Part 1 of this symposium contains an introduction by Antioch College Interim President Matthew Derr and a presentation by Kay Pranis.
On Friday, February 19, 2010, Antioch College’s Morgan Fellows hosted a symposium on Restorative Justice at the Herndon Gallery in South Hall at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The concept of Restorative Justice is a new and cutting-edge approach to issues of retributive justice in the American criminal justice system. It is based on the belief that maintaining peace and security in a given community is a responsibility shared by all its members. Rooted in indigenous traditions, Restorative Justice is an alternative way of thinking about how to respond to harm and wrongdoings. Its goal is to re-establish bonds of trust and connectivity which have been disrupted by injurious acts, and to provide all parties involved with a sense of fairness and completeness. The practices of Restorative Justice are considered by many criminologists, social workers, and experts in the psychology of trauma as one of the most promising and effective tools available for resolving conflict and maintaining peace, while reducing high incarceration and offender recidivism rates.
Kay Pranis is an internationally known leader in the field of Restorative Justice and the author of two books: The Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking and Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community. The Restorative Justice programmer for the Minnesota Department of Corrections for nine years, Pranis has conducted peace circle trainings in a diverse range of communities, including schools, prisons, churches, rural farm towns and Chicago’s South Side. She has presented papers on Restorative Justice and its methods in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
Sheri Kramer is an attorney and mediator, and serves as the Board President of the organization Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, where she facilitates RJ partnership initiatives in the San Francisco community. A graduate of Antioch College, Kramer earned an MA in teaching from The School for International Teaching, and a JD from The New School College of Law.
Dante Green was one of the first participants in the Restorative Justice for Oakland’s Youth program. After years of truancy and petty thefts, Dante completed the program successfully, and went on to earn a 3.75 grade point average at Berkeley City College. He currently plans to earn a degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Named in honor of Arthur E. Morgan, Antioch College President from 1920-1936, the Fellows are facilitating and coordinating a yearlong outreach program to alumni and friends of the College nationwide as the College develops both its program and curriculum. They will also present symposia on a wide variety of topics on the historic campus in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The current Morgan Fellows include Anne Bohlen M.A.; Jean Gregorek, Ph.D.; Beverly Rodgers, Ph.D.; Scott Warren, Ph.D.; and Director of Work Susan Eklund-Leen, Ph.D.