August 13, 2020 Editor

RJWorld eConference, August 22 – 31, 2020: Robbie Robidoux & Wayne Northey

RJWorld eConference, August 22 – September 6, 2020: Robbie Robidoux & Wayne Northey

RJ World 2020 was a 17-day (extended by 7 days) online showcase of more than 100 inspiring presenters from around the world – facilitators / practitioners / teachers / researchers / artists – who are passionate about sharing insights and ideas in the realm of restorative justice and restorative practices in all sectors.

WN: After my friend Robbie Robidoux watched David Milgaard and me on a Zoom presentation for this Conference, we decided to do one together as well! (We discuss David Milgaard’s story of 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit–against the backdrop of the Western criminal justice system.)

Robbie has a riveting story to tell. We discuss as well the criminal justice system as a scapegoat mechanism in light of his story; in light too of René Girard‘s scapegoating theory, and application of Girard’s theory in  this publication by my friend and Girardian scholar, Professor Vern Redekop: Scapegoats, the Bible, and Criminal Justice: Interacting with René Girard.

The Conference drew over 100 presenters from more than 25 countries; with 700 registrants.




It was an event for workers, volunteers, and those interested anywhere in the Restorative/Transformative Justice/Justice fields.

For general information please click on: RJWorld eConference

A complete list of of speakers with brief biographies, and their viewable presentations may be accessed by clicking on RJWorld eConference 2020 Speakers.

Now for the video, done over Zoom:

Please also view below a Q & A video with Janine Carroll, Robbie Robidoux and Wayne Northey, August 29, 2020, as follow-up to the video above.

Then I urge you to watch this video from the Conference, that focuses on Blacks caught up in the American Criminal Justice System. As I watched it the theme that rang out was “The Crime of Punishment“, which is title of the all-time classic by famous 20th-century psychiatrist Karl Menniniger.

In listening to the stories in the video below, one simply weeps . . .

Of Menniger’s book, that captures the towering crime/evil of Western democracies’ (and worldwide) brutal scapegoating criminal justice systems, we read:

The Crime of Punishment, originally published in 1966, addressed the critical issue of crime in America and how we punish criminals. Was the spread of violence in spite of our laws and courts or because of them and us? Dr. Menninger dissected the criminal justice system and concluded, “I suspect that all the crimes committed by all the jailed criminals do not equal in total social damage that of the crimes committed against them.”

Dr. Menninger, the esteemed psychiatrist, former chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Menninger Foundation in Topeka, and former senior consultant to the Stone-Brandel Center in Chicago, gave us a thoughtful manual that is still highly relevant and seriously applicable to the criminal justice system today.

Hopefully, by republishing this valuable lesson book, we will apply his teachings and correct the system of corrections. New Leaf – New Life, Inc./Citizens for Effective Justice, which was instrumental in the republishing of this book, is a criminal justice reformation advocacy organization dedicated to transformational change.We pursue efforts across the country to implement Dr. Menninger’s ideas for a more effective criminal justice system. This book is being republished with the permission of the Kansas Historical Society, curator of Dr. Menninger’s archives.

Now the video:

Also, please see below a brief video to be part of a collage of farewells from presenters at the eConference. It will be shown August 31, 2020.

That little novel mediation program (Victim Offender Reconciliation Project–VORP–was first dubbed a “Project” due to its initial experimental nature) in response to crime mentioned–begun in Kitchener 1975, of which I became second Director in 1977–significantly helped put Restorative Justice on the World Map! It’s been a personal great journey ever since!

Finally: below is the 19-minute video of all 11 farewells. Very powerful!

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.