By Cindy Scharr, Delaware County Daily Times CHESTER — District attorneys from Southeastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday urged state and federal lawmakers to increase funding for early education programs for at-risk children in an effort to boost high school graduation rates and reduce the prison population. “We can continue with the status quo, which is leading…Read More
Dianne Walker still recalls the moment she had a revelation about taking action with the criminal justice system. August 13, 2004, Walker concluded a four month ordeal dealing with a false allegation against her. Prior to the incident Walker owned and operated a nail salon in Salida, Colorado. She had no knowledge of how the justice system operates and had never been arrested.
Walker’s eyes were open to what actually happens when an individual is accused of a crime. A plea-bargain was made, Walker was sentenced to two-years probation after coming extremely close to spending time in jail. She was rushed out of the court room and that was that.
The baffling veracity of the criminal justice system became clear to Walker. The truth is not a priority nor are the victim and offender encouraged to interact with each other. The main objective is to ensure the offender is punished and pays by either probation fees or incarceration time.
Walker was bewildered with the entire process and knew she could not merely walk away after experiencing the reality of what goes on within the justice system. In Walker’s mind, the day she gazed at the court document stating her decree, marked the beginning of a life-long quest to advocate for a more authentic way to process cases through the justice system.
Full Circle Restorative Justice was founded in 2006 for the purpose of enhancing the safety of the community by holding offenders accountable, and empowering victims through a supportive conflict resolution process.
The legal system asks: What laws have been broken? Who did it? What do they deserve?
Restorative Justice asks: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? Whose obligations are these?