In Remembrance

Elmira Case Judge Passes On

B88855272Z.1 20190906221018 000 GSINA3R2.3 0 Super PortraitThis last summer saw the death of Judge Gordon McConnell who allowed two drunken teens the chance to have a restorative option long before the word 'restorative' was part of the justice lexicon. This well-documented case from 1974, in the Waterloo region of Ontario, planted seeds for what eventually led to the seminal work of Howard Zehr and others in the EGordon McConnelllkhart region of Indiana. At the request of Mennonite Central Committee probation officers Mark Yantzi and Dave Worth, the two offenders were able to apologize directly to 22 small-town victims who experienced vandalism and property damage. They also offered to pay back restitution which they fully did within the following year. 

McConnell, though having a reputation for being tough, immediately bought into the idea of the offenders taking responsibility for their actions rather than going to jail. Later he joined the board of Community Justice Initiatives that started in the wake of this landmark case. Read more about McConnell's life as well as see a film about the Elmira case.

Grieving With El Paso and Dayton

El Paso ShootingIn the wake of heightened mass shootings in our nation over the past couple of weeks, the NACRJ wants to extend full solidarity to all families and communities that have been deeply harmed by these recent tragedies. We stand with you, and we search for models of response that bring healing, accountability, and the prevention of future incidents.

The NACRJ would like to share this heartfelt statement written by our Executive Director, Dr. Michael J. Gilbert on the mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.

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President George H. W. Bush (1924-2018)

Pres. G. H. W. Bush 2008 Lawrence Jackson Associated Press

Former President George H. W. Bush passed away at age 94 on November 30, 2018.  While people may have disagreed with him politically, most recognize the human decency and integrity with which he lived his life.  We thank him for his service to the nation in WW II and in public office.  We offer our condolences to his family and friends on his passing.   

Honoring Ora Schub from Chicago

imagesOn June 11, 2018, Chicago's retorative justice community lost a beloved ally, colleague, and friend, Ora Schub, who passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Many considered her as a 'grandmother' of Chicago's restorative justice movement. Ora was also a former president for National Lawyers Guild Chicago.

On Saturday, August 25, at 4:30 to 7:30 pm, a memorial service will be held at the South Shore Cultural Center (7059 S. South Shore Drive) in Chicago.

To learn more about Ora's life and contribution to the Chicago area, as well as an award she received from the NACRJ...

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Remembering Alice O. Lynch, A Restorative Justice Pioneer

Alice Lynch: A Remembrance

Alice LynchMinnesota’s restorative justice community lost a pioneer in January. Alice O. Lynch was a circle keeper, trainer, mentor, collaborator, kind councilor, founder and executive director of BIHA: Black Asian Hispanic and Indian Women in Action and friend to the restorative justice community. She worked on all levels of RJ: re-entry, juvenile diversion, school implementation, parenting support circles, crimes of severe violence conferencing, Circle keeping and training.  She and her partner Gwen Jones provided 4 day circle trainings at least two times a year for a decade or more; always the training included supper: “Alice will cook,” the announcements read. Her home was open to ex-offenders and judges. She helped to develop the circles as part of the Minnesota Science Museum’s Race Exhibit, a model for discussion that was taken up by all museums that presented the exhibit. Alice traveled to each location across the nation to train the exhibit’s local circle keepers. Words fail to embody her spirit, mind and heart. 

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