Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

Restorative Justice On The Rise


The Peace Alliance and Host/Producer and Board Member Molly Rowan Leach invite you to join this free, ongoing international webcast and dialogue telecouncil series featuring conversations with the world's pioneers in Restorative justice. You'll find a huge archive of mp3 audios, a growing library of transcripts, a resource and events area, and much more, including upcoming guest speaker information and ways to plug in and join the conversation. Just click above on the Restorative Justice header menu tab to see a full menu of options.

TPA recognizes that Restorative Justice is moving fast in the U.S. as an answer to punitive and corporate-motivated criminal justice systems. The mission of the series and the growing resources and network areas of this subsection is to augment education, spark dialogue, connect organizations and individuals, and ultimately make the RJ movement stronger and more visible both in the US and beyond. It also honors the many global traditions of our Indigenous and communities living at the peripheral edges of our cities--who courageously and with steadfast assurance continue to provide the roots of Restorative justice.


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Comment by Tina Minkowitz on December 22, 2012 at 4:51pm

statement on Newtown shootings from the Campaign to Repeal Mental Health Laws (and see "policy statement to Congress" linked at the bottom for a more detailed version of our positions.

Comment by Tina Minkowitz on December 21, 2012 at 5:42pm

here is my own blog post -

i am hoping to have a couple of more collective statements issued as well, that didn't get finalized yet today (that's democratic/participatory process).

Comment by Molly Rowan Leach on December 21, 2012 at 12:29am

I'm now reading the Waugh article and thinking about how in reporting the deaths from last week's unthinkable tragedy, it's counted as 20 children and 6 adults. The mother of the shooter and he himself also died in this tragedy. Do we think by acknowledging their deaths as equally tragic we are taking away somehow from the others? This event was tragic in totality and the shooter himself without question a victim as well, a victim of a society of violence and perhaps a victim of the way we treat those with mental health issues. In my mom's case, everyone lost, everyone was a victim, and nobody gained healing or insight from the tragic incident that occurred, other than a stalemate in Idaho of stigmatization and throwing away of mentally ill into prisons where there are no adequate services or care, and victims who become so isolated in their own role of victim that it becomes very difficult to come up out of that. I will finish reading the Waugh article and am curious to hear more from Tina and Emily, as they might wish...

Comment by Molly Rowan Leach on December 21, 2012 at 12:07am

I have not had a chance to look at the Waugh article, but as a daughter of a severely mentally ill mother who is emprisoned and has been for 14 years in Idaho, and someone who has served the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, I can definitely understand how easy it is for this to be a very difficult issue. In my own humble lifelong experience of having a mentally ill loved one, I have seen violence both very subtle to the overt towards those with mental health issues. I think people to this day are befuddled as to its causal factors. I think it is easy for people to do harmful things with good intentions nonetheless, out of their own grappling of what mental illness entails. After all, I'm not the one who heard voices or struggled with such extreme schizophrenic symptoms. Those of us who have not experienced mental illness who are trying to understand and treat it often fall short. And our cultural paradigm has done violence and stigmatized people insofar as cases like my mothers become total human rights violations right under our noses. Tina I agree that 'coercive mental health policies' are not restorative, and I also feel that these policies are created in fear and lack of understanding--by often very goodwilling people. I think of other cultures in how they see mental illness--so many tribes and cultures understanding the psycho spiritual implications of the shadow and wounding, and its relationship to both personal and metapersonal--and respecting those with mental illness as those who carry our collective wounds for us through them perhaps. I will look at the Waugh article, thanks both to Tina and to Emily for sharing. I will have Steve Korr's audio posted soon, and just to note that in my view Steve was sharing that we need to come together--find ways to hear and be heard, when the unthinkable happens like in Newtown. We have to start simply by opening up to the idea that by dialoguing we can move through some of these very devastating and difficult, tragic barriers. By starting in the way of approaching and leaning into one another with humility, compassion, and deep listening we naturally find spaces that can then lead to making right the things that are not in balance--grievous or less. I know for sure that this small step, in my own mother's case, was never in place, and it has left the victims and their family devastated and hateful, my own family at a loss, and the community and state with a wound left open and festering almost two decades since the offense. There is another way--as my friend and colleague James O'Dea says bluntly--we must dialogue or die. I am grateful for having these conversations with everyone and I also am proposing a Restorative Response Circle that will commence the first week of January for people to dialogue and share about these matters on a deeper level, and to encourage that happening in any way we as individuals feel might be worthwhile in our own lives and immediate communities.

Comment by Tina Minkowitz on December 20, 2012 at 11:35pm

I have not been able to the make the calls but am deeply concerned about responses to the Newtown killings.  From a brief glance at the Waugh article I need to intervene in this discussion.  Coercive mental health policies are not restorative justice, they are another kind of violence.  One of the groups I belong to is working on a statement which I will post tomorrow, but for now please see this article written by a colleague that expresses similar arguments to what I believe:

Comment by Emily Linnemeier on December 20, 2012 at 6:13pm

I was on the teleconference last night, and the discussion around response to events such as occurred in Newton last Friday made me think about a great article by Brenda Waugh:  It discusses a response to the shooting at Virginia Tech that had a restorative perspective -- thought it might be of interest to many of you.

Comment by Tonia Arnett on December 13, 2012 at 10:44pm

"CIA Torture Report Approved By Senate Intelligence Committee"

Posted: 12/13/2012  5:13 pm EST  |  Updated: 12/13/2012  6:43 pm EST

This was mentioned on the call tonight and a link was requested.

Comment by Molly Rowan Leach on December 6, 2012 at 7:37pm

This is a powerful video from Rep. Pete Lee (CO) on Restorative Justice:

Comment by Molly Rowan Leach on November 18, 2012 at 2:41pm

Survey of Legislation in the United States, thanks to Restorative Justice Online

Scroll down slightly to list of links--including this one.

Comment by Molly Rowan Leach on November 18, 2012 at 1:52pm

Article: Denver woman feels the power of Restorative justice after son murdered (Denver Post, June 2012)


Comment by Molly Rowan Leach on November 15, 2012 at 6:18pm
Comment by Sharletta C. Evans on September 6, 2012 at 3:51pm

was informed about your organization from an expert in RJ facilitation and Mediation. I have heard wonderful things about Michelle Alexander as well as the message and exposure that she brings to the masses regarding modern day racism. I have not yet read her book but I do know it is a must read.
Community Activist, Victim & Juvenile Advocacy, Mediation, RJ Facilitation, this is my work and goal to achieve and accomplish a healing, a voice, a re-uniting in the (Black) African American community. Being a instrument to bring peace and wholeness & education to the masses such as Michelle Alexander should be a collective effort. Thank you for being a effective movement. Sharletta C. Evans

Comment by Tina Minkowitz on September 5, 2012 at 1:20pm

The call today was wonderful, I learned a lot from Michelle and the callers who spoke.  I'm interested in doing a study group on the book, which I started to read but have not gotten very far in yet.  As a survivor of the psychiatric incarceration system, I could relate to some of what was said about people being treated as if it's a gift just to be allowed to survive.  There is a lot of resonance for me with Michelle's view that putting people in prison is just unacceptable and that we both need, and have, better ways.  That is how I feel about the psychiatric incarceration system as well, and the premise of my work in that direction, from a human rights perspective.  Besides being interested in restorative/transformative justice generally, and in learning more deeply about how racism works as maybe a currently hidden, or meta-, social institution - I would like to explore the relevance of these insights to psychiatric oppression, to have a more complete understanding of that institution as well.

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