To address this, some people have taken the initiative to reintegrate violent offenders into society by making them part of a community and showing them care and compassion. For example, Communities of Restoration practice a form of love and respect for prisoners that they refer to as "Human Valorization":
Human valorization involves treating program participants with respect and care. This is done in practical ways: they are referred to by their proper names instead of numbers or prison nicknames, and their medical, dental treatment, legal, educational, nutritional and other needs are addressed.
Often times, the lack of community gets mentioned as why people join gangs or hate groups, because it gives one a sense of purpose and sense of community. Sometimes, people return back to jail, because "society" did not bring them back into a community where they feel loved and respected.
I think that most people have some need for love and community.
What other work is going on to prevent violence by meeting people's need to feel loved and part of a community?
We have restorative justice here, which can work well. It is where criminals are released back into the community earlier, but must work with the victimized family to figure out how to make the offense they did, restorative.
It does work, and in fact it works well, but really its success has almost 100% to do with the victim, or the victim family. Obviously murder or rape would not be viable for this sort of program, but rather mostly for drug offenses. That is the kind of crime where they do not really steal because they have something personal against you (the victim lets say), but rather just take an opportunity to steal, to pay for the drugs they are addicted too.
I work with them some.
Every year we have our annual Rock the Flock event, which is a benefit concert featuring many bands at our farm. The concert is free to the community, and even the food is free, and any donations made, go to help in fighting drug addiction. But here is the kicker, for the last two years, Restorative Justice criminals (for lack of a better term) come and help cook that free food we give out. It really is a win-win situation because they get to volunteer their time for the community as a way of repaying society for some wrong-doing, but they also get to see that people in the community care about them. The community at large will put on concerts, and donate money, for their future well being. In short, they may have an addiction problem, but they are not throw-aways. For these people, whose addiction has even meant their own children have suffered, they have ZERO self-respect, so it is hugely important that they see their lives have inherent value. And even if they hate themselves, it is vital that they see that people in the community do not.
That is how it is successful, and I am proud that my farm can help them, as we get help in cooking for hundreds of people.
What does restorative justice look like exactly? This...a mother whose son overcame heroine addiction.
Portugal has a very effective way to lower drug use, through social engagement. Addiction has to do with the lack of ocytocin coming from a lack of satisfying relationships.
Physiologically, this is in link with the ventral branch of the vagus nerve, responsible for feelings of love, harmony, bond. ..
Violence in generally, and I include also to shame, abandon and make feel guilty as addition to physical hurt + the threat of any of those, could be avoided if we tried to differenciate the human from their act. The act is bad and the person wounded, and trauma is transmissible.
Our society lacks ways to safely express conflicts that would allow to really know our differences and boundaries, so that we can respect clear limits in exchange of having ours respected.
Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...