Exploring another key component of a “just peace” approach to engaging conflict, this workshop would focus on the transformative shift to a restorative justice lens and core restorative practices in our religious communities and broader society. Such a lens calls into question the practice of mass criminalization of communities of color in the U.S. who are disproportionately subject to police surveillance, incarceration and torture. Too often our notion of “justice” revolves around a mis-guided attempt to change behavior primarily by instilling fear, suffering, and even death. For instance, this has led the U.S. to having one of the highest recidivism rates in the world (60%) as well as the world’s highest incarceration rate.
However, God has offered us an alternative, more truthful and transformative way of creating justice which has revelatory implications for various areas of our life. A restorative justice lens and practices are being used with great success in schools, criminal justice system, families, workplaces, and religious communities. We will hear from a survivor of torture in U.S. prisons, and discover in contrast, transformative practices and alternatives, particularly circle processes; get some clarity on the restorative lens; and explore ways to advance restorative justice in our communities and in public policy.
- Jenn Bricker, Key Bridge Foundation Community Conferencing Program
- Five Mualimmak (on behalf of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture)
- Eli McCarthy, Professor Georgetown University in Justice and Peace Studies