Monday, February 23, 2015

Restorative Justice and Discipline

Has "libertarian" ideals snuck their way into our school systems through a "liberal" bleeding heart?

From Wikipedia:
Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender. Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, "to repair the harm they've done—by apologizing, returning stolen money, or community service".[1] In addition, it provides help for the offender in order to avoid future offences. It is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the state.[2] Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.[3]
When I first read about it, when researching it when I found a reference to it while checking out my kids' school system website, I was taken aback by how much it seemed to be trying to compensate for the negative effects of centralized state schooling. Also, it seemed to be focused too much on the disadvantage experience by "people of color." And I can see a level of "disadvantage" for people that don't fit into the mainstream, regardless of color, so focusing on "the system is racist" instead of a system that violates everyone's rights does all of us a disservice.

I feel that the most important part of "restorative justice" is that it "considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual ... rather than the state." And yes, I edited out "the community," because crimes are never committed against collectives.

More to learn.

(edited 2/25/15)

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