On Returning from Michigan

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Email this pageI spent this past week in Michigan. Four cities – Detroit, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Grand Rapids. Sixteen meetings, presentations, mini-workshops, small group discussions; speaking to, with and listening to – law students, public policy students, under grads studying social work and criminal justice, young people drawn to activism, elders engaged in activism, professors, Continue Reading »

Freedom

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Email this pageI met Barry eighteen months ago when I was doing a training at a jail in northern Maine. He was awaiting trial on drug charges. Barry wrote to me a week later. He was intrigued by Restorative Justice. He said that for the first time he was considering the harm he had caused Continue Reading »

What if?

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Email this pageI was in a Circle recently. The conversation was about brokenness. A question was posed: “Can you recall an incident in which a restorative response might have changed your life?” The talking piece was passed. Heartbreak followed, one after the other. A man, who had spent nearly a decade behind bars, took the Continue Reading »

Lifeline

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Email this pageWe read poetry this morning. Six men, seated in a circle, each chair with a character of its own. The prison library just around the corner, the fourth floor room was too warm for the box fan to cool. Still, the men chose to turn it to its lowest setting so everyone could Continue Reading »

Change Agents

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Email this pageI’m teaching another class at the prison in Windham. Sort of. What I mean is that when you teach in a correctional setting you are as much student as instructor. Only minutes into a first meeting you are reminded, or realize if it’s your first time, that these men are hungry. They are Continue Reading »

Grandma’s Story

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Email this pageDes Moines, Iowa It’s Mother’s Day. What they say is true. The loss is felt long after the burial. My mother died a week before Christmas seven years ago. Time doesn’t make it easier. I’ve been thinking of my mother’s story lately while considering a different approach to the “Justice Diary”. A year Continue Reading »

Justice Is Local

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Email this pagePortland, Maine It’s interesting to think of justice as local, which it is and must be. But it’s easy to forget. We’re more likely to think of justice as “top down” with Congress, the Supreme Court, state legislatures and state courts grabbing the headlines. Each has a role, making the rules and interpreting Continue Reading »