November 2013

15th Annual Presentation of the Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award

November 20, 2013

Nov. 19,2013  Last night at a ceremony in Toronto, Ontario, Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Operations and Programs, Fraser Macaulay, presented the 15th annual Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award to Ms. Gillian Lindquist, as part of the 2013 National Restorative Justice Symposium.

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RJ in Schools Todd Gribbon speaks from experience

November 13, 2013

Restorative Justice in Schools

I am very excited to have this opportunity to write about my on-going experiences with working with Restorative Justice (RJ) in schools.  I was first introduced to RJ more than eight years ago while working as a vice-principal at the Brookside Secondary School – housed in a Youth Detention Facility in Cobourg, Ontario. From there, I continued my interest in the philosophy in secondary schools in Bowmanville, North Bay and now as Principal in a grade 7 and 8 school in Burk’s Falls, Ontario.  What is most interesting to me in practicing RJ in schools is the struggle that people have – adults in the school, students and parents have with coming to understand that the status quo reaction of punishment when challenging behavior is a moot point in the process.

For most – when asked why punishment works, they are unable to articulate the foundation upon which this theory of supporting students works.  For a few – and very adamant in their fervor, give a clear example of how they were punished in the past and the long lasting impact this made on their schooling, family life and experience in the world.  They explain that ‘fear’ motivates, that this keeps everyone in line and a school without such measures will breed an unruly school where the students will wreak havoc on each other and the teachers.  My personal experience as an administrator in a number of schools in Ontario differs from this notion and supports the idea that students already know what is right and wrong and while they make errors in judgment – we need to allow them to stumble along maturing with our guidance and support – understanding that our modeling of the manner in which we (as adults) exercise our authority speaks great volume and to invite their voices in the process of building their self-esteem and characters.  While this takes time and a willingness to give over power – the results are positive and rewarding.

Todd Gribbon,

Principal Senior Elementary School

Burks Falls, Ontario

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RJ Africa

November 13, 2013

1. Nov. 23, 2013 A story of RJ in South Africa

2. Oct. 13, 2013 The Attack on Westgate Mall and Kenya’s Opposition to the ICC

Is Western culture imposing it’s worldview on justice through the ICC? Many African nations hold a different worldview in which restorative justice plays a greater role. Whose perspective should prevail? This article provides interesting insight.

The ICC and Stability in Kenya

A panel of Kenyan political analysts and former legislators recently described two kinds of justice at work. Speaking for the panel, Peter Kagwanja, CEO of the Africa Policy Institute argued that “The kind of hang ‘em high justice you see at the ICC has absolutely nothing to do with the victims.” Meanwhile, the men, women and children who were displaced by violence in 2007, and who continue to languish in ill-equipped Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps need a kind of “restorative justice” that the ICC has not addressed. Restorative justice would focus on providing the victims with humanitarian aide and development to facilitate substantive improvements to their quality of life.

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