January 2021 Newsletter
Issue #47
Restorative Justice
Restorative justice is an approach that views crime and conflict principally as harm done to people and relationships. It strives to provide support and safe opportunities for the voluntary participation and communication between those affected -- including the victims, offenders, and community as a whole -- to encourage accountability, reparation, and a movement towards understanding, feelings of satisfaction, healing, safety and a sense of closure.

Restorative justice is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, meaningful accountability of offenders, and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities.

Restorative justice has been shown to be effective in recent studies:

  • A recent meta-analysis of 12,000 juveniles found a 25% reduction in the recidivism rate.

  • Victims of robbery and burglary involved in restorative justice practices experienced 33% fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms at 6 weeks and 40% fewer symptoms at 6 months compared to victims in a control group.

  • An ethnographic study found that 80% of participants reported that the dialogue process had a profound effect on their lives

  • In Minnesota, almost 50% of the school districts use some form of restorative practices, including peace circles. The number of acts of physical aggression recorded per year in one Minnesota elementary school dropped from 773 to 153 over 3.5 years of application.

  • Research on circles of support and accountability for high-risk sex offenders in Canada showed that sexual reoffending decreased by 83% for offenders engaged in restorative justice circles in contrast to the matched comparison group and actuarial projections.

To learn more, click here.
Resources
Bridges to Life
A faith-based, restorative justice program for incarcerated men and women that reduces recidivism among program graduates and helps make communities safer. The organization accomplishes its mission by utilizing a unique 14-week curriculum centered on victim impact and facilitated by volunteers. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Pray Your Way Through Forgiveness: Reflections, Prayers, and Actions for Healing
By Nicole Sotelo. Offers a roadmap to forgiveness and to the deepening of love for ourselves and others. Through real-life stories, Scripture wisdom, and prayer reflections, encourages readers to understand forgiveness as a choice, a process, and above all, an invitation from Jesus to walk with him and be healed. From that first courageous step of acknowledging and naming our wounds, through each step of forgiveness, gently reminds readers that they are empowered by the Holy Spirit as they journey toward a new life of peace, love, and joy. Read more.
For more Forgiveness resources, click here.
Faith for Earth: A Call for Action
First published at the beginning of the twenty-first century, this resource was the result of a joint project of the United Nations Environment Program and the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment, titled Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action. This edition -- produced through a partnership with the Parliament of the World’s Religions Climate Action Program -- offers an introduction to the magnitude of the task we now face and to the faith communities that are becoming a force for the global environmental future. It describes the essential, unshakeable reverence that all religions have for creation and nature, and introduces the world’s major life support systems. Read more.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Crossing Borders
A podcast series from HIAS, that takes listeners inside the experience of being a refugee. In each episode, they introduce people hoping to rebuild their lives in a new home and some of those dedicated to helping them succeed. Learn more.
For more on Refugees, click here.
Time
A documentary from Amazon studios that highlights the struggle families endure when a loved one is in prison. The film focuses on the Richardson family and chronicles the journey of matriarch Fox Rich, who fights to keep her family together while her husband serves a 60-year prison sentence for armed robbery. Watch the trailer.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
Where I Stay
A serialized documentary from Rivet and StreetWise exploring "invisible" homelessness and economic injustice in America. Listen now.
For more on Housing, click here.
21 Day Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge
A resource from the Ignatian Solidarity Network that challenges participants to enter the complex work of understanding the realities of racial injustice and anti-Blackness in the U.S. It is designed for all participants, regardless of race, ethnicity, prior anti-racism work, age or background and includes opportunities to learn, pray, and act on different themes of racial equity. Additional specific resources are provided for white people, who benefit from and perpetuate racist systems in our society, both intentionally and unintentionally. Learn more.
For more on Racism, click here.
House Rules
A podcast from This American Life that considers where you live is important. It can dictate quality of schools and hospitals, as well as things like cancer rates, unemployment, or whether the city repairs roads in your neighborhood. This show features stories about how destiny can be determined
by address.
This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week they focus on a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.
For more on Housing, click here.
The Shadow Pandemic of Domestic Violence during Covid 19
A TED Talk featuring says physician Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, who discusses how mandatory lockdowns, quarantines and shelter-in-place orders meant to contain COVID-19 have created a shadow pandemic of domestic abuse. Sharing alarming statistics on the rise of gender-based violence worldwide, she describes how Nigeria quickly retrained a squadron of basic health care providers to respond to the crisis -- and shares lesson other countries can adopt to keep people safe from harm. Watch now.
For more on Domestic Abuse, click here.
Growing Up Poor in America
A documentary from PBS Frontline, that delves into how poverty impacts children. Follows three families in Ohio as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies their struggle to stay afloat. As the country reckons with issues of race and racism, the children share their worries and hopes about their futures.
For more on Poverty, click here.
Plastic Wars
A documentary from PBS Frontline and NPR, investigates the fight over the future of plastics with the plastic industry expanding like never before and the crisis of ocean pollution growing.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Justice in Motion
Protects migrant rights by ensuring justice across borders through legal action, the defender network, policy advocacy, family reunification and the child detention crisis initiative. Learn more.
For more on Immigration, click here.
Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite
a Fractured People
By Charles C. Camosy. Begins with the starting point that two of every three Americans constitute an exhausted majority who reject right/left polarization and are open to alternative viewpoints. Embraces Pope Francis' challenge to resist throwaway culture on issues ranging from hook-up culture, reproductive technology, abortion, euthanasia, poverty, immigration, treatment of animals, and mass incarceration. Articulates a moral vision in which a culture of encounter and hospitality replaces a consumer culture in which the most vulnerable get used and discarded. Offers readers an opportunity to dialogue about what kinds of values should serve as the foundation for a new political culture.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future
By Pope Francis. Written in collaboration with his biographer, Austen Ivereigh, the pope explains why we must—and how we can—make the world safer, fairer, and healthier for all people now. Learn more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
World Peace: (And How We Can Achieve It)
By Alex J. Bellamy. Argues that world peace is possible because the motives, rationales, and impulses that give rise to war - the quest for survival, enrichment, solidarity, and glory - are now better satisfied through peaceful means. Shows that we already have many of the institutions and practices needed to make peace possible and sets out an agenda for building world peace. Demonstrates how steps to strengthen compliance with international law, improve collective action such as international peacekeeping and peacebuilding, better regulate the flow of arms, and hold individuals legally accountable for acts of aggression or atrocity crimes can make our world more peaceful. It also shows how in the long term, building strong and legitimate states that protect the rights and secure the livelihoods of their people, gender equal societies, and protecting the right of individuals to opt-out of wars has the potential to establish and sustain world peace. Learn more.
For more Peace resources, click here.
 
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month

January 6th
At stake are two different visions of faith, the Church of Caesar, powerful and rich; and the Church of Christ - loving, poor and spiritually rich.
January 7th
This is our cry, this is our prayer:
peace in the world.
January 13th
January 14th
The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.
Janaury 14th
For politicians truth and falsehood are unimportant. So I never could become a politician - not even a church politician.
January 15th
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
January 24th
Jesus didn't say, 'Blessed are those who care for the poor.' He said, 'Blessed are we where we are poor, where we are broken.' It is there that God loves us deeply and pulls us into deeper communion with himself.
January 31st
Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
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