An article by Dennis Sadowski of the Catholic News Service provides an excellent overview of the interfaith leadership occurring in many states today on the issues surrounding restorative justice and solitary confinement. The work in California is an important part of the story.
AB2590, The Restorative Justice Act (Weber-San Diego), was heard on the Assembly Floor today, and it passed with flying colors. The final vote was 47 Aye, 24 No, and the remaining members didn’t vote for one reason or another. The photo of the tally board shows how each Assembly member voted. Now, the bill will move to the Senate for committee and floor hearings.
California Catholic Chaplains working in state service gathered for a first-time retreat this week at St. Anthony Retreat Center/Three Rivers, near Sequoia National Park. In this serene and beautiful environment they were able to connect with each other, build community, and engage in conversation and discussion.
"Education, Not Incarceration!" was the rallying cry for hundreds of people who gathered at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to share their stories with members of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. Sheriff Scott Jones was also invited by the community, but did not attend.
Despite our overcrowded prisons, recidivism remains at an unacceptably high rate. Last year, a broad array of faith-based and community organizations convened and agreed that the current criminal justice system, founded upon the sole purpose of punishment, has failed. Along with Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D- San Diego) they created AB 2590.
Over the past few months, two proposed opposing ballot initiatives had been in circulation gathering signatures to qualify for the general elections in November. Both have submitted the required signatures and are currently waiting to be certified by the Secretary of State.
The Office of Restorative Justice in the Diocese of San Bernardino will be holding information sessions on the Death Penalty in September and October in each of the Vicariates in the diocese. A total of 12 information sessions are planned and will be held in English and Spanish.
Thanks to the efforts of volunteers across the state, children with mothers in prison are able to have face-to-face on Mothers Day. Get on the Bus, a program of Center for Restorative Justice Works, organizes this effort, providing transportion, food and support for the kids.
AB 2590, The Restorative Justice Act, is now on the Assembly Floor. The bill will be taken up for a floor vote during the week of May 23. Social Action Directors, Restorative Justice Directors and the Restorative Justice Grant Partners are coming together to arrange in-district legislative meetings with Assembly Members while they are back in home districts, especially ones who have yet to vote on the bill or who have expressed opposition to it. The deadline for the bill to get out of house of origin is June 3.
Today at the Capitol, California honored California Peace Officers who died in the line of duty in 2015. Our prayers are with all fallen officers and their families. May they rest in peace.
Officer Michael J. Johnson
San Jose Police Department
Officer David Joseph Nelson
Bakersfield Police Department
Fall Training Program: October 20-22, 2016
This 20-hour training is intended for all persons interested in becoming Restorative Justice Mediation Program (RJMP) facilitators but will benefit school teachers, defense attorneys, and everyone in between--and especially those involved with teenagers and young adults. Trainees who agree to facilitate cases with RJMP will receive valuable experience in conflict resolution and transferrable skills to all walks of life.