A Family at Christmas!

I am so happy! The website I created after the workshop I facilitated for men in transitional housing included their work, their names, their photos. Today I heard from the daughter of one of the men who’d made the deepest impression on me. She had been searching for her father for decades. They are now in touch, stunned, thrilled. I’d say that’s some of the best work I’ve ever done.

2 Responses to “A Family at Christmas!”

  1. carolahand Says:

    Diane, this is such an important innovation! I love the website you created, and the beautiful stories written my the men who participated in the project. Your work is such an inspiration!

    Recently I have been thinking about the US (in)justice system in the context of restorative justice, wondering why we lock people up rather than focusing on proving support for individuals to heal in the context of repairing and building relationships. I am reminded of the 1883 Crow Dog ruling by the Supreme Court and the passage of the Major Crimes Act in response that reified the British paradigm of incarceration and punishment rather than community restoration: http://tm112.community.uaf.edu/unit-1/cherokee-nation-v-georgia-1831/.

  2. desilef Says:

    Thank you for writing and for the citation to the Crow Dog ruling. From what I understand, here in California, the tribes have no enforcement or jurisdictional power at all. (I hope that’s my misreading, but I suspect it’s most likely true.) I’m glad at least the nation seems to be recoiling at least a bit from our culture of mass incarceration. Ideas of restorative justice are being tried in small ways, mostly with juveniles and for school discipline. There are some significant initiatives in parts of Maine, Massachusetts, and Minnesota (why just the M states?). I’ve heard there was a successful project in a high crime neighborhood in Baltimore. (Gosh, that’s Maryland, another M!) and the Los Angeles School District is now requiring that restorative justice for discipline be phased in at all schools. I just hope these initiatives are successful so the idea spreads. Nothing is 100% successful and hope the occasional failure doesn’t brand the whole program. Certainly mass incarceration is a failure on a massive scale as well as a disgrace.

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