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Restorative Justice Syllabus (Fall 2011)

Northern Arizona University

Yuma Branch Campus

Administration of Justice Progra 

_____ Seq. Number, RESTORATIVE  JUSTICE

 3 credit hours 

Prequisites :  _______

Restorative Justice Syllabus

instructor : Mary White

contact information :  maryewhite1@gmail.com

mary.white@yumacountyaz.gov

928-817-4335 (office)

928-257-9824 (cell)

Course Description :  

This course is designed to introduce students to the principles & practices of Restorative JusticeParticular focus will be placed upon learning how to apply restorative justice to address current problems within the criminal justice system.  Throughout the semester, students will complete several intensive practical exercises involving role playing in order to gain a first hand experience of restorative justice processes.

Students must also complete readings, written assignments and a research paper which focus upon the principles and practices of restorative justice.  These assignments include overviews of current problems in criminal justice for which restorative justice is a productive approach.

Classroom lectures,  guest speakers, role play exercises and educational films will supplement the readings, written assignments and research.

This course is particularly relevant for students enrolled in any of the degree programs in the areas of Administration of Justice, Criminal Justice and Human Relations, as well as for students who plan to enter the fields of education, law, psychology, public administration, social work and victim advocacy.  Restorative principles and practices extend beyond the realm of criminal justice and may be applied in schools and work places, as well as for conflict resolution in any setting.

Course objectives :

By the end of the course, students will be able to :

1.  Describe  principles  and practices of restorative justice.  They should be able to describe the ways in which restorative justice takes into consideration the needs of victims, offenders and the community.

2) Identify critical issues in criminal justice and describe restorative approaches to these issues.

3)  Demonstrate how restorative justice can be applied without any changes in the laws which currently govern  our traditional criminal justice system, both juvenile and adult.

4) Use restorative problem solving approaches in the context of local criminal justice issues and programs.

5)   Demonstrate specific knowledge of the following restorative justice applications:

a.      Restorative Conferencing between Victims and Offenders, also known as Victim Offender Reconciliation  or Victim Offender Mediation

b.      Community Justice Boards as originated by the Pima County Attorney’s Office and developed in Yuma County by the Yuma County Attorney in partnership with Juvenile Court.

c.      Adult Drug Court.

6) Demonstrative general knowledge of the following restorative Justice applications

a.  Problem solving/therapeutic courts other than  Drug Courts, such as Domestic Violence Courts and Mental Health Courts

b. Victim Impact and Re-Entry programs  for  convicted, incarcerated offenders

c.  Discharge Planning for  jail and prison inmates

(7)  Generally describe examples of the variety  of  restorative justice practices in Arizona, the U.S. as well as internationally.

Required Textbook:

Zehr, Howard, The Little Book of Restorative Justice  (Good Book Publishing Co. 2002)

Other readings will be placed on electronic reserve and can be accessed through ___________

Course structure:  

This course will be presented in four learning modules.  Each module utilizes a combination of  lecture, class discussion & role play exercises, guest speakers, readings  and written reports.   Students are encouraged to complete extra credit projects which complement the information being presented in the course.  A list of extra credit activities is provided on the Course Home Page

The first module introduces the concepts  of restorative justice and contrasts these with the traditional model of criminal justice as applied in the United States.  The second module focuses upon victims of crime and is an in depth exploration of the experiences of crime victims while illustrating how restorative justice is an avenue of healing and help for victims.   The third module studies the  characteristics of offenders and causes of offending and shows how offenders may benefit from restorative justice processes.  The fourth module looks at how the community benefits from applying restorative justice to current problem areas in criminal justice. 

There are due dates in each module and all assignment papers, exams, etc. must be completed by the due date. You have some flexibility in completing the activities within modules, but once a module due date has passed that module will be closed and you will not be able to submit activities for that module.  The ONLY EXCEPTION to this policy will be if you are granted permission from the instructor PRIOR TO the module due date.  The permission will be based on the student providing documentation, where necessary, supporting the need to make up work.

The four learning modules for this course are listed below.  All activities for each module must be completed by the Module Due Date listed. 

The following activities are to be completed in this course: 

1) Written assignments.   There is a reading each week with a written assignment to be completed regarding that reading.  These assignments are designed to complement the classroom learning process.   They are not classroom activities in themselves.  Concepts and information from readings and written assignments are included in class but classroom time is not spent simply going through the readings.

2) Module Exams.   At the end of Modules 1, 2 and 3, there will be a written examination.  You will be given a comprehensive  final examination at the end of module 4.   The three module exams will cover the classroom activities and readings for each module.

3) Final Exam.  There will be a comprehensive final exam at the end of the course.  Students who have completed the three module exams and have an A or B in the course do not need to take the final exam.

4)  Research project.    You may choose the topic for this research from a list  provided by the instructor.  These topics are designed to enhance in depth understanding of the subject matter of the course.   You may choose to research a topic that is not on the instructor’s list provided that you obtain advance approval from the instructor.

You will choose your topic early in the semester and a rough draft will be due mid-semester.  The research topics and full instructions for the format of  this research project are listed on the Course Home Page.

5)  Participation/Collaboration:  Students must participate in role play and other classroom exercises.  Thiswill be not more than 25% of the total grade.

6)  Extra credit assignments are listed on the course homepageStudents must have completed the Research Project and at least 50% of written assignments in order to be eligible for Extra Credit points.

Schedule of Assignments

Module I:    What is restorative justice?  Compare and contrast with traditional criminal justice as applied in United States.

Assignment  1:

Read the first 2 sections in Chapter I “An Overview”,  through “Why this Little Book”, in Zehr, Howard, The Little Book of Restorative Justice and complete written assignment posted online.

Answer the following questions in writing:

#1: What is the difference between Retribution and Revenge? Define each. Give your sources & your own opinion.

#2: What is the difference between Justice and Law? Define each. Give your sources & your opinion.

In answering these questions, show all quotations with quote marks and give the source for each quote.

Assignment 2:    Read  “Restorative Justice is Not…” and “Restorative Justice is concerned about needs and roles” in Chapter I  (Zehr) and complete written assignment posted online.

Classroom activity:  View and discuss documentary  Beyond Conviction by Rachel Libert (2007).

Assignment 3:  Read the first 2 sections in Chapter 2, through “Three pillars of restorative justice” (Zehr)  and complete written assignment posted online.

Read selected chapters in Liebmann, Marian,  Restorative Justice How it Works (2007 Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London and Philadelphia) and answer the following questions:

1.  What is the author’s simple definition of “restorative justice”?

2.  What is a priority of restorative justice?

3.  What is the difference between an offender’s “taking punishment” and “taking responsibility”?

4.  What is meant by dialogue between victim and offender?

Classroom activity:  Introduction to Restorative Justice Conferencing and preparation for first role play.

Module Exam #1:  At end of module.

Module 2:  Victims of crime.  This module explores victims’ experiences.  It also covers victims’ rights and current resources for victims.  This module illustrates ways in which restorative justice helps victims of crime.   Victim Offender Conferencing is studied.

Assignment 4:   Read “The ‘who’ and the ‘how’ are important” and
“Restorative justice aims to put things right” in Chapter 2 (Zehr) and complete written assignment posted online.

Read selected chapters in Cornwall, David, Doing Justice Better: The Politics of Restorative Justice (2007 Waterside Press)

Classroom activity:   Listing and discussion of feelings and needs of crime victims.  Students are encouraged to draw upon their own life experiences.

Assignment 5:   Read “A restorative lens” and “Defining restorative justice” in Chapter 2 (Zehr) and complete assignments posted online.

Read  selected Chapters from Wachtel, Ted, Real Justice (1997 The Pipers Press) and answer the written questions posted online.

Classroom activity:   First role play Restorative Justice Conferencing.

Assignment 6:  Read “The goals of restorative justice” and “Guiding questions of restorative justice” in Chapter 2 (Zehr) and complete written assignment posted  online.

Classroom activity: Guest Speaker from Amberly’s Place (victim advocacy center),  Amberlys provides crisis assistance for victim of domestic violence and sex crimes.  This center maintains confidentiality for adult victims and will not call police if the victim requests not to do so.  However,  there is mandatory reporting for crimes against children.

In addition to crisis assistance for victims, this center has a medical examination room and nurse practitioners on call to perform evidentiary examinations and gather evidence of sex crimes.

Also, this center has state of the art interview rooms where forensic interviews with victims may be conducted and recorded by law enforcement.

Assignment 7:  Read “Signposts of restorative justice” in Chapter 2 and the first section of Chapter 3 (Zehr) and complete written assignment posted online.

Read selected chapters from Van Ness, Daniel and Strong, Karen Heetderks, Restoring Justice (1997) and complete written assignments posted online.

Classroom Activity:  Guest speaker  Victim Advocate from Yuma County Attorney’s Office, Victim Services Division. 

Assignment 8:  Read “Core approaches often involve an encounter” and “Models differ in the  ‘Who’ and the ‘How’” in Chapter 3 (Zehr) and complete written assignment online.

Read selected chapters from Dorne, Clifford, Restorative Justice in the United States (2007 Jessica Kingsley Publishers) and complete the written assignment posted online.

Classroom activity: view and discuss documentary Beyond  Conviction by Rachel Libert (2007)

Module Exam #2:  At end of module.

Module 3:  Offenders.

Assignment 9:

Read “Models differ in their goals” and “A restorative continuum” in Chapter 3 (Zehr)

and complete the written assignment posted online.

Read selected chapters in Crime and Punishment in American History

by Friedman, Lawrence M. (BasicBooks, A Division of Harper Collins Publishing, Inc.

1993) and complete written assignment posted on online.

Classroom Activity: Discussion of feelings and needs of offenders. Students are encouraged to draw upon their own life experiences and knowledge.

Classroom activity:  Introduction to Drug Court and concepts of problem solving courts.

Assignment 10:

Read “Retributive justice vs. restorative justice” and “Criminal justice vs. restorative justice” in Chapter 4 (Zehr) and complete the written assignment posted online.

Read selected chapters in Logan, Samuel, Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment and complete written assignment posted online.

1. Why were the first prisons in America called “penitentiaries”?  (p. 19 Logan).

2. According to author Logan, the original goal of American prisons was “penitence of the wrongdoer”.  He says this goal has been displaced by competing goals and he lists 3 of these.  What are these 3 competing goals of imprisonment?  (p. 21 Logan).

3. Define “degradation”. (p. 23-25 Logan or find definitions in other sources)

4. How are prisoners in the U.S. subjected to degradation?  (p. 35-36 Logan. You may also use any other source for this).

5. What does author Logan believe should be a principal goal of punishment?  (p. 33)

6. Author Logan describes the “prison industrial complex”.  What is this, as described by Eric Schlosser?  (p. 41 of Logan)

7. What kinds of businesses profit from increasing numbers of prisoners?  (p. 48 Logan).

8. How is the mass media an important factor in fuelling public pressure to increase imprisonment?  (p. 45 Logan)

Classroom activity: View and discuss movie Take, written and directed by Charles Oliver.

Assignment 11:

Read “Restorative justice is a river” in Chapter 4 (Zehr) and complete the written assignment posted online.

Read The Pew Center on the States,  One in 31,  The Long Reach of American Corrections (March 2009) posted online and answer these questions in writing:

1. What was the average daily cost of supervising a probationer in fiscal 2008?

2. What was the average daily cost of housing a prison inmate?

3. In regard to probation, give one example of an unfunded or underfunded legislative mandate.

4. The rise in spending on prisons is caused by:

a. Fate

b. Rise in crime

c. State policy choices that send more people to

prison and keep them there.

5.  Give one example of a state policy choice that sends more people to prison and keeps them there.

6. In the context of this report, what is the meaning of the phrase “1 in 31”?

7. In the United States, one in eighteen (1 in 18) adult males is either in prison, jail or on probation or parole.  True for False.

8.  In the United States, one in eleven (1 in 11) African-American adults is in prison, jail or on probation or parole.  True or False.

9. The above figures do NOT include juveniles, persons charged but not convicted who are on pretrial release, persons in Immigration custody or persons in U.S. Territories.  True or False.

10. What is community corrections?

11. What is the difference between probation and parole?

12. More funding for probation and parole is needed. This can best come from:

a. Reducing prison inmate populations

b. Cutting prison costs by feeding prisoners less and giving them less medical care.

c. Cutting prison guards’ pay or laying off prison staff.

d. Cutting budgets for our elementary and high schools and colleges.

Classroom activity: Guest speaker:  Offender who has served prison time.

Assignment 12:

Read “Fundamental Principles of Restorative Justice”, Appendix I (Zehr) and complete the written assignment posted online.

Read  Hora, Peggy and Stalcup, Theodore,  “Drug Treatment Courts in the Twenty-First Century: The Evolution of the Revolution in Problem-Solving Courts (Spring 2008 Georgia Law Review Volume 42, Number 3) posted online and answer the following questions:

1. Out of every ten (10) convicted drug offenders, how many will re-offend within three (3) years of release from incarceration?

2. As of 2005,

a.            How many people were under control of the criminal justice system?

b.            True or False  This is larger than the combined population of thirty-eight (38) states.

3. After reading this article, do you think that locking people up in prison is an

effective way to stop them from using drugs?

4. When and where was the first adult drug treatment court  established?

5. List four characteristics of drug treatment courts?

6. What is the end result for a defendant who successfully completes “pre-adjudication” or “pre-plea” drug court?  (p. 725-26)

7. Who may be on the “drug court team”?  (p. 726)

8. What is the focus of the drug court team?  (p. 726-27)

9. What does the word “denial” refer to in the treatment of addiction? (p. 730)

10. What are three (3) major risk factors that predispose an individual for the disease of addiction? (p. 730-31)

11. What added factors compound the risk? (730-31).

12.  How do drug courts address social, cultural and economic factors that contribute to addiction? (p. 732)

13. How is a person with drug addiction like a person with diabetes or heart disease? (p. 733)

14.  What is the relationship between childhood abuse and substance addiction? (p. 738)

15.  What is the relationship between mental health disorders and substance abuse? (p. 739)

Classroom activity:  Prepare for second role play exercise Victim Offender Conferencing.

Assignment 13: 

Read selected chapters from Schwartz, Sunny, Dreams from the Monster Factory (2009 Scribner) and complete the written assignment posted online.

Classroom activity:  Second  role play exercise Victim Offender Conferencing

Module Exam #3:  At end of module.

Module 4:  Restorative justice and the community.  Explores ways in which restorative justice improves the well being of a community.  This includes greater participation of the community in solving criminal justice problems and ultimately leads to  less crime being committed.

Assignment 14:   Answer the following questions in writing:

1. Describe a restorative conference between a victim and offender.  Give some details of how this conference is carried out.  For example, what kind of advance preparation takes place?   Who is present at the conference and what are their roles?  What are some ground rules for the conference?  What should a victim be prepared to expect?   What should an offender be prepared to expect?

2. What are some goals of a restorative conference between victim and offender?

3. How can such a  conference help the victim?

4. How can such a conference be restorative for the offender?

5. How can the community be involved in such a conference?

Classroom activity:  Introduction to Community Justice Boards

Assignment 15:

Answer the following questions in writing:

1.What is a Community Justice Board?

2. Describe Yuma County’s Community Justice Boards program.

3. How is this restorative for the juvenile?

4. How is it restorative for the juvenile’s family?

5. How is it restorative for our community?

Classroom activity activity:  Role play Community Justice Board

Assignment 16:  Answer the following questions in writing:

Based upon your readings, class discussions and outside research, answer the following in writing:

1.  How is Drug Court restorative for defendants?

2. Is Drug Court restorative for families of defendants?  If so, how?

3. Is Drug Court restorative for crime victims?  If so, how?

4.  How is Drug Court restorative for the community?

5.  How might Drug Court work reduce recidivism and a community’s crime rate?

Complete the following assignment in writing:

You are interviewing for a job as a Probation Officer.  The team conducting the interview asks you the following questions:

1. What is restorative justice?

2.  What are three (3) questions asked by restorative justice?

3.  Give at least three (3) examples of criminal justice programs which apply restorative justice principles.

4.  Explain how restorative justice may benefit each of the following:

a.       Victims

b.       Offenders

c.       Community

5. There are many types of problem solving courts.  Drug Court is one example of a problem solving or therapeutic court.

What is another example of a problem solving court?   Give an overview of how such a court would work.

Classroom activity:  Review for Final Exam.

End of Module:  Research Paper due.

Final Exam:  End of Module.

 

 

 

 

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