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].
Conflict Engagement and ADR in the News
By Zach Benoit (12/27/16. The Billings Gazette/Kokomo Perspective.com).
Partway through a busy mid-December Monday, Reagan Bennett's first-grade classroom at Big Sky Elementary was a whirl of giddy energy as she stopped and called for the students' attention.
"Hands on top," she said, loud and clear.
The students stopped and put their hands on their heads, turning to look at their teacher.
"That means stop," the kids hollered back in unison before falling silent and waiting for Bennett's instructions.
The call and response — and the students' quick reaction — is part of a program a handful of teachers at the school are using designed to teach youngsters coping and self-regulation skills that can improve their quality of life years later.
The PAX Good Behavior Game is an evidence-based approach gaining traction in Montana schools, and mental and community health officials are pushing to get the game into first- and second-grade classrooms statewide.
"PAX is not a curriculum," said Claire Oakley, director of Population Health Services at RiverStone Health. "It's a technique that you can incorporate into anything you do in the classroom. Absolutely, what's important about PAX is it's teaching children self-management skills." Click HERE to find out more about PAX.
By Paul Muschick (12/27/16; The Atlantic. Photo from Pixaboy).
If all you wanted for Christmas was a big stack of government documents and your wish was snuffed out by a Grinch-like public official, here is an opportunity for you to make peace.
Talking things out with the help of a referee from the state Office of Open Records could reveal common ground and clarify misunderstandings. That could eliminate the need to complete the sterile, court-like process of submitting legal filings and waiting for an Office of Open Records appeals officer to rule.
That office, which hears disputes over access to government documents sought through the Right-to-Know Law, has been encouraging mediation this year.
"Often, requesters don't really know exactly how to ask for what they want — so they write requests that are overly broad," Executive Director Erik Arneson told me. "On the flip side, agencies often receive requests which can be hard to decipher because the requester may be using unfamiliar terminology. Getting the parties together to talk about what records are really at issue can be extremely helpful." See how mediation can be helpful when obtaining public documents HERE.
New court aims to redefine youth justice in Chicago
Two young men from Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood were charged with committing a string of burglaries. The boys, who were in their late teens and charged as adults, allegedly broke into four homes when their owners were away and stole electronics and $16,000 in cash.
The charge was a turning point for both of them. One of the young men pleaded guilty in 2011 and was given a sentence of eight years in prison. He became one of the staggering 70 percent of men in North Lawndale who have criminal records and was only released on parole earlier this year.
The other young man, however, had an experienced lawyer and was able to negotiate a plea deal that gave him a vacatable form of probation and helped him avoid jail time. He was offered a range of services including job training and mental health treatment. Five years later, he now has a wife, a baby, and a steady job in construction making $15 an hour. When he completed probation last month, his criminal charge was wiped clean. Click HERE to see how Cook County is using restorative justice to get better outcomes for some community members.
Good Reads: Blogs, Books, and More!
By Rashaad Abdur-Rahman (12/27/16; Courier Journal. Image from Pixabay)
Beyond all the news coverage, conversation and opinions about the public health crisis of gun violence in our community, I ask that we not lose sight of that profound and direct truth: OUR city needs YOUR help.
Gun violence, at the root, tells a story of poverty, hopelessness, redlining and disparity that is too often concentrated in just a few neighborhoods. We have all seen the statistics: 78 percent of Louisville’s homicide victims are male, 59 percent are African-American, and 50 percent are under 25-years-old.
Without question, these numbers are grim and disturbing. We should be angry and sickened by them. Learn how the Louisville community members are addressing violence through programs like REimage and Pivot to Peace HERE.
By Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD (12/27/16. Psychology Today)
Review: 'Loving' by Brian Tallerico Click HERE to read the review.
Symposium – 50 Years of Loving: Seeking Justice Through Love and Relationships
March 23-24, 2017
The Werner Institute and the 2040 Initiative
at the Creighton University School of Law
invite you to a symposium exploring how the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia has influenced society institutionally, demographically and relationally. Participants will also develop strategies for moving from thought to action by building relationships across difference.
The Creighton Law Review seeks submissions exploring issues related to this landmark case. Please visit our call for submissions page.
In partnership with Kutak Rock LLP
Register for the symposium Here