Featuring U.S. District Judge Leo T. Sorokin, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Herbert, Probation Officer Maria D’Addieco, Defense & Civil Rights Attorney Jessica Hedges, and Participants Tavon Robinson & Robyn Houston-Bean
On 8 December 2021, from 4:00-5:30 PM, Discovering Justice’s Executive Director, Matt Wilson, will facilitate a conversation on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts’ restorative justice program, one of the only federal-level restorative justice programs in the United States. The event is part of Discovering Justice’s ongoing Courthouse Event Series.
Restorative justice is a concept based on the traditions and values of indigenous peoples. The practice brings individuals who have committed a crime together with victims, survivors, and community members affected by crime. The process is challenging and deeply personal, but the results can be life-changing for all participants. The program encourages offenders to come to a meaningful acceptance of responsibility by evoking a deep understanding of the many ways in which every crime causes harm. Victims, survivors, and community members are given the opportunity to engage with the justice system in impactful ways.
Panelists will discuss the impact restorative justice has had on their lives, the use of restorative justice at different levels and in different systems, and the expansion of restorative justice practices at the Massachusetts District Court beyond the RISE program. The panel is an opportunity to listen to personal stories of community healing, to learn about the prospects for expanding restorative justice practices, and to ask questions about these practices of responding to harm.