The threat of punishment may deter crime, but when it doesn't, a new model called Restorative Justice works instead to create healing after the fact.
There is extensive background information on the basic concepts at the Restorative Resources website, including an outline of their restorative conference process. One important outcome of these conferences, says Clifford Amos, can be an opening of awareness and even sensitivity in kids who often have had very little prior experience with such feelings.
The community circle model that is widely used in restorative justice has its roots in various native cultures around the world, Clifford explains, but New Zealand was the first western culture to seriously attempt to integrate that concept.
Clifford Amos and Restorative Resources will be awarded the 2009 Sonoma County Peacebuilder Award by the local chapter of the Peace Alliance/Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace. The presentation will be made at"Creating aWorld Beyond Violence," a wine, cheese and chocolate reception to be held Saturday, June , 2-4 pm at the Power Squadron, 789 Hamilton Parkway in Novato. Reservations and information at (707) 992-0367, evenings or Saturday morning.