Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Help Grits Cover National Restorative Justice Conference

Okay folks, I need to ask a favor, particularly from readers in the faith community who care about criminal justice reform: I need to raise $400 to attend a national conference on restorative justice being held in Kerrville next week from Sunday through Wednesday. You can use the PayPal button in the righthand column to contribute. Every little bit helps!

The event looks great - presenters include a who's who in the restorative justice movement. I've long believed that religious prison ministries and the restorative justice movement rank among the most promising trends mitigating toward serious criminal justice reform, particularly among religious conservatives, so this conference gives me an opportunity to delve much deeper into the subject, and of course, share the results with Grits readers.

Can you help financially to make this possible? Naturally I'll reward your generosity with daily coverage from the event. The conference planners agreed to give me a reduced media rate that basically covers food and lodging, and $400 will cover my full costs including travel for the entire 4-day affair.

This is a neat event that IMO deserves wider attention. If, like me, you think it's important to link the faith community with more political criminal justice reform efforts, I hope you'll use the PayPal button in the sidebar to contribute. Thanks!

UPDATE: See Grits' complete coverage of the conference! Thanks, folks!


Anonymous said...


I donated as I hope others will too. I strongly believe that religion and the TDCJ do in fact mix and mix well. Give us the scoop when you get back.


Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, Solidbridge - I was pleased to get back from a lunch meeting in San Antonio and find $60 from three donors toward the Kerrville fund. A great start considering the post has been up 5 hours! I really appreciate it!

The restorative justice movement IMO is perhaps the most important new conservative intellectual development in the 21st century, certainly among the religious right. Conceivably RJ could become a wedge issue that crosscuts party barriers to focus on bipartisan priorities of safety and justice.

I'm excited at the chance to go learn more about it and to share what I learn with y'all. Thanks, folks, for any help you can provide. best,

Anonymous said...

I'd be particularly interested to hear of faiths OTHER than Christianity who have prison or outreach programmes, I heard somewhere there was a Buddhist group, and I know there are pagan groups as well. It would be nice to see equal exposure for all.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Good point, SW, I'll make it a point to see what if any other faiths are represented at the conference. To my mind, restorative justice certainly isn't an inherently Protestant or Christian idea, though it has many Protestant and Christian supporters, and indeed I'm grateful for them.

Anonymous said...

This conference will be among the best ever held. Please do go WScott and publish in every venue you can. I think we should pay the way of the Lt. Governor! I'll be at the conference with a check in hand for you Scott. ( I don't see the button you mention).
Ed with EDOT

Anonymous said...

How about a funding update?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Four people have donated a total $85 so far in received $$, and I've had a couple of more pledges of unspecified amounts, including Ed's. Also, a couple of donations came in right before I put this post up that I'll put to this purpose if necessary, but I could definitely use more assistance if folks can spare it.

I honestly feel a little weird begging for travel funds (or is that blegging?), but I figure this point we're in this together, me and my readers, and if folks think covering this is an important thing (and who else will do it?), they'll help, is my working theory. I hope that's right, anyway.

If you're having trouble finding the PayPal buttons, btw, go to the main blog page and look in the right hand sidebar. Thanks everybody, for any help you can provide.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Ah! Make that $185, thanks to a $100 donation just after I wrote the update from someone who'd prefer anonymity. Halfway there! Talk about grassroots journalism! :)