Saturday, January 05, 2008

Clergy seeking to respond to violent crime should look to restorative justice

On his blog Wondering Thoughts, my brother, a Baptist preacher in Shreveport, LA, yesterday posted this query:
If you haven't noticed, we had a year of violent deaths here in our city. Local clergy gathered recently to discuss it. Any ideas on how the church can give a missional response and end violent deaths in 2008?

44 Died Violently in 2007:The Shreveport Times
If you have any good ideas, click through and let him know.

I don't know that the church can do anything to "end violent deaths," which no one has seemed able to stop since Cain killed Abel. But I suggested in the comments that clergy seeking to respond to violent crime might look to the restorative justice movement, which emphasizes support for the victims of violent crime and their families, asking "who's been hurt, what are their needs, and what process can we use to meet those needs and help them transcend their victimization?"

Anyone seeking more on the subject should see Grits' coverage of last year's national restorative justice conference which addressed many of these subjects and linked to quite a few additional resources.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

restorative justice is a crock of moo pooh

A Critical Observer said...

Restorative justice is one of many strategies that has proved to be successful in addressing the crime problem.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@ 1:35 - is there a reason why you think that, or should we believe you solely based on your awe-inspiring rhyming abilities?

Anonymous said...

I thought religion was the cause of most violence in the world. Why would we turn to them to stop it?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:00 That is a true statement.The Clergy in the US are having problems keeping there hands of little kids.And some people want to be with some one they know or with there on church.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Well, in this case we're not turning to them to stop it. Clergy in Shreveport are seeking of their own volition to stop violence, and I was reacting to my brother's request for suggestions on how they might best do that. If they're going to be out there in the world doing stuff anyway, to me it's better to suggest constructive approaches and activities.

Anonymous said...

GFB - 1:35 here. I attended the bogus Kerville conference on RJ. Definitely a buzz word for 2008 with no legs to carry on. The concept will be forgotten by 2009.

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