The California Bishops are working very hard on bringing more restorative rather than punitive policies into our state's corrections system. In particular they are advocating support for AB 2590. Assembly Member Shirley N.
In San Diego the Restorative Justice Mediation Program (RJMP) offers crime victims and offenders an effective alternative to the traditional criminal justice system. Through its victim-offender dialogue program, offenders have a chance to take responsibility and make amends. Victims have a voice, an opportunity to ask questions and to describe the impact of the offense on their lives.
Tuesday is class night for a growing community of parents in Orange County. They are part of Padres Unidos, an entirely voluntary program that teaches parenting skills to dads and moms of at risk youth. Parents make a commitment to attend every Tuesday evening for 30 weeks. Child care is provided.
Restorative justice took center stage on this week's "Setting Things Right" radio show in San Diego. Debbie McDermott from the California Catholic Conference, Adam Kruggel from our organizing partner PICO California, joined Deacon Jim Walsh and other experienced voices in the restorative justice field for an in-depth discussion of the practical application and impact that these practices have on individual lives and justice systems.
Bishop Michael C. Barber has taken a leadership role in supporting community Ceasefire walks to combat violence in the Diocese of Oakland's neighborhoods. Ceasefire participation had dwindled over recent months with fewer people doing the monthly walks that call for an end to gun violence in our communities. Violence, unfortunately, was once again on the rise. Bishop Barber decided to make Ceasefire a visible part of the diocese's activities for the Year of Mercy. The attention revived energy for all.
According to a post in National Catholic Reporter's The Field Hospital blog, the faith connection is growing with Catholics on the outside and incarcerated men and women. The article cites many programs across the countyr, including the death row ministry at San Quentin, the pen pal project in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where U.S. parishes and dioceses are reaching out to the incarcerated.
Diocese of Monterey - Restorative Partners, a non-profit organization that serves people impacted by crime, presented a series of short classes for the deacons of the Diocese of Monterey and their wives during their convocation in early March. The day was spent entering into a taste of the work Restorative Partners does, with topics including: