Restorative Justice

The Inside-Out Gospel

Rehabilitating Our Criminal Justice System By Rev. Michael F. Blevins, J.D., M.Div., LL.M. Executive Director of the NE Iowa Peace & Justice Center, Inc., Decorah, IA The article is also located here. An excerpt: The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.3 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails—an astounding 500% increase over the past thirty years. These trends have resulted in inhumane prison overcrowding and state governments being overwhelmed…

Spirituality of Penal Abolition

WN: Ruth Morris, Canadian Quaker who won numerous humanitarian awards, invited me to present this paper at ICOPA IX in 2000. ICOPA stands for: International Conference on Penal Abolition. It was the ninth conference, held in Toronto, where the first such conference, then on "Prison Abolition", was held, also organized by Ruth. The paper was prepared for a book of readings from the conference, one that never happened. Ruth was a dear friend who died…

Transformative Justice Vision and Spirituality: M2/W2 Association and The Criminal Justice System

This paper was done in May 2002 for a presentation at a Correctional Service of Canada institution. I do not recall the particular arrangements. An excerpt: Violence is the Ethos of our Times “Violence is the ethos of our times”, begins one writer’s robust assessment of contemporary Western culture (Wink, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, 1992, p. 13). By “violence” is meant the deliberate infliction of harm upon another…

‘In the Middle:’ Biblical Reflections on Restorative Justice

Tom Yoder Neufeld presented this to the Mennonite Central Committee Canada Restorative Justice Network in Winnipeg in 2003. It well deserves a current readership. The second footnote below was a reader compiled by me for MCCC. An excerpt: I have been asked to reflect on Restorative Justice in relation both to ways the Bible supports, undergirds, and nourishes the roots and practices of Restorative Justice, and also ways in which the Bible might subject what…

The Sex Offender as Scapegoat

WN: It was my longstanding friend and colleague Hugh Kirkegaard (currently (2018) and for some years Director of Chaplaincy, Correctional Services Canada) who inspired and co-authored this paper; and had worked closely in Toronto with Bobby Oatway. He arranged for CSC funding for us to attend the COV&R (Colloquium on Violence and Religion) Conference at Emory University, Atlanta in 1999, where we presented on what was turned into the paper below. It has been translated,…

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