What's Happening in Conflict Resolution" is a weekly roundup of the all the ADR news, jobs, events and more. Check it out each week and view past versions [HERE].
ADRHub is now hosting a topic for discussion and debate!
Continuing our holiday theme, we ask the following:
What are some small steps people can take that will have a positive impact on the people around them?
Click HERE to join the conversation!
Conflict Engagement and ADR in the News
New Orleans high school turbocharges restorative justice
By Jennifer Shaw (11/29/16. The Hechinger Report. Photo from Pixaboy).
Fights were keeping 17-year-old Symphony Lee out of high school, and off the graduation track.
“Once I lose my temper, that’s it,” says Lee, with characteristic bluntness.
Lee spoke from the principal’s office at The Net Charter High School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard here, a street famous for its ties to legendary black musicians, including Buddy Bolden and Professor Longhair.
“In my last school, I was always fighting,” Lee says, seated in a Mardi Gras-purple slipcovered chair in front of a wall painted the same color and wearing her hair pulled up in a careful pony tail poking out from under a baseball cap.
Lee’s cycle of anger and school absences had seemed impossible to break. “I’d fight on Monday, get suspended, come back the next Monday, get suspended again. Over and over and over,” Lee says. Learn how restorative justice programs in New Orleans help students like Lee break the cycle and stay in school HERE.
Restorative justice programme helps drug trafficker’s family face demons together
By Leonie Wagner (11/28/16; Times Live)
Joan Sacks spent 18 years fighting for her brother’s freedom from a Thai prison. But when he was released and returned to South Africa in 2012‚ she never expected that her life would become a living hell.
Her brother‚ Shani Krebs‚ was arrested at an airport in Thailand with 2.4kg of compressed heroine in 1994. It was a crime punishable by death‚ but he pleaded guilty and was instead sentenced to life in prison.
After serving 18 years‚ Krebs was released.
“The biggest issues were when he came out of prison‚ those three years after my brother came home were hell‚” Sacks said‚ adding that he was emotionally and verbally abusive.
For the first time this year‚ the siblings agreed to participate in a restorative justice programme initiated by Khulisa Social Solutions‚ a non-profit organisation. See how the program worked to helps families HERE.
What should we know about Tunisia’s transitional justice?
The small country of Tunisia is one of the few genuine democracies in North Africa and the Middle East. The "second republic" was born out of the country’s December 2010-January 2011 uprising, which overthrew decades of authoritarian rule.
While several other countries in the region experienced popular revolts of their own, Tunisia is the only one to have achieved a peaceful political transition.
Tunisians drafted the new constitution in January 2014, then held the country's first free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections later that year.
The next step for the country is to confront its traumatic past. The institution tasked with that powerful responsibility is the Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC). Learn about the TDC HERE.
Good Reads: Blogs, Books, and More!
Can We Talk (and Should We): Post Election Thoughts
By Bernie Mayer (11/29/16)
In the 1870’s in Tsarist Russia, leftists pursuing social reform left the cities and went to live among the oppressed peasants to learn from them and to liberate them. This movement to “return to the people” went over like a rat sandwich. While the recently freed serfs had serious grievances against the elites in far away Moscow and St. Petersburg, they did not much care to be patronized by the Narodniks as these leftists were called. Later the peasants became a very powerful but rather amorphous force for social revolution and played a major role in the overthrow of he tsarist government in 1917—only to be marginalized yet again when the Bolsheviks came to power.
The well meaning but essentially patronizing call that so many liberals are expressing, and that many conflict specialists have also put forward, to listen to the voice and the pain of the white working class have awoken the Narodniks from some deep recess of my brain—that part which stores memories from my time as a European History major in the 1960’s. The circumstances are of course completely different, but the queasiness I experience at the rapid rush to attribute the results of this election to how out of touch liberal elites are, and to prescribe reaching out to the working class, and more specifically the white working class seems to me to be naïve and patronizing—although well intentioned, as was the return to the people movement of the 1870’s.
There is something off about the discussion of identity politics vs. class politics... read more from Bernie's blog HERE
How we did it
By Madhu Raman Acharya (11/29/16. my Republica)
There were setbacks. But the Nepali peace process kept inching towards its logical conclusion, in a “two steps forward, one step backward” fashion Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Maoists and the Government of Nepal that started the peace process hailed as a success worldwide. In the intervening period, Nepal elected two Constituent Assemblies, which together wrote a historic constitution, integrated or rehabilitated some 19,000 former Maoist combatants and managed their arms, and started a process of transitional justice to deal with conflict-era human rights abuses. The former Maoists are now part of mainstream political process and have been in and out of government. Though the transition has been rather long and complicated, Nepal’s peace process has rightly been described as exemplary. Learn more about what made the Nepalese peace process so successful HERE.
Tristan Cleveland: I know first-hand, restorative justice works
By Tristan Cleveland (11/29/16. Halifax Metro. image from Pixabay)
Good on Justice Minister Diana Whalen for extending restorative justice to adults. I know first hand: it’s a much-needed alternative to the courts.
My criminal career got off to a bad start. A friend and I were bored one evening in Chester and so we decided to see if we could get a free Coke out of a pop machine. Our attempts to shake the machine were a bit too enthusiastic (we bodychecked it at a full run) and to our surprise, it broke.
Here is some good advice I guess we hadn’t heard: if you are going to commit a crime, do not commit it under a police station window. Arrested in 60 seconds.
It sucks to be young and feel like you’ve screwed up. It sucks more when it is going to lead to a criminal record. Punishing offenders is something the law has to do, but stigmatising kids like us with the status of “law-breakers” would have done nothing to get us doing better things with our time. Learn how a restorative justice program helped Tristan avoid court time while still being punished HERE.
Review: 'Loving' by Brian Tallerico Click HERE to read the review.