve to pacify me. This is an addictive process at work.
If I am continually focussed externally for some stimulus to inflate my ego I dont give myself the chance to connect with who I truly am. Therefore emotional damage occurs on the ego/self axis.
As a recovering Opiate Addict I have some personal experience with this process. While using, my whole world was consumed with all that is involved in procurring, using and recovering from my next “fix”. I soon lost my sense of self as nothing and no one mattered as much as getting “high”. At first I really chased the high in order to mood alter but eventually I needed to get high just to face another day without being physically ill.
The result of the addiction cycle and loss of internal connection leaves one experiencing alienation, dispair, emptyness and internal fracturing. As ego inflates we lose touch with our spiritual centre and our spiritual identity. If I dont know who I am anymore I might create an identity for myself. On the streets the norm is a “macho” persona, a giving off of airs of omnipotence and grandiosity enforced by coercion, manipulation and violence. The longer one wears the “false self” mask the more comfortable it begins to feel and the farther the individual drifts from who he is really meant to be. The false public image becomes a hugh smoke screen of denial, repression and dissociation. Eventually you believe you are the false self you project. You believe your own lies and deep within festering in the dark are unresolved issues from your past life. Since your not good at expressing your needs its possible you’ll lose control and act out of inner despair, frustration and anger.This acting out may take many forms such as criminal activity. The activity causes you to enter the illusion that your entitled and therefore have no need to further examine your motivations.
At this point your inner world may feel numb or dead which left unstimulated may cause you to entertain thoughts of depression or suicide. This is why clients who are faced with the consequence of there addictive behaviour may chose that mighty river in Egypt, “Denial”. This is a self defence mechanism that kicks into action when reality is too painful to bear.
The mood altering experience of giving into addictive cravings causes the individual to mistakingly believe he is “truly alive” while in fact he may be “truly close to death”.
Criminal activity may result in the individual feeling powerful and in control. Yet I have seldom met a controller who wasnt trying to compensate for an out of control inner world.
Many studies [Van de Kolk 1999, Putman 1998] give evidence to the fact that while doing a crime the excitable arousal stimulus may cause the offender to urinate, deficate or have an orgasm. As with any repetitive hyperstimulating activity neurophysiological changes may occur as new neuron pathways are created in the brain. There is some discussion[Gorski 2001] that serotonin reuptake inhibitors [such as the SSRI family of antidepressant medications] may be useful to lessen the obsessional/compulsivity of the temptation to engage in the offensive behaviour.
Dr.Taylors process of healing from addiction to crime includes the following steps:
In order to put aside defiant grandiose dillusions and embrace the courageous process of healing one must really believe they’re life has become out of cotrol. This is by far the most difficult step and must come from a deep cry of ones soul for a committment to rigorous radical truth telling.This may only be achieved as one realises that all self efforts to change have been unsuccessful and now one must call on a Higher Power [God] to help rescue the individual from himself.
2] Face the Pain-
All healing in my life has come through “the valley of the shadow of death”. The pain of putting aside the false self and embracing the true self, is the pain of death and rebirth. Facing the pain means letting go and trusting that the healing process is a true one leading to health and wholeness. It means trusting in a power greater than oneself to assist in the redemptive process.It requires tremendous courage.
3] Get in Touch-
Instead of being externally driven in seeking out relief from his feelings ,the individual must truly feel the feelings he has spent his life energy denying- feel them, express them and examine them in a safe setting with Gods help and a mentor alongside.
4] Deal with Guilt and Shame and Forgiveness-
Because of poor parental attachment or experiences of real or percieved childhood violence and/or neglect [emotional,physical or sexual] or a childhood sense of abandonment, the individual may live a shame based existence. Instead of feeling shame for something you have done you might feel a toxic shame which says “I am fundementally flawed at the core of my being”.
The individual must learn to accept a more realistic view of self. He must connect with his human frailty and his human strenghs.He must embrace his spiritual identity as a child of God.
Facing the consequences resulting from the addictive behavior of the individuals life, and the life of those wounded by his resulting actions is crucial to being able to separate true guilt from false guilt and thereby take responsibility for ones choices.
As therapist we must always separate who the individual truly is from his behaviour .You are not solely what you do. It is also important to allow the individual every opportunity to fully realise the consequences of his choices and subsequent behaviour.
Another very important step of healing but not one to be undertaken lightly is the process of forgiveness. As Christians sometimes we zealously think that forgiveness ought to be the number one priority.We must avoid magical thinking here.Forgiveness was never meant to be bestowed on someone like knighthood, but rather must involve a deeply surrendered letting go of any hope of exacting retribution.
There must be no ulterior motives to forgiveness, no secret kickbacks.Forgiveness does not mean forgetting the offense but rather involves lifting up of all bitterness and resentment to the foot of the cross so that God takes care of justice.This means no more fantasies of revenge or vigilanteeism. This is often a pivotal point in the healing journey as the client experiences inner peace and freedom.
5] Face Life Realistically-
Now is the time to deal with what Alchoholics Anonymous calls “stinking thinking.” There is a need to learn cognitive skills to counter faulty thinking, beliefs and values through rigorous self examination.By participating in a trustworthy accountability relationship with God, a counselor or spiritual director, new responses to old stimuli can be learnt through a variety of behavioural cognitive techniques. It can be expected that when the individual is exposed to his inner feelings of shame and powerlessness he may respond with anger and/or rage outwardly or inwardly in order to maintain some sense of protection from hopelessness.Through practice, feedback and experience the individual can learn techniques to control impulsiveness and to adopt more socially acceptable behaviour.
Adopting the discipline of spiritual meditation and focus on Gods presence may help the individual slow himself down so that he is able to think and choose before acting.
5] Deal with Consequences-
By completing a moral inventory through the healing process the individual is now in the place where he ought to be able to fully comprehend the consequences of his criminal behaviour and other addictive acting out. He must confess his misdeeds and be willing to make amends where possible. He must accept his human weakness but never use this as an excuse to justify hurtful actions.He must realize the victims needs come first. He must move on to forgiving himself so he may be reborn with Gods help and live a new life committed to being all that God has created him to be and thereby fulfilling his life potential. Life will now be filled with truth telling and the rebuilding of broken relationships so that this individual can contribute in a respectful way to his community.
Healing is possible as no one is “too far gone”. I remember being told that I was destined to “no good” but God had other plans for my life if only I was willing to surrender.Guess what I was and now I am doing something beautiful with God amoungst the poor of my city.
The ripple effect of addiction is staggering. It wreaks havoc, fosters violence, accelterates crime, overloads the courts and overcrowds our prisons. The symptoms of all addictions including behavioural addictions that lead to crime and self destruction must be aggressively treated or victims and society will continue to experience dire repercussions.
I definately agree that Dr.Charles Taylor is on to something in this counselling book of his. His process of healing lays out a good framework on which to build what I believe is an effective and sensible mode of counselling strategy.
Principles of Restorative Justice
Restorative justice begins with oneself, if one has not integrated the principles of restorative justice i.e. accountability, honesty, responsibility, justice and repentance, one cannot succeed in a restorative justice process; since one cannot give away what one does not have.
All restorative justice initiatives are voluntary, yet all who apply to participate may not be ready.
Each stakeholder, the victim(s), the perpetrator, and the community has equal representation and together they are the central resources.
Restorative initiatives can be applied in any situation, from the most serious crime,to a schoolyard conflict to nations at war.
The principle components of restorative initiatives are the opportunity for all to speak, consensus on consequences, freedom of emotional expression, and a commitment to work to create safer communities, more peaceful people, and healed and restored relationships (as far as possible).
Professionals may suggest and assist in developing a restorative justice initiative but play as peripheral a role as possible as the process is ‘owned’ by the victim, perpetrator and community.
Listening and truth telling is essential for success.
Prevention is the penultimate goal of restorative justice.
Restorative Justice Initiatives (Primary)
A program through which the offender and victim of a particular crime work out, under the supervision of a trained mediator, a restitution agreement.
Family Group Conferences
Family group conferencing involves the community of people most affected by the crime – family and friends of the victim and family and friends of the offender – along with the victim and the offender in deciding the resolution to a criminal incident.
Originally used in native communities, they have also been found to be successful in a non-native context. The circles are very inclusive, the victim perspective is very important, and the circles often include “law and order’ participants. The outcomes are usually community-based sanctions.
Mediation or Conflict Resolution
Negotiations between persons or groups in conflict, including victims and offenders, with the assistance of mediators who facilitate the process but do not impose a solution.
Circles of Support and Accountability
A community based initiative utilizing trained volunteers to form a support circle around an offender, usually a warrant expiry sex offender. The ideal size of a circle is six to eight members. The three components are covenant, friendship and regular gatherings.
Restorative Justice Initiatives (Secondary)
Alternatives to Violence
A Quaker developed program popular with groups of offenders and highly successful in its results.
Their program is described this way; exploring the faces of violence in our lives; and developing non-violent ways to deal with conflict and violence however it affects us, within ourselves, in our families, at school, at work or in our faith communities.
A private international organization whose main purposes are to work for the release of prisoners of conscience (those who have neither used nor advocated violence), protect their families from hardship, and seek improved international standards for the treament of prisoners and detainees.
Through community oriented policing officers work together with businesses and private citizens to help solve community problems. This allows citizens a greater voice in setting police priorities and improving the overall quality of life in their neighbourhoods. It works on three components: partnership, problem-solving and prevention.
Court decision allowing a person charged with or convicted of a crime to go into a treatment program rather than to prison.
National Parole Board
Decision making body which interviews offenders to grant or deny conditional release. They also recognize the integration of former offenders through the granting of pardons. Have been referred to as “merchants of hope.”
Nobel Peace Prize
An annual prize given to an individual or institution. Recipients have included: International Committee of the Red Cross; Friends’ Service Council; Martin Luther King Jr.; Amnesty International; Mother Teresa; Bishop Desmond Tutu; Elie Wiesel; United Nations Peacekeeping Forces; Dali Lama; Nelson Mandela.
Is an official recognition of rehabilitation. It seals criminal records making them inaccessible to anyone without the express permission of the Solicitor General of Canada.
A technique of shaming that is empowering for it does not impose rejection or stigma for its own sake, but comprises measures which reintegrate the offender into the community. It disapproves evil of the deed without labeling the person as evil
The act of restoring to the rightful owner that which has been taken away. An offender making good or compensating his or her victim for loss, damage and injury.
Victim Sensitivity Training
Group instruction to sensitize people to the plight of the victim. It helps others to understand victims of crime and offers concrete suggestions on how to help crime victims.
Ten Important Books on Restorative Justice
Bailie, Gil. Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1995.
Morris, Ruth. Stories of Transformative Justice. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc., 2000.
Van Ness, Daniel and Heetderks Strong, Karen. Restoring Justice. Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing, 1997.
Volf, Miroslav. Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.
Zehr, Howard. Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 1990.
God and the Victim: Theological Reflections on Evil, Victimization, Justice and Forgiveness. Edited by Lisa Barnes Lampman. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999.
Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit of Hope, Healing and Forgiveness. Edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Tom Lagana. Deerfiled Beach, Florida: Health Communications Inc.,2000.
(To Order Free Copies for Prisoners – Write to: P.O. Box 7816,
Willmington, Deleware 19803)
Cayley, David. The Expanding Prison: The Crisis in Crime and Punishment and the Search for Alternatives. Toronto: Anansi, 1998.
Gilligan, James. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic. New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
Prejean, Helen. Dead Man Walking. New York: Random House, 1994.