4 thoughts on “How Restorative Justice Ended My ‘Cycle of Madness’

  1. Hi, you made some really good points here. It makes a lot of sense that sometimes people are only able to really empathise with victims years later. And sometimes maybe never because they’re so upset at what’s happening to them. I’m not from the US but I really don’t like the fact that they lock up children for crimes.

    I hope the parole board is lenient on you :). And I wish you all the best in the new chapter of your life.

    And your writing skills are really good!

    • Thanks for your comments, Lynn. As for the US practice of punishing children as if they are adults, this practice is slowly beginning to change, thankfully. If you’re interested, I wrote about my experience in a 2013 essay published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, titled “The Irrelevance of Reform: Maturation in the Department of Corrections.”

      Take care.

  2. Jeremiah, I think you are spot on with your assessment in a few areas.

    First is the denial syndrome of all defendants going through pretrial, this is especially true for those who have been “in the system” previously. The game is played extending their time at the local (county) jail so they can be close to family and friends and get their basic needs and $$$ met before being shipped up state.

    Second is the fact that this remains a continuous cycle until such time as these inmates accept responsibility for their actions. We have since the time of Adam and Eve played the blame game. and we have become very good at it. It is always someone else fault. Society, our parents, our lack of parents, poverty whatever the excuse we will latch on to it. It is not until we realize we are accountable for pour own actions and no one else is to blame but us that we can begin to become over-comers of our environment.

    Lastly I fully agree that until such time at Departments of Corrections become more concerned once again with correcting past behaviors through programs like Restorative Justice and less concerned about punishment those behind bars have far less hope of succeeding.

    BTW I speak from experience I am an ex-mate, have a prison ministry and have served as a jail chaplain since my release. Keep up the good fight and I will be praying for your parole.

    • Thanks for your comments, Mike. When you explained how “since the time of Adam and Eve” we’ve played the “blame game” and that ultimately we’re accountable for our own actions, it reminded me of a program called Moral Reconation Therapy (‘Reconation’ of course is not a real word) offered in correctional facilities across the country.

      In a 2013 essay titled “The Irrelevance of Reform: Maturation in the Department of Corrections” published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, I criticized this program because it was solely focused on convincing prisoners that their lives are a direct result of their own actions; and neither society, or parents or lack thereof, or poverty had anything to do with it. The prisoner was solely to blame. I disagreed.

      I wish the program would have made the point that you did; namely, “It is not until we realize we are accountable for our own actions and no one else is to blame but us that we can begin to become over-comers of our environment.” Had that been the ultimate message (becoming an “over-comer” through personal accountability) I probably would have been more receptive to the message. Fortunately, introspection eventually allowed me to reach the place where I needed to be–mentally and morally.

      Take care.

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