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DE-COLONISING RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES Challenges for Rights-Based Restorative Praxis in Canadian Schools Dr. Shannon Moore & Dr. Richard Mitchell.

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Presentation on theme: "DE-COLONISING RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES Challenges for Rights-Based Restorative Praxis in Canadian Schools Dr. Shannon Moore & Dr. Richard Mitchell."— Presentation transcript:

1 DE-COLONISING RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PRACTICES Challenges for Rights-Based Restorative Praxis in Canadian Schools Dr. Shannon Moore & Dr. Richard Mitchell Brock University, Canada SUII Seminar June 23, 2014 Children's Rights, Social Justice and Intersectionality: Challenges, Methods & Research

2 Authors’ Standpoint Dr. Richard Mitchell Associate Professor, Child and Youth Studies Dr. Shannon Moore, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies Brock University, Canada Scholars & Practitioners Combined +30 years of practice with young people in justice, community, education, psychiatric, child welfare contexts Development of grassroots programs implementing RJ and CRC in direct relationships with young people in Canada

3 Aims of Paper Presentation 1.Present: Rights-Based Restorative Practices From justice to education contexts for young people 2.Establish: Transdisciplinary Framework Intersectionality Methodology 3. Introduce: De-colonising Discourse Restorative Justice Practices in Canadian Schools (Re)production of racist systems

4 Contemporary emergence of Restorative Justice Practices Social movements responded to increasing dissatisfaction retributive justice and the Informal Justice Movement of 1970’s emerged along with restorative justice (Nyp, 2004) Return to ancient roots of conflict resolution now found the world over in more than 100 countries (Van Ness, 2005) 2004 Scottish executive pilot project bringing restorative approaches to Scottish schools in 3 local authorities (See Kane et al, 2009; McCluskey et al, 2008 ; McCluskey, 2014)

5 UN Basic Principles of RJ* Offender/victim clearly identified, participation voluntary Victim/offender agree on basic facts prior to participation Power imbalances, cultural differences addressed Safety paramount throughout all restorative processes Where RJ not suitable or possible, case should be referred Offenders encouraged to take responsibility Reintegration of the victim and the offender into the community *See Basic Principles on the Use of RJ programmes in Criminal Matters, UNESCO, 2002

6 UN Handbook on Restorative Justice Programs RJ includes victim, offender & community affected by crime active resolution often w/facilitator RJ is evolving concept giving rise to different interpretations in different cultures See UN Office of Drugs and Crime, 2006: 6

7 Lauren Abramson (2014) Collective Change Executive Director of Community Conferencing Center (CCC) in Baltimore, Maryland, pt-time assistant professor of child psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Abramson’s 3 part structure to restorative conferencing adapts Maori principles… Hearing what happened, Voicing how everyone was affected Repair, Resolution, Prevention emerges as group process

8 JUSTICERETRIBUTIVERESTORATIVE EPISTOMOLOGYindividualisticcommunitarian ONTOLOGYpunitivecapacity building PROCESSadversarialdecreases antagonism FOCUSsingle actdisharmonies in relationships VICTIM’S ROLEnot meaningfully involved in the solution central to the solution OFFENDER’S ROLEalienated & isolatedopportunity to be accountable See Moore (2003; Moore & Mitchell, 2007)

9 UN Basic Principles of Restorative Justice Holds authority for UN member states and provides important standards of practice but not legally binding… By adopting UN Basic Principles, issues facing RJ programmes will not evaporate. Finding resolution in a system that is fundamentally punitive will continue to challenge policy makers and practitioners ~ (Cormier, 2002)

10 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child UNCRC is legally binding where treaty ratified - reflected in domestic law in many states but not all i.e. Canada Article 44 reporting process holds governments accountable to “principles and provisions” (Art. 42) Principles Articles 2, 3, 6, 12 Provisions (Education) Articles 28 & 29 Provisions (Justice) Articles 37 & 40 Provisions (Evaluation) Articles 42 & 44

11 UNCRC integrated with RJ (Moore, 2003; Mitchell, 2005) Based on doctoral findings from 2 studies - Rights-based restorative justice developed as a tool for implementing/evaluating international commitments in professional settings Rights-based approach to restorative justice supports young people in community and education RBRJ Principles based on UN Frameworks 1. Non-discrimination, Equality & Mutuality 2. Best Interests, Well-Being & Restoration 3. Survival, Development & Safety 4. Participation, voice & Volunteerism (see Moore, 2007; Moore, 2008; Moore & Mitchell, 2007a,b, 2009, 2012)

12 Rights-Based Restorative Justice Practices: Canadian School-Based Case Study

13 Principles of Rights Based Restorative Praxis in Ontario Schools 1. Non-discrimination and Equity Intersections of identity based upon age, gender, ability, culture, sexual orientations, poverty, race, religion 2. Well-Being & Restoration Student well-being central to creating safe, caring school communities; individual directly involved collectively find solutions 3. Safety & Caring Context of vulnerabilities due to identity & equity sustain safe school community spaces to learn & grow & play 4. Voice & Participation Best Interests, Well-Being & Restoration Everyone impacted has support to fully participate be heard (see Moore, 2014; Moore & Mitchell, in press)

14 Rights-Based Restorative Praxis AIMS OF THE RESEARCH To ascertain leading practices for successful implementation of restorative practices with congruently, accurately, and systematically To ascertain barriers to implementing restorative practices congruently, accurately, and systematically To disseminate these findings in support of effective implementation of restorative practices province-wide Dataset comprised systematic review of statutory and policy documents, qualitative results contributed by 300 participants from 60 schools in 14 rural and urban districts near Toronto, Ontario S.A. Moore, (2014) Final Report “Leading Restorative Practices in Ontario Schools: Findings & Recommendations”, Safe and Accepting Schools Branch, Submitted to Ontario Ministry of Education, Canada pp See ontario-join-forces-build-restorative-practices-movement/ ontario-join-forces-build-restorative-practices-movement/

15 Rights-Based Restorative Praxis METHODOLOGY & METHODS Exploratory, mixed methodology and iterative process utilising modified Delphi methods for data collection (Hsu & Sandford, 2007) Congruence with principles of restorative justice practices Delphi = Consensus building method amongst transdisciplinary team of stakeholders (ie: governmental, administrative, teaching and student participants, and research team)

16 Rights-Based Restorative Praxis Data Analysis & Findings Grounded theory analysis through constant comparison data to data, data to policy and legal texts, and data to new academic literature reveals potential for: 1.Whole School Implementation: Linked to Time, Training, Preparation 2. Paradigm Shift from Punitive Approaches to Relationships 3. Safe and Caring Schools include Engaged Young Citizens

17 Negotiations for Phase II: Rights-Based Restorative Praxis in Ontario Schools Moore & Mitchell Conceptual Framework Rights-Based Restorative Justice Transdisciplinarity & Critical Pedagogy Decolonising Framework Ontario Ministry of Education Offered +++funding for Longitudinal Study based on established dominant research paradigms into bullying from psychology Educators and Restorative Justice Trainers +++Resistance to integration of UNCRC and critical approaches

18 Freirean critical pedagogues Giroux & Searls- Giroux (2004:102) Take Back Higher Education: educators may be forced to work within academic disciplines they can develop transdisciplinary tools TD operates at frontier of knowledge production prompting pedagogues, students and teachers “to develop new models of analysis” Educators can use TD tools to challenge and contest the economic, political, cultural conditions reproducing inequities in society

19 Moore & Mitchell in Youth Justice (2009:28-30) Argue that the UNCRC presents such a TD tool Justice, other professionals, academic disciplines understand and conduct relations w/young people from vastly different perspectives, frequently seeking power not justice As a result youth justice systems often a “tower of babble” young people fall through the cracks due to “disciplinary myopia” Thus - we’ve argued for RBRJ, transdisciplinary approaches are necessary for effective application of these frameworks

20 Australians Albrecht Freeman & Higginbotham (1998:57) Transdisciplinarity (TD) adopted in health, social & traditional sciences, feminist, climate change research Reflects complexity, allows interplay across multiple disciplines, multi-level explanations of problems Methodologically TD difficult, includes non-academic partnerships, inherently critical, inductive, iterative, participatory Epistemologically TD is open to complexity theory and diverse theories of knowledge including holistic, Indigenous frameworks and the emergent properties of systems Ontologically all worldviews included

21 Essentials of Transdisciplinary Research by US sociologist Patricia Leavy (2011: Intro) TD is issue-driven, addressing contemporary social questions through range of critical theoretical perspectives unhampered by the theoretical and methodological restrictions of traditional disciplinary boundaries

22 Critical race feminist Pratt-Clark (2012: 84) also argues methodologically there is “a great need for transdisciplinarity” Storytelling, narrative, voice, auto-ethnography, and phenomenology are critical theoretical and methodological concepts in Critical Race Feminism (CRF) and Black Feminist traditions TD could connect multiple disciplines, areas of study... enabling us to consider ‘complex social problems with a strategy that will increase the likelihood of successful social justice activism’ Recognizing importance of intertwined identities, including race and gender; commitment to social justice activism and social movements

23 Also arguing from feminist/critical race perspective Hudson (2006: 29) English law professor Hudson (2006: 29) looks at race, gender and justice and suggests restorative justice practice in some ways reflects important principles In order to overcome dominant character of white man’s justice in late modern liberal societies RJ must consciously incorporate principles of discursiveness, relationalism and reflectiveness

24 However, Canadian colonialist narratives mean history simply not being taught Neegan (2005) points out Aboriginal, First Nations, Indigenous and Metis peoples deprived of land, cultural traditions, languages, spiritual practices, ways of life as ‘savage’ Children then removed from families to residential schools – many sexually, physically abused - thousands died with well- documented inter-generational effects to present day Societal prejudices, discrimination create additional challenges Historic inequities left First Nations children, youth, families without supports, services

25 Known history includes “Story of a National Crime: Record of the Health Conditions of Indians of Canada from 1904 to 1921” Health Officer Dr. Peter Bryce (1909)hired by Indian Affairs Department to report health of residential school students Claimed thousands of children being systematically, deliberately killed with average mortality rates of between 30 % to 60 % Alleged staff, church officials withholding/falsifying records so mass graves still being uncovered today as survivors recall burying peers/siblings.

26 So why De-Colonise RBRJ in Canada? Overrepresentation of First Nations, Black & Minoritised young people expelled from school, in out of home care [or ‘looked after’], and in secure custody Out of Home Care (in one urban Ontario municipality 65% children in care are Black while only 8% of total population; across Canada % children in care are Aboriginal while only 5% of the total population (Pon, Gosine, Philips, 2011: 386) X3 More Indigenous children in care than at the height of residential schools (Blackstock, 2013) ‘Crossover kids—care to custody’ (Finlay, 2003) ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’ (Fenny & Rose, 2007) Intersecting structures emphasizing contexts for first nations & indigenous young people in Canada

27 Youth crime is only one of many historical outcomes… Aboriginal youth significantly over-represented in Canadian justice system – incarceration rates 6-8 times higher than national average Stats from Correctional Service Canada show Aboriginal people represent only 4% of the population, but account for 18% of federal inmates In some Prairie institutions, 50% of adult prisoners are from FN/Aboriginal backgrounds Suicide rates 8-11 times non-Aboriginal populations

28 Decolonisation: Indigeneity, Education & Society, Vol. 1: 1-40 US scholars Tuck and Yang (2012) argue that disruption of Indigenous relationships to the land represents a profound epistemic, ontological, cosmological violence Settler colonialism is different from other forms of colonialism and relying solely on postcolonial literatures will not help to envision the shape that decolonisation must take

29 Challenges to Decolonising Rights-Based Restorative Justice Practices We’ve observed how RJ can be deployed as a tool to reify hegemony of Judeo-Christian settler teachings (i.e. Ontario schools) This reflects a “suffocating” social control network on the inside and exclusivism towards those outside (Walgrave, 2011: 73) Routinized, atomized fast-food Intervention (Umbreit, 1999, in Walgrave, 2011: 73) This appropriation belies the web of complexities, intersectional identities, and relations of power within our communities, systems

30 Challenges to Decolonising Understanding the overrepresentation of minoritised, Black & Aboriginal young people must be in the context of the “White Supremacy” that is foundational to “Canada’s Post War Welfare State” (Pon, Gosine, Philiips, 2011: 385) There is a seeping influence of what some researchers have called “white noise” (Nishad Khanna, 2011: Abstract) to refer to the ubiquity of whiteness and dominant Western ideologies

31 Challenges to Decolonising RBRJ Symbolic commitments to diversity become “non-performaties that do not bring about what they name” (Ahmed, 2012: 113) Individuals embodying diversity frequently excluded from participation due to dominance of Judeo-Christian frameworks reflecting institutional ‘whiteness’ - i.e. docs cited in Moore (2014) Child Rights, CRC, UN 1989 Principles of Restorative Justice, UNESCO 2002 Accepting Schools Act, Ontario, 2012 Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, Ontario, 2009 Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health & Additions Strategy, 2011 Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive School Behaviour, 2012

32 Tuck & Yang’s (2012) approach to Indigenous Frameworks reveals decolonisation “is not a metaphor” Easy adoption of “decolonizing discourse” by education advocates and scholarship is evidenced by increasing number of calls to “decolonize our schools,” or use “decolonizing methods,” or to “decolonize student thinking” This discourse turns decolonization into a metaphor (2012:1) Decolonization (a noun) cannot be easily grafted onto pre- existing discourses/frameworks, even if they are critical, even if they are anti-racist, even if they are social justice frameworks Easy absorption, adoption, and transposing of decolonization is yet another form of “settler appropriation” (ibid. p. 3)

33 This work of decolonising [RBRJ for example] assumes a notion of incommensurability Attending to what is irreconcilable within ‘settler colonial relations’ and what is incommensurable between decolonizing projects and other social justice projects helps reduce frustration of attempts at solidarity Decolonization is hard, unsettling work (Tuck & Yang, 2012: 4) Little evidence of this work as yet in RJ or rights- based discourses

34 SELECTED REFERENCES Albrecht, G., Freeman, S. & Higginbotham, N. (1998). ‘Complexity and human health: The case for a transdisciplinary paradigm’. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 22(1): 55–92. Giroux, H. A., & Searls Giroux, S. (2004). Take Back Higher Education: Race, youth and the crisis of democracy in the post-civil rights era. New York: PalgraveMacmillan. Hudson, B. (2006) ‘Beyond white man’s justice - Race, gender and justice in late modernity’, Theoretical Criminology, 10(1): Mitchell, R.C. & Moore, S.A. (Eds. 2012) Politics, Participation, & Power Relations: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Critical Citizenship in the Classroom and Community. Rotterdam, Boston and Taipei: Sense Publishers. Moore, S. A. & Mitchell, R. C. (Eds. 2008) Power, Pedagogy and Praxis: Social Justice in the Globalized Classroom. Rotterdam, Boston and Taipei: Sense Publishers. Moore, S. A. & Mitchell, R.C. (2009) Rights-based restorative justice: Evaluating compliance with international standards. Youth Justice, 9(1), 27–43 Neegan, E. (2005) ‘Excuse me: who are the first peoples of Canada? A historical analysis of Aboriginal education in Canada then and now”. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 9(1), Pratt-Clarke, M. (2012) ‘A Black Woman’s Search for the Transdisciplinary Applied Social Justice Model: Encounters with Critical Race Feminism, Black Feminism, and Africana Studies’. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 5(1): Tuck, E & Yang, K. Wayne (2012) ‘Decolonization is not a metaphor’. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 1(1), 1-40.


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