Restorative Justice and Healing

By | September 13, 2019


I thank you so much for all of you for coming and for being a part of this excellent event this Friday afternoon. My name is Nathaniel Fouch, and I am delighted to have the honor of welcoming you all here on behalf of the Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought Law and Policy, Our Lady of Lourdes, and the St. Thomas Law Society of the University of St. Thomas of which I happen to be a part of all three. So, I’m very happy to be here myself, very excited to have Justice Geske here, and our own Father Dan Griffith, whom I will introduce now. Father Dan is a professor here at the law school of the Wenger Faculty Fellow. He is also the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes which is one of three parishes in the archdiocese that was asked specially to run the pilot program for restorative justice in our archdiocese. So, we are delighted to have him here. As former safe environment coordinator for the archdiocese, we welcome him, and he would welcome Justice Geske. So please give him a round of applause and [inaudible]. Thank you, great to be here and thank you too Nathaniel. We are very proud of him, in all of his capacities. So, good to be here with all of you, good to be here with Justice Geske. We have been giving a similar version of this talk on restorative justice at various places, parishes, and Justice Geske was at the chancery office in St. Paul and at the Saint Paul Seminary as well. So, she has been very generous with her time. So, I am the John the Baptist to Justice Geske’s Jesus. Okay, I am not worthy to unloose her sandals. So, I’m going to do my thing fairly quickly. My piece which is to put restorative justice in biblical theological and ecclesial context. Then Justice Geske will do the balance of the work really explaining from her vast experience, the work of restorative justice. We welcome Mark Umbreit, who is the director of the Center for Restorative Justice, at the University of Minnesota. Mark has been helping out with Janine, our diocese in this work. So, restorative justice is about addressing harm. It’s the work of addressing harm and promotes accountability and healing by bringing folks together who have been directly or peripherally harmed. The primary method of restorative justice is dialogue. Justice Geske, he will expound on the specifics. Now, admittedly when I first heard about restorative justice I was skeptical. I’m a trained lawyer, and it seemed kind of fuzzy, a little ethereal. A bit new age, and I thought, what is this? Then I met Justice Geske 2.5 years ago through Hank Shea who’s a fellow fellow here at the law school, and a colleague and friend of Janine. Over the course of a two-hour dinner I was really struck by the work of restorative justice. It struck me as true and vital, and very, very important work. I had personally a road to a maze, experience where my heart was burning, not from the food, but from the moving stories that Justice Geske told. Part of the utility of restorative justice is that it can be used in a variety of settings with various practices. But I think it’s particularly helpful in a Catholic setting. Because of the rich biblical and intellectual tradition of the church and the fact that the meaning and truth of God’s restorative love is very much at the heart in this setting. Now, given our location here, it seems important to talk just for a minute about justice. What is justice? So the classic definition of justice. I’m not going to call on the students because on a Friday afternoon they wish to escape the Socratic method. All right, what’s the classic definition of justice? [inaudible] Yes. To give what is owed to give each their due. The biblical understanding of justice is really even richer and more relational. It’s understood as right relationship with God and neighbor, fidelity to the demands of the covenant. The reality in Catholic social teaching which encompasses both and uses both, really understands that they relate to each other. They are mutually informative. In Hebrew scripture, God manifests three dimensions of justice, retributive, restorative, and also distributive. We see retributive with Adam and Eve, Cain, the flood, we see the work of manifesting distributive justice really through the prophetic role. The prophets, who were seeking to have those who are marginalized have their share of the goods of the earth. Now, what about restorative? What’s that paradigmatic event in Hebrew scripture that manifest God’s restorative action. I know Father [inaudible] knows this answer, but he’s enjoying his lunch, so I’m not going to call on him. The exodus event, right? This gives Israel its identity. God brings them out of liberation and restores them. You know that’s the beauty of that great event. Now, for Christians, the pinnacle of God’s restorative work is in the person and mission of Jesus Christ, which is all about restoration. Christ restores us to the love of the Father. Now with restorative justice very much on my mind, this Christmas I couldn’t help but see all of the places where you saw the word restore or restoration, including the reading from Isaiah. We hear this from Isaiah 52, on Christmas Day, “Harp your sentinels raise a cry, together they shout for joy for they see directly before their eyes, the Lord restoring Zion.” Restoration is God’s work, it manifest God’s love for us. Now, restorative justice is also consistent with the principles and values of Catholic social teaching, which is a particular mission of the Murphy Institute, to have our work of law and policy enlightened by Catholic thought. So, the goal of Catholic social teaching is to build a more just and humane society. The goal is the flourishing of human beings and integral human development. Restorative justice has a similar goal. It confronts injustice and harm, and promotes through dialogue greater healing and a path to flourishing. It encourages as the Pope would say, Pope Francis, a true culture of encounter, where reality is more important than ideas including the experience of suffering. The potential and challenge for restorative justice is found in the full understanding of who we are, our anthropology. Catholic anthropology has two different dimensions that we are dignified, made in the image and likeness of God and inherent dignity attends to our nature and we are also broken, wounded by sin. The challenge, given our nature is that we see both capacities manifested through the epochs of history and indeed the history of the church, the capacity for good and the capacity for evil. Now, modern technology which seeks to connect us, actually inhibits an authentic encounter. In our modern culture, we can become isolated and focused upon ourselves. Added to this, many folks want to look away from harm. I call this the dysfunctional families syndrome. We want to turn our heads from harm. This example of Liam Neeson, the story. God bless him for doing what he did, for telling that story. Now, he was reviled, and it’s an awful thing to hear, and yet Trevor Noah on his program said, that he commended Liam Neeson for talking about that experience of wanting to harm an African-American, a black person because of what happened to his friend. Unless we talk about challenging things, unless we confront the harm, we will not move to a path of accountability and healing. Now, if we were to apply the principles of Catholic social teaching to the abuse crisis and its attendant cover up, a very troubling picture emerges. Church leaders have violated every one of the principles of Catholic social teaching and also principles of ethics. What’s the first principle of ethics? Do no harm, non malfeasance. We violated the dignity of the human person. Solidarity. Preferential option for the poor and vulnerable including those survivors, the common good which wants to promote conditions that bring about human flourishing. The church expects freedom to live out its mission, and the one thing that civil society expects from the church is to not harm the public good. So, we vociferously as Catholics, especially in this country, say we want our freedom on one hand, and on the other hand we harm children and the public good. Finally, authority and Catholic social teaching exists to serve the common good not for its own self-preservation. So, I’m just about done here and I’m going to turn it over in a minute, but I want to talk a little bit, about the specific harm that we’ve seen because that’s part of restorative justice. It doesn’t go round the harm. Then I want to offer one word of hope before I introduce Justice Geske. In order to further accountability and healing, we name the harm. We’ll give you an opportunity to express your thoughts as well. The harm has been manifold and deep from this crisis. First and foremost, the great harm to survivors who were also revictimized when they came to the church, that harm that has forever changed their lives. Secondly, the harm to the broader church, the loss of Catholics who have left the church, the loss of trust. Next, the harm caused by the insular clerical culture. Many have pointed to this harm that has been caused by clericalism. When I worked in the chancery, I referred to it as chancery legionnaires. There’s something in the air of a chancery office that often does not promote the good of the church but inhibits that good. We have to dig into that. The harm done by myopic lawyers who have too long advised church leaders. We need big picture lawyers. This Law School and the other Law Schools in town, need to form big picture lawyers. What do I mean by that? Lawyers who see their full constituencies that they serve. Lawyers who see around the curve. Lawyers who see beyond just preserving the institutional power of the church. We have a lot of big picture lawyers here at Saint Thomas; Rob Fisher, Lisa Schultz, Hank Shea and others, I think most of our faculty. I’ve worked with many; Tom Johnson, Kevin Keneally, David Wallace Jackson who are here today, are big picture lawyers. Victoria Johnson as well. That’s what we need. Too long the church has been advised in too many places by myopically focused lawyers. Obviously, I’m to spend a little more time on that one in our setting. The harm caused by the failure to consistently integrate the gifts, experience, and expertise of the Catholic laity, especially women. Harm has been caused through this privation, through this lack of using the gifts of the laity. Then harming the credible moral voice, the credibility of the moral voice of the church on important matters of justice. It’s hard to talk about matters of justice if we are not attending to justice within our own communion. The harm caused by poor seminary formation which continues to breed a clerical culture in too many places. This Law School here at St. Thomas, does a better job teaching the servant leadership model than most Seminaries I would say, in the country. Then finally, the harm caused by all-out ideological warfare in the church, seeking to wound and prescribe bad faith to your ideological adversary. We need more moderate voices in the discussion and leading. So, that’s a pretty dim picture. But I’m not without hope, my hope is in God who made heaven and earth, who seeks to restore us and who will if we cooperate with God’s grace, transform the church. I am further encouraged in my hope by what has occurred in our local church. Five years ago, we were on the verge of bankruptcy, about to be criminally charged by Ramsey County. Our former Archbishop was under investigation and victims survivors felt completely abandoned. Today, our dioceses is in a very different place. Jeff Anderson states that we are the safest diocese in the country, our bankruptcy is settled, we have a constructive relationship with Ramsey County, we have a new Archbishop who was a good and humble man. Most importantly, leaders are working collaboratively and well with survivors to foster greater accountability and to promote healing, a very different place here in this diocese. So finally, when I think of restorative justice, the image of Holy Saturday emerges, at least as it relates to this diocese. When Christ goes down into the pit of destruction to liberate us from bondage, survivors of course have experienced this reality due to no fault of their own. Their existential crises have been perpetrated upon them. But to be sure, we’re all in this pit. We’re all experiencing those who are in the Church this suffering. Christ seeks to bring us up from the pit to experience His healing, love, so that the church can once again reflect the goodness and light of God and restorative justice can be an instrument to help us do that work. So, I’m very pleased to introduce the main event, Justice Janine Geske. She served as a distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School and Director of the Law School’s Restorative Justice Initiative. She is currently a member of the Marquette University Board of Trustees. In the fall of 2011, she served as a visiting Professor of Law at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, in restorative justice at its Institute of Criminology. She previously served under Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1993 to 1998. From 1981 to 1983, she was a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge. Prior to becoming a judge, she served as Chief Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee and then as Clinical Director and Assistant Professor of Law at Marquette University. She frequently teaches at Judicial, Legal and Community Conferences on Meditation, Restorative Justice, Sentencing, Evidence, The Courts and Spirituality and Work. I would say lastly, she also exhibits the charm, the wisdom and the grit that so often mark those who come from the Badger State. So, we welcome Justice Janine Geske. Well, good afternoon. It’s really my pleasure to be here in a Law School, I love being in a Law School. I’ve spent much of my life either as a student or as a faculty member teaching. I’ve had the pleasure of being here in Saint Thomas College of Law on a number of occasions. Can I just ask how many of the people in this room are law students? I just want to have a sense. Good, good. I’m glad you’re here. There’s an article out there. If you haven’t been required to read it yet that I wrote of, “Why I teach Restorative Justice to Law Students.” I think it is particularly important that individuals studying to be lawyers understand restorative justice so that when they go out into practice or work or wherever they take their degrees, they can apply the principles and the theories behind restorative justice, even if you’re not classically doing that work. I’m going to begin a little bit with my own personal journey. As you’ve heard, I’ve had a number of different positions. My husband usually describes it as that I can’t hold a job very long. But there have been many of the moves that I’ve made have been vocational, have been very much attached to my faith, and where I thought I could best serve. When I was a circuit court judge, and that’s a trial court judge in Wisconsin, I sat in Milwaukee County and nine of those years were in criminal court and my last assignment is full-time homicides and sexual assaults. It was during that time, much like Father Griffith that I heard about restorative justice. I thought, we work so hard for victims’ rights and for victims to be comfortable in a court room. I saw the stress and the tension and the anger and the fear that were associated both with offenders and survivors in a courtroom, that I thought the idea of putting them together in some discussion, made no sense to me at all. I thought some fluffy thing that maybe applies somewhere on small crimes but will never work on serious crimes. But during that time, I started early on in my judicial careers spending time and teaching in the prisons. I did that because I thought it was important as judge to spend time where I was ultimately sending people sometimes for their entire lives to know what was happening in the prisons, what was happening in terms of educational opportunities and drug and alcohol treatment and the other things that happened. I also was spending time with survivor groups and neighborhood groups, the constituencies of a criminal court to better understand how they perceived our judicial system and what their sense was, whether there was justice and what that look like in the courtrooms. I did that partly for myself, but I’ve always been a teacher. In a prior life, I was a sixth-grade teacher. I have a Master’s in teaching elementary ed. Some people said I didn’t change much when I went from elementary at the law school but during those years, I was doing a lot of judicial teaching, and I would use the stories I heard by working with those groups when I was training judges on how to react to the courtroom and to interact. I’m just going to tell you one story just to show how that can make a difference. I usually tell at survivor’s story, but I will tell an offender story. I was part of a task force looking at gender bias in the courts, and I was interviewing inmates in both male and female prisons. The interview that I gave to a 100 inmates involved in part about their sense of the sentencing that occurred in their cases and how they felt the judge was and the prosecutor and the events and what it was like and what they remember. One of the things I interviewed was coincidentally because it was random. I interviewed a number of pretty high profile offenders, people that had killed police officers or had another high profile crimes. A number of them told me that the thing that they remembered most about their sentencing and that bothered them is that their lawyer got them all ready for sentencing. They practiced and they talk about what’s going to happen. They got to the courtroom and then the prosecutor made his or her recommendation and argued why the person should be locked away for life. Then the victim or surviving family members got up and told their story, and then the defense lawyer would either turn to the offender first, but often the offense lawyer would make his or her arguments of the court. Then the defendant would say whatever it is he or she planned on saying and it usually involved, not always, but usually involves some kind of apology and talked a little bit about what happened. Then the judge would go into sentencing, and the judge would open up a notebook and would read something that was pre-prepared before anybody said a word in that courtroom. These defendants said, “It was all a sham. What was the point of going through all that when the judge wrote out every word before he listened to anything any of us ever said?” I have worked with judges in the media and I understand why they were doing that because when you talk extemporaneously as a judge, you can sometimes take a few years sentences out of context and be in the headlines. You say one thing wrong, and it winds up in the headlines. So, I understand why judges who are doing that, but I never thought about the impact that that was having on somebody who thought and probably, the survivor felt the same way. There was no acknowledgement of what he or she said. So, when I was teaching judges, I said, “You can write things out in advance, but you absolutely need to incorporate, whether it changes your sentence are not, what you heard and to acknowledge that you heard them in the courtroom.” Because if people don’t have faith of being heard in a courtroom, they have no respect for what the court ultimately does. Being heard is what restorative justice is all about and you already heard from Father Griffith a little bit about why that is so important. So, I didn’t think restorative justice made much sense, but a teacher that I knew in the prison asked me to sit in on a three-day program in the middle of a bigger program on restorative justice. Just like Father Griffith, I had a transformational experience. I sat through those three days and suddenly, I saw incredible things happening. For me, faith-filled spiritual things happen in that prison classroom we were in that I could not explain. I wound up taking over that class and I’ve taught it for about, I think, 15 or 16 years. I’m going to tell you something about it because it’s going to try to give you a context of what we’re talking about because you hear these things and you think, “Well, what could possibly be so overwhelming?” Well, the course involves often about 25, 26, what I will call high-end offenders. We usually have operated almost exclusively alone with a few exceptions in Green Bay Correctional Institute. If you’ve ever gone to see the Packers, it’s not far from Lambeau, and you can see it from a highway. It was built in the 1880s or ’90s. It looks like a prison that was built in. It’s got the slamming doors and the cell blocks on top of each other. It’s really an imposing that very pleasant place. We gather, and I’m not going to spend the time on how we get them, but we get about 25 inmates. The only requirement for them being in the course is that they’re not in trouble in the prison. It doesn’t matter what crime they’ve committed. There was a huge waiting list when we do this. There are some teachers and social workers that interview people to get into the course, and the more we do it, the more people that want to get into the course. So, they’re in there and then I invite about 20-some community members. I always take law students with me. We’ve had Northwestern UW and my mark had students come. I invite community members, a bishop comes occasionally, I’ve invited police officers and public defenders and just volunteers in the community, all sorts of people to come and represent the community in that three days. Then there usually three or four survivors of violent crime who’ve done this a number of times who are willing to come and tell their individual stories. We sit in a large circle. How many of you participated in a talking circle or healing circle with a talking piece? How many have done that? Okay, a lot of you have not. I’m just going to say a word or two about that. When you put that participation in a circle like that based on indigenous people’s traditions, will change your life. It seems so simple, and if you haven’t done it, it’s hard to explain what happens. The facilitator or circle keeper uses a talking piece or a talking stone. The native people often use an eagle feather or a talking stick with a lot of pieces of feathers and leather and bells, all having spiritual meaning to them. So, it’s a very sacred item when the natives use it. I believe what we use often the stone or a rock and that also to me becomes very sacred in the context we use it. The facilitator, circle keeper asks a question and to get it going at the beginning, I asked people to talk about at some moment when somebody has touched your life in a substantial way, even if it was a momentary exchange. I remember somebody telling the story. It was a faculty member from another university talking about how she was about to give a presentation and she heard her parents are getting divorced. She was absolutely devastated. She walked into Gesu which is the the church near the campus at Marquette and it was the bottom church that was opened. She sat in the back pew and wept and wept and wept. A homeless woman, obviously a homeless woman, came and sat down next to her and put her arm around her and just held her for about 10 minutes and then the woman left. She said, “I don’t know who she was, but to me she was an angel. She gave me a moment of peace as I had to get myself together to give the talk.” So, those kind of stories are what people tell. The men have equally compelling stories. Sometimes it’s a second-grade teacher who told them, “You have great potential. You could read if you really wanted to and I want to help you.” So, we kind of equalize the room. I didn’t spend time talking to them about restorative justice. I’m going to give you the really quick definition of it just so you have the context. As you know, it’s taught here at St. Thomas as well as a number of law schools and it’s a lot more complex than I’m going to describe it. But it’s often drawn as a triangle, and it represents the parties involved. The top of the triangle is the survivor and called victim survivor. Many victims want to be called survivors rather than just victims. It is victim-centered. So, we’re looking at what the survivor himself or herself sustained in the pure simple format. The second point is community and I’ll talk a little more that. I usually describe community as people and institutions that have been impacted by what happened but who don’t necessarily know the identity or having a relationship with the particular victim. The third is the individual who caused the harm, sometimes the perpetrator, offender. We have different names. So, those are the three points, and the questions you ask are not who did it or what are the facts This does not replace jury trials or court trials. It’s not a fact-finding process. It is a process of looking at harm and deciding how to address it. That’s what it’s about. The first question you ask in a restorative justice context is who was harmed. We get back to the survivor. We know that a victim of a crime particularly a violent crime is the most impacted, right? They’re the ones that whatever the crime was was visited upon them. But you know recently, and you probably saw it, in a nursing home in the Southwest part of the country, a woman who has been almost in a persistent vegetative state her entire life was impregnated in a nursing home and gave birth recently. She is not cognizant that she was victimized. But we all know what we call the ripples. There are lots and lots and lots of people who are rippled out from her that were harmed by what happened. I mean, can you imagine being her family who visit her and trusted her to a nursing home finding out she’d been sexually assaulted and in fact was pregnant and nobody was treating her or watching over her and her having to give birth in very difficult circumstances. Can you imagine the staff there who didn’t know? All the feelings they have, both whether they have feelings of guilt, or they have feelings of anger, or whatever they feel, there are all sorts of ripples around that. You have a burglary victim on elderly woman who was burglarized. You’ve got her children, and her neighbors, and her friends, and her people, classmates, and whoever it was those are all people that are impacted and they’re all impacted differently. Children might think, I’m not going to let mom live in that house anymore. I worry about her too much. Neighbors might think, oh my God that could have been my house and maybe I should sell my house. It can affect neighborhoods and sales of houses. So, those are ripples that come out of that survivor position in restorative justice. The community are people that don’t know her but hear about it. So, for example, what is the impact in nursing homes all over the country on that first case I gave you? What are people thinking? Are we watching people the way we should be watching? Are we reporting things when we see something suspicious that we should be? Many people, and I’m in that mix, are in horror that that would happen to somebody so vulnerable in our country. That that would happen to her and that nobody would know, detect, make her safe. I mean who knows how many times she was assaulted. We don’t know that. So, you think about a couple of crimes in your neighborhood. Probably what’s going to happen is you’re going to start seeing for sale signs in that neighborhood. What’s going to happen is the property values are going to start falling and people feel differently. If you have a couple of assaults, sexual assaults on your campus, everybody on this campus will start acting differently. They’ll look at each other differently, they’ll travel around differently, they’ll go out at night differently. Even if they don’t know the particular victim, it impacts people. When I talk about, when I was living in the city of Milwaukee, we had a bunch of burglaries in our neighborhood. I started looking at people walking on the street differently. Am I profiling? In part, I’m thinking, could those be the burglars, and then you shake it off. Just because they’re young kids doesn’t mean they’re the burglars. It could be an older burglar, it could be a white burglar, it could be a Hispanic burglar. It could be anything, but everybody gets on high alert. So, those are ripples. The third point is the offender or the person who has committed the crime. Accountability is a big piece and I don’t have much time to talk about that today. But there is accountability, whatever that might look like. In serious crimes, accountability includes prison. I mean, you don’t go through this and automatically walk away and say, well I’m sorry so it’s over. We don’t generally give immunity like the truth and reconciliation commissions, which are also restorative justice, and let people go free after they’ve admitted. So, accountability is a piece but there are also circles around the offender. So, you have family, friends, colleagues, teachers, mentors. I’ve talked to police officers who’ve tried to mentor a kid for a long time and then the kid goes off and commits a terrible crime. That cop is devastated that he or she did not succeed in the mentorship in the point of keeping that kid out of trouble. So, there are also people around and we don’t recognize those people. If you read Helen Prejean’s book and she talks about the family members of the man who murdered and raped the girls. They were ostracized, they were left to the side. Anytime you hear about a terrible crime in a small town, the family members of the offender are shunned and treated incredibly badly even though they didn’t participate in the crime and maybe had no influence whatsoever over what happened. Okay. So, you look at that picture and say, oh my gosh, look at all those people that were harmed and all those things. The second question is, what was that harm? Again, primarily, its relationships and Dan talks about the break of relationships and end. So, the story I tell is that I used to have defense lawyers come in and argue on a rape victim, well she wasn’t really hurt. I always said, if you peel me off the ceiling and put me back in the bench. I looked at that lawyer and said, “What are you talking about?” Well, she didn’t have any cuts or bruises and I went like you talk to a sexual assault survivor. It’s not about the cuts and bruises. That’s a minimal thing compared to what has happened to their soul, about their view of themselves, their ability to have intimate relationships, how they feel about themselves and others. It is irrevocably changed and we can talk about restoration, we can talk about closure, none of those things are done deals. People who had been violated in a traumatic event will tell you there’s life before and life after. Restorative justice can touch their lives to help form that in a healing way, in a good direction. But there is no just saying, it didn’t happen and it doesn’t matter. That’s what people are afraid of. Victims will say, if I say I forgive you, does that mean it didn’t matter you killed my brother? I mean, yeah, it’s okay. That it’s not going to bother me anymore or that you’re off the hook for having done that? In restorative justice, it’s not that. I will talk more about that as we get a little further into the talk. So, we ask what was the harm, and the harm is often psychological. The burglary victim, it’s not the stolen TV, it’s not about what we talk about the courtroom, how he entered and what he stole, it’s about how that victim feels about herself, her house, and her relationships. You know what? For those of you who are law students and lawyers, that’s irrelevant to a trial. Somebody starts talking about they can’t sleep at night objection, irrelevant, sustained. It doesn’t matter how she feels. In a trial, we’re just trying to figure out if it’s beyond a reasonable doubt he committed the elements. But to a victim, there thinking that’s their moment of justice. That’s their moment of telling the story and they can’t. To finish up the courtroom event, I as a judge try to be as sensitive as I could at sentencing and give as much latitude to survivors and family members but it’s a horrible place for a survivor to have to tell a judge what happened to him or her, particularly in sexual assaults. So, you have a prosecutor making his or her statement, but how much are you going to want to tell a courtroom of people with a defendant sitting there, and his lawyers sitting there, and all sorts of court staff, how what your life is like now after your body has been violated by this person? Most victims will say very little and they might say I have a hard time working and I have a hard time sleeping but that doesn’t get your arms around what happened. So, the third question that we’re not going to spend a lot of time on other than you making some assumptions for what I’m talking about is, how do we go about repairing that harm or restoring? I say we because it’s not just the offender and sometimes, it’s not the offender at all. Sometimes, it’s us as community have a role in helping, support, and we do repairing for people who have survived this violence in their lives. So, to get back to my prison experience. So, after we’ve spent a day, I’ve explained that and the men have done some drawings, we do some artwork on restorative justice. The second day, the survivors tell their stories. How many of you have seen Making of a Murderer? Okay. A number of you have not, maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a story about a man by the name of Steven Avery and in Eastern part of the State of Wisconsin who was wrongly convicted of a sexual assault. What you haven’t heard in almost any of those stories is the woman who was the survivor of that sexual assault that did occur, that he was wrongly convicted for, and her name is Penny and I met Penny in prison through this process. Penny, for years, would come into prison and talk about her assault. Penny is one of the most loving, incredibly warm and caring people I know. She describes she was a mother of two, her husband owned a business in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She and her husband and her daughter were on the beach on a beautiful day in summer on Lake Michigan. She’s a jogger, she was jogging down the beach, and as she was jogging, this guy walk back and said something to her and she said something back, and she turned around and she saw him coming at her, and she knew immediately what he was going to do. She tried to run out into the water and he came after and she thought, he’s going to drown me, and she ran back and he grabbed her and put something sharp around her throat, and dragged her into the dunes. She describes in very vivid detail what happened and how she tried to get away from him. He had a big leather jacket on even though it was summer and how she’s trying to look at him and at one point, she takes her leg back and she kicks him in his privates, in hopes that she’s going to disable him and she can get away, but unfortunately, he just becomes enraged. He bangs her head on a rock and he renders her unconscious, and he proceeds to sexually assault her. When she wakes up, she can’t see. She’s got a very serious concussion. He’s gone, and she looks at her hands and she sees that there’s blood on her hands, and she thinks that’s his blood. It was actually her blood because he broke her nose and broke her face. But she then decides she’s very conscious, trying to preserve this blood that maybe it’s evidence. So, she crawls through the sand. She’s a couple of miles away from her husband. She tries to crawl across the sand. Unfortunately, she winds up crawling through poison ivy. If this isn’t awful enough, and eventually, some people are walking down the beach and they find her and they wrapped her in a towel and they carry her down. She was taken to the hospital and she ultimately gave a description to the Sheriff’s Department, because it’s the Sheriff’s Department that oversaw the beach. They did a drawing, and there was a guy who was out on bail trying to assault at gunpoint another woman, a relative of his who was a good ID. They believed it was Steven Avery, and they wound up arresting Steven Avery and frankly, the picture that they drew looked like him. But she was always worried that it rested primarily on her testimony. There was always an inkling of, what if it’s not the right guy? But he had a bogus alibi, it didn’t fit, it didn’t work. But during the time that he was in jail, she got a phone call at the middle of the night from somebody who knew a lot of the particulars of the assault and it was filthy. She called the police department and said, “Is it possible you have the wrong guy? Because this guy called me.” They said, “No.” Then, she got a call from the police department which was another department and they said, “You sure you got the right guy?” She said, “Why are you asking?” He said, “Is there somebody been watching you and so on?” Well, anyway, they had another suspect in mind. So, she called the Sheriff’s Department first thing in the next morning and said, “Are you sure you got the right guy because a police department thinks that’s this other guy.” Well, anyway, they [inaudible] it and did not pursue it. The other guy whose name was Gregory Allen, and 18 years later through DNA, Gregory Allen was identified as the offender. Now, I have to tell you that Penny always want to do a victim offender dialogue with him, and he never wanted to. She said, “Now I know why. He didn’t do the crime.” But when I had to go tell her the DA call me and this was good lawyering and also the big picture lawyer, the prosecutor and the defense lawyer called me and said, “The DNA’s come through and it’s not Steven Avery.” I was, “Well, that doesn’t really mean it wasn’t him, could be DNA from someone else.” Then, they said but identifies this guy Gregory Allen who was a serial rapist and lives in prison, and my heart sank and I drove up to tell Penny. So, you talk about ripple effects of all this and the decisions at the DA and the police made an originally. I had to tell her that it was the wrong guy. She tells me that was worse than the moment she was raped, to be told that she identified in a courtroom a man who had not committed that assault and then he served 18 years in prison. She was so overcome. I mean, I called her therapist, I was worried about her. I got her out of town because the media went nuts at the time. She wrote an apology letter that I helped her write because she took too much blame on her shoulders. I’m not going to spend time on it but it was always I thought the Sheriff’s Department’s fault and not hers, for a variety of reasons. But she wrote an apology letter that was on the front page of the newspaper for having wrongfully identified him. She wound up giving a hug and everything. Well, you may know the rest of the story is that Steven Avery who after he got acquitted, we were helping him on a civil lawsuit against the county and I have no doubt he committed the second crime. He abducted and brutally raped and chopped up and burned a young woman. Now,, his serving that sentence, but you talk about the number of people that were harmed by that whole thing. At that point, when she was in prison, we had not know it was a wrongful conviction but she would share her story with the men. With all the police officer, would talk about getting told that night about her husband being killed, and what the impact was, and having to tell her children and having a go to the funeral. Wanting to kill the man that killed her husband, she was so enraged. The inmates as they listened to this, they get it. They’d had people killed and so when we pass the talking piece around the whole circle, what happens not only with community members who have their own stories, but the men start talking about their victims in ways that they’ve never thought about of them. Because we think about as lawyers and as defendants, there was prove, there was not prove, they’re telling the truth, you broke a law, you didn’t break a law, and this is about human devastation and harm. They start realizing the harm to people that happened as a result of what they’ve done, but also has been done to them and most of them are victims themselves. Most of them talk about sexually abusing, watching their mother’s shop between the eyes. One guy talked about being a product of a rape and his mother always reminding him that when she was angry, that he was a product of a rape. They talked about being told things and being beaten by police, they told their stories. I can tell you that as we talk in that context, most people in the community will say, “If I had been in their shoes, I don’t know what I would have done.” So, that’s when I became transformed. And at the end of the three days, they don’t want to leave. One guy said, this is like I was free for three days. The community doesn’t want to go, everybody is so bonded in the storytelling sharing. So, I’m not going to talk about victim-offender dialogue because that’s a big part of what Mark and I do, which is actual victims or family members and offenders, and those stories are as compelling. But I’m going to talk about the transfer to the church, because I’m a practicing Catholic, and I thought why aren’t we, this was 10 years ago, 13 years ago, why aren’t we using these principles and what’s going on in the church? And I was actually doing a fair number of mediations for the four disputes between the archdiocese and survivors on civil cases, but also getting opportunities for survivors to tell their story to the archbishop or the bishop, or other people in authority. And I created a film and I’ve given the link somewhere. So, it will be available to you. We actually created a a healing circle with survivors of clergy abuse. Some people who worked with offenders, we have one priest, who in fact, sexually abused some boys in the circle. We had a woman who left the church, she said it destroyed her faith. So, people shared their stories about the impact of this. And what happens when you’re in a talking circle like that, is, one, you find out that you’re not alone in your thoughts, there are other people experiencing the same questions, the same fears. We did it last night at St. Odilia parish, and one woman got up and said, for 40 years, I’ve been struggling with what’s going on and it was so comforting to hear other people in the circle. She didn’t know that they’re struggling with it as well. And it’s a start of a process where people can make change and hopefully get to restoration. So, I tell people that in terms of church, the clergy abuse restorative justice, we are not going to have many victim-offender dialogues on the cases that happened 30, 40, 50 years ago. Those offenders are either dead, have dementia, or are in denial, and a few that maybe admit are not wanting to sit down with a survivor. So, you’re not going to have many of those, but we can have lots of dialogues and there are many happening, mark facilitates some of those in Minneapolis. Church authorities meeting with survivors for them to tell their stories in a safe environment, uninterrupted, no objection irrelevant going on, but they get to tell their story, and from that to try to build some trust and some restoration. So, what’s happening is, people are working on these projects all over the world. I did a lot of training in Dublin and they were doing a fair amount of restorative justice in the Church In Ireland, where almost nobody’s in the pews anymore. But, talking about what happened. I don’t know if any of you know who Marie Collins is? Marie Collins is a survivor of clergy abuse from Ireland and she was on the Pope small group that tried to reform things in the church, and there’s an interview that she gave yesterday on national television. And she talked about what was happening in Rome, and she’s a believer in hope and change. But she said, excuse me, the next big wave is going to be sexual assaults against nuns. There had been almost nothing reported on that, and it has been going on for a long time, particularly in Africa, and seminarians. She said, and there’s going to be a wave. In Africa, I can tell you because I worked in Rome with people from Africa of religious communities. Nuns would tell me that there are a priest that checkout girls for the weekend from the school. They come and pick them up on Friday and they bring them back on Sunday. Some priests are paying for tuition for kids, and this is not one African country, it is a number of African countries. And so, we’re just at the tip of the iceberg. And she was saying, you’ve got the United States, in Ireland, in Western Europe and Australia, that have had high profile articles and things are happening and there’s a lot of good happening. Because a lot of parts of the world that nothing’s happening and it’s going to take quite a bit of doing or the church to handle these things differently. But, I want to say that I’m going to stop and I’m going to give mark a couple opportunities just to add a little bit sort of a global sense like you did last night, of the use of restorative justice, and then I want to have a few minutes of dialogue with you. I’ve said this everywhere I have appeared, of all the work that I see all over the world, whether it’s internationally or whether it’s in the United States, Saint Paul Minneapolis has absolutely the most comprehensive approach on this, of any diocese anywhere. I have assisted parishes and a number of parts of the country, Holy Trinity which is a Jesuit parish in Washington DC, has done some really exciting, interesting things, but it’s just the parish. There are other parishes, there’s the Bernardin Center in Chicago, that’s doing some circle work. There’s a father Kelly, on the south side of Chicago, that’s doings restorative justice work with juveniles and games. There’s some really interesting programs, but nobody’s trying to get their arms around the diocese. And frankly, if you’re going to deal with all the problems of the victimization of victims by the hierarchy, you got to do it that way. This is something, the little things, but you got to coordinate it. And what’s happening here is, primarily from the bottom-up, and I will tell you that those of you who are law students, you’re going to find that the skills that you learn, that you read about, get involved in a restorative justice are helpful in any context. It doesn’t have to be clergy abuse. But I really am very hopeful about the things that are happening here and other places, and I’m hoping that in Rome, they talk more about that. Our film, the healing circle’s actually on the resource page for the Cardinals who are attending the meeting in Rome. So, I’m hoping some of them watch it and at least get some ideas of how to bring in survivors in the community to tell their stories. So, I want to introduce Mark Umbreit who is world famous for his work and restorative justice. Mark and I have worked a lot on different projects, and he’s been supporting a lot of the work here in the Twin Cities. So, thank you. I’m dying up here. Before you continue I know there are some of you who have 1.30 classes. I’m sorry. 1.30 appointment. So it might be a couple of people who have to leave before [inaudible] and I just want to give us all a chance to thank our speakers so far. Thank you. [inaudible] apply, we have two more big programs on the same general topic coming up in the next couple of months. Okay, good. So, I’ll have Mark talk and then we’re going to ask some questions and get some reflections from you. Just a few comments. I want to put this in context. How many of you restorative justice is kind of a new thing that you’ve heard about? Okay, a number of you. This is not new stuff. This is old old stuff. Even biblically, wasn’t called restorative justice but I think it’s in Leviticus and Deuteronomy I’m not sure where there were detailed codes of restitution. The whole notion when you harm someone, you repair it and sometimes with 10 percent penalty. If you steal a cow, you’ve got to give cows back. Again, it wasn’t called restorative justice. But the principles of restorative justice are grounded in the first nation people, indigenous people of this continent who have been kind enough to share and to teach many of us, most of us who are part of a different tribe that lead to so much suffering in their own people. I was blessed to be part of the restorative justice, a handful of people in the mid 1970s. It was not a movement then. It was a bunch of very idealistic young people. Courageous juvenile court judge, Judge William Van Wyke. I can still remember his name, that said,”There’s got to be a better way of dealing with kids.” Wouldn’t it make sense if we start focusing on fit dumbs, the people they heard as well as trying to help the kids, and the whole notion of bringing them face to face. In those years it was called victim-offender reconciliation. In Indiana it began. When I was asked to move from Indiana to set up the first victim-offender reconciliation program here in 1985, that kind of got things going here. It began in juvenile justice. Most of the research that I’ve done over the years, and colleagues, still has been in juvenile justice, also adult justice, but not quite as much. Today it is a movement. It is a social movement in the global community. Janine and I have worked in many different countries. Increasingly, I’ve been doing work with the United Nations Development Program in several countries, including Brazil now. I was in a panel of experts they brought together in Toronto about a year ago, because UN wants to expand its endorsement of restorative justice. Their initial endorsement of RJ was back in I think 2001. They have identified restorative justice initiatives in various forums in 67 countries. While it began in juvenile justice today, it is way way way way way beyond the biggest areas in schools. Nationally, and in this state. The largest amount of policy support among politicians of red and blue and appropriations are in schools. Texas has been a leader in restorative justice. It’s the most retributive state in our country empirically. But because of people on the ground and these survivors that have worked with key allies in the system, Texas has had some of the most promising restored of justice and controversial ones going for decades. It’s beginning to come more and more out and faith communities. Faith communities have always been involved. The Catholic Church has supported our work along with Methodist church and the Early Church of Christ and many other denominations from its beginning. There are formal resolutions of the Catholic church at different points in history. I think the most recent one was a couple of years ago, the Bishops Conference. So, RJ is out there and want to make this real clear. There is some good evidence for this stuff. At least, the research that I’ve done and others has been in juvenile justice. We’ve got some very solid research. I’ll close by mentioning a recent study I did which really was the first time to look at sort of the spiritual changes. What I call the energetic changes as well, that occur when victims of violence meet the offender. It’s called, the study was called, in the book is called “Violence Restorative Justice and Forgiveness. ” Bishop Abduh read it and he’s one of the people who endorsed it. It’s just showing the hope that is out there and I want to leave on that note. Despite all the darkness going on, the darkness in our country, there is tremendous reasons for hope. There’s a bipartisan citizens movement that’s bringing together red states and blue state folks, and there’s efforts like that here in this state. Where the effort is not to bring people together and debate the issues the CIDI. No, it’s a non-starter. It’s setting a safe place in a circle process or another kind of dialogue processes and group processes to learn to listen to each other, to humble ourselves. To humanize the process. I’ve been honored to be asked by the archdiocese and Archbishop Abduh, to assist with this process over the last couple of years. It’s been amazing. You know many, even last night someone said, I don’t want to mention this to you Dan, “Shouldn’t the media know more about this?” I’ve said this many times, “No.” What we’re doing here at this point, our humble little efforts that are moving on, they’re worth noting in a good way because so little is being done, but we’re nowhere near a position to really get out there in a big way. Getting the media too involved at this point could actually shut the process down and would not be a safe place for people to open up more. So anyway, glad to be here and thank you. Thank you Mark. Thanks Mark. I just want to add and Mark referred to the study a little bit, and we didn’t have time to talk about forgiveness. But I just want to add forgiveness is not necessarily part of restorative justice. It Is an outcome that often happens. Mark has written a book, but more available to you even is a YouTube called “The Energy of Forgiveness.” It’s a wonderful little film. Some of the work I did with the churches that had, but Mark did a lambda’s victim offender dialogue and interesting. You can just pull it off YouTube and see it. We only have a couple minutes left. But what I’ve done in most audiences and you’re the only one because we’ve got these classic classrooms, we’re not going to do circles. But I’d like to give you an opportunity to either ask a question about restorative justice, or if you want to do a reflection a little bit about the impact of what’s happened with the church and with whether you’re Catholic or not Catholic and how it may have impacted you. If you’re willing to share that, that would also be welcome. So, let me just open it up for either questions or comments. Yes. So, I’ll qualify what I’m about to say with that I would not [inaudible]. Thanks Mark. But my experience, kind of reflecting with bishops and the clergy, I’ve often had an experience of bishops and clergy being somewhat dismissive of the magnitude of the harm. Right. I am talking about in the context of the clergy that I know, who I have a relationship with, and when I receive that kind of response that’s like, well, it’s a really long time ago or we don’t really know or, I find myself really struggling to discern what is my role in that moment, rights of the- my training as a victim advocates, you know, it says, peel me off the ceiling as you described. Right, right. The cradle catholic community has profound reference for priesthood, the human in me acknowledges the fact that the magnitude of this harm is really great, and this is a lot of his friends, right? Right. Like this is really his human way of dealing with that. So, I’m wondering if you could reflect onto what is either of you, like to what extent radical candor in that moment might be constructive and charitable, even if it’s very direct. The cradle catholic in me is like I don’t want to be disrespective but I love you, but the hunger of justice is like there’s rage that I’m reacting with. I’m wondering if you can reflect on that [inaudible]. Hopefully, you can get a link to it if you give me an email, I’ll even send you a link to the film. That’s why I made the film. Because I wanted people to see and hear the faces of the survivors. There’s a woman in there who son committed suicide after having contact with a priest in high school, there’s another woman who was sexually abused by a priest and when our parents found out the father’s reaction, they said,” what am I raising a whore, ” to his daughter who was 12 at the time. The mother said,”how could you do this to us?” So, it was the re victimization and the pastor said to her, “you’re old enough to seduce a priest.” I wanted people to see and hear the people that said those stories. So, that’s what the film is for. But an to answer to your question, the best thing you can do if you know the story of a survivor, I mean, a real story to tell him. Say, you know I know this particular survivor. If you have a few minutes, let me take you through what their life was before, how old they were, what the facts were, and what as you know has rippled out or talk to even make up a story about conglomerates of survivors you know. People don’t understand the devastation of a sexual assault particularly by a person of faith. A lecture won’t get you anywhere. But if you can tell a story, I mean it may just make that big a difference, but I think that’s why these circles work. Because if you could actually here, and that’s why the Pope is having people listening to survivors tell their stories. Because once you’ve heard those stories and seeing their faces, you don’t ask that question anymore. That’s really why I made the film. I don’t know if you want to respond. Yeah, I would agree and I think absolutely because part of it it’s an extension of clericalism. If in a clerical culture, if you reduce back in terms of not going to the place that needs to, they need to hear that. That’s part of the problem. Is there’s too much insularity in the culture, and people minimizing that. It’s almost beyond me how they could at this point. The other thing, I would say along with Janine is stories are powerful. Also broaden your folks, the clergy that you hang out with, because if you come hang out with the clergy I hang out with because rather than minimization, there’s a real lot of truth telling in terms of why we’re in the place we’re in, and how we need to move forward, and that’s informed by really smart laity that I think the clergy I hang out with also have relationships with laity, and that very much informs us as well but keep pushing forward with that sense of justice. I can tell you though, that’s why I asked to talk to the seminary yesterday, and I get a two and a half hour presentation to them. I think it’s important because there’s a whole new crew, a priest coming through that didn’t live through some of this era, or at least we’re young and don’t have the benefit of having seen the stories. I think once you’ve heard the stories, well and as a victim advocate you know you don’t forget those stories, they become part of you and I think that would be my best recommendation. Other comments or questions? I have a question. This morning we were talking about a huge crisis. They were saying do you remember that it’s not really a sexual [inaudible].This whole thing about homosexual or heterosexual, that’s not what it is perpetrated by both and that it’s a power thing, it is not a sexual. I think that people think is pornography or you know it’s about power. Yeah, it really is. There was a whole psychological thing going on in the particular individual and it’s right. It’s not trying to get sex. It’s not what’s going on. Somebody we heard this weekend I thought you know if somebody asked about homosexuality and she said, it’s a human sexuality question. These individuals are using the power on vulnerable people i.e kids, who are available and they become predators on them. That is a whole different thing about will people have a sexual life, what that sexual life is, or if they choose celibacy. These are predators because of things going on and very well may be the power they have over a child, and you can hear it in the threats, that they make to kids about what’s going to happen if you tell anybody. No one’s going to believe you and they you know a lot of these stories. You will hear the priest befriended the parents, would go to Sunday dinner at the house, would be very close friends, and then pick out one of the kids and abuse them. The kid would try to stay away from the priest, and the priest would complain to the parents that John doesn’t really like him and he doesn’t understand why he doesn’t like them. So, the parents would put the pressure on the kid. Again a power move on the kid and the kid has to make a choice whether to tell parents something about their good friend, the priest or whether they live with it. Unfortunately, a lot of kids didn’t feel that they have the power to be able to do something about it. It’s not a homosexual issue and you’re right about that. As long as we keep going until that field, we really avoid the real problem which is sexual predators said happened in all professions. I’m just going to remind you. I say this often, people worry about where we’re going to put somebody who has been convicted of a sexual offense when they were returned to the community. Watch the news, and see how many times at night when they report a sex crime on a child, it’s somebody who has no prior record. It will be about 90 percent of the time. You know, we can watch people that had been convicted and maybe have gone through treatment, but the people that are committing the crime are your neighbors, or the coach, or the Boy Scout leader are the people that have never been convicted before. So, we as parents have to try to make kids in a safe place and try to enable them to understand that they can talk to us and we have to defend them when they come and tell us. All right, I’ve gone over my time unless there’s any quick last question. Thank you very much. Thanks for coming.

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