Angela Davis with Justice Sabrina McKenna and with U.H. law school dean Avi Soifer at Hawaii Friend’s President Rich Turbin’s house on April 28, 2016.
On April 13, 2016 a gathering of those interested in restorative justice was held at the Hawaii Supreme Court. Here is the summary followed by more photos below.
JUSTICE IN HAWAI‘I COMMUNITY CIRCLE SUMMARY
Restorative Justice (R J) values being accountable and taking responsibility, being respectful, and repairing harm and relationships as possible. R J asks:
Who is responsible? Who was affected? How were they affected? What can be done to repair the harm?
On April 13, 2-16 Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice convened a ninety-minute circle event to consider how restorative justice might be used in Hawai‘i.
The circle was held at Ali‘iolani Hale, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, with 35 people including Angela Davis, iconic scholar and justice advocate, and Mark E. Recktenwald,
Chief Justice state of Hawai‘i. Participants included former justice system consumers including parolees, people who work in the justice system, students, academics, and community activists whose names are attached.
In one large circle, the 35 participants shared what they found hopeful about justice in Hawai’i.
While expressing a variety of hopes, the following challenges to justice were expressed:
After the large circle, small circles of 5 – 7 people, which most of the participants engaged, discussed: What could you do to further your hope for justice in Hawai‘i, and how RJ might used?
The small circles consistently found the following solutions:
ORGANIZE: Intentional regular meetings of interested parties that plan, organize, asset map, and carry out agreed upon strategies to move the justice system from one that is punitive in nature, to restorative. Examples of restorative approaches: innovative, therapeutic courts, indigenous approaches, alternative sentencing, mental health and substance abuse treatment
TRAIN: all players in the system (teachers of criminal justice, judges, police, medical professionals, lawyers, clerks, bailiffs, parole officers), on RJ language, on historical trauma, other RJ principles. Engage youth in civics and peace education, promote prevention strategies.
COMMUNICATE: build more community communication mechanisms, circles, build personal connections, tell your RJ story, post on social and other media, share
LEGISLATURE: educate legislators, invite them into circles, make case for lower costs associated with RJ strategies One participant summarized the value of RJ: “restorative justice circles promote connection – circles create sacred spaces – circles help people heal.
Hawai‘i Friends of Restorative Justice plans to convene another circle event before the end of the year, possibly in October 2016.
Participants at 4.13.16 community circle on restorative justice in Hawai‘i:
Mahalo Robyn Pfhal, Esq. & photographer and Lisa Jensen, conflict management consultant for help with photos and organizing.
* Mahalo for facilitating small circles