Introduction to Restorative Justice Summary

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Gina Ronning, Jason Botel, and Kim Hack presented their work involving a community-based education and restorative justice dialogue program serving adults in custody housed at the Oregon State Correctional Institution. Insight Development Group works to share stories, be inmate driven, non-hierarchical and to inspire greater levels of personal awareness as a means for emotional liberation and non-violent social change. They work to move discussions from the head to the heart and to expose and break down toxic shame and toxic masculinity.  They also work to discuss the web of connections between offender and victim and the community and the society and the universe.  Jason is working on a community ecology program where they are educating inmates on 1.Ecological relationships and systems thinking 2. Ecopsycology-Nature as healer and 3.Naturalist skills- He taught them how to use dichotomous keys to key out clouds!
Gina also described an amazing example of an ecologically sustainable prison in Norway that uses ideas of restorative justice in a holistic manner.  They have a prison that has no security check, no arms, free schooling health care and entertainment, no locked doors, and extensive farming that uses no chemicals. See slides for further photos and descriptions of this prison.
IDGdescribed the challenges of working in the prison which includes needing officers buy-in to proceed with the program, hierarchy changes within the prison, teaching about subjects that is often not in line with the current justice system approach.


How could restorative justice framework be applied to your work?
        How can the prison industrial complex work for the betterment of ecology?
        How can the environmental movement support social justice in the prison industrial complex?

Want to know more about Restorative Justice?
Download the little book of Restorative Justice!
Check out the Restorative Justice Network
Restorative Justice online libraries

Next steps?

Do you want to help this amazing group do the hard work of transforming our justice system from the inside out?
They need volunteers!  You can sign up to be a guest speaker (in a subject you know lots about!), and they need resources.  How awesome would it be to sponsor inmates to improve their identification skills by sending nature identification books?