"Chasing Smoke." Restorative Justice.

The way we handle discipline, in our schools, prison and even our homes, is like throwing water on smoke. We see the smoke so we attack smoke, completely ignoring the fire that is completely consuming everything around us. This movie is an attempt to get people to extinguish the fire rather than just chasing smoke.
— Pastor Sherwynn Patton, Program Director at Life Anew

 I want justice for all. I want the victim and the criminal both to be cared for and restored to a better self. I know restorative justice works. Having done so many hours of private therapy there is something scary and yet liberating when you are a part of a small community of fellow beings who are trying to cope, understand and maneuver through life anew. It was also freeing to not having to share and just to pass it along to hear other people's sobering words.

To have these trusting restorative circles in schools and for our children is groundbreaking and so important. It lowers school absences, recidivism and crime in the neighboring areas.

According to Wikipedia, Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender.

I had the pleasure of attending the screening of "Chasing Smoke," a documentary on restorative justice that focuses on the lives of youth and adults in the program. Please take a look at the trailer, read on up the program, volunteer where you can and open your heart.