Concord Area Humanists invites you to a discussion and dialogue entitled “Restorative Justice: What It Is and How It Is Applied Locally”. The special speakers will be Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Janet Connors. This special meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014 at 7 p.m. at First Parish Hall, 20 Lexington Rd, Concord MA.
Restorative Justice (RJ) is an alternative system of justice dealing with conflict and harm within a community. The emphasis is on the harm committed and how the offender can restore that loss and be re-integrated within that community. It gives the victim’s community a voice and let’s their story be heard, and the offender’s community is considered when meting out the penalties. For people harmed, RJ empowers people harmed offering avenues for healing and closure. For offenders, RJ offers the opportunity to be accountable, express remorse, and to make things right.
The program will begin with a brief introduction to the definition, the values, the principles, and the process of Restorative Justice. Then, Carolyn and Janet will present the work they currently do in the Boston area of presenting and practicing RJ in schools. Janet tells these students about her experience of having a son murdered and the paths that she could have taken and the path that she did take. Janet works with Carolyn and the Institute for Restorative Intiatives of Suffolk University to promote collaborative partnerships with schools, juvenile justice agencies, and youth serving organizations.
Carolyn Boyes-Watson is Professor of Sociology at Suffolk University where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in restorative justice.. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University and is founding director of the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk and IRIS, the Institute for Restorative Initiatives at www.instituteforrestorativeinitiatives.com Her most recent publications include “Bringing Justice Home: Peacemaking Circles and Urban Youth”, and ”Heart of Hope: A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing and Build Healthy Relationships” with Kay Pranis.
Janet Connors is a long time community and social justice activist in Boston neighborhoods most affected by violence and social injustices. She brings restorative justice practices to schools as alternatives to suspension; as a means to build positive relationships and strong community by engaging in meaningful dialogue through the Circle Process. She has served for several years as Community Fellow and Trainer with the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University; and as a former Board member of Reflect & Strengthen. Janet is currently an active member of the Massachusetts Restorative Justice Collaborative. She is a current member and former Leadership Team and Board Member (term served) of Mothers for Justice and Equality. Janet is also a Circle Keeper and member of “Legacy Lives On” Survivor Support Organization.