W2D2-Responsibility and Accountability
Required ReadingsZehr, H. (2015). Changing lenses: Restorative justice for our times. 25th anniversary edition. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.• Chapter 1, “A Vignette”• Chapter 3, “The Offender”Zehr, H. (2015). The little book of restorative justice (Rev. ed.). New York. Good Books.• Chapter 1, “An Overview” (pp. 20-27)
Discussion 2: Responsibility and AccountabilityRestorative justice contends that punishment is not true accountability. For example, if children misbehave and are held accountable for their actions through a timeout or losing something of value such as a toy or privilege, they are not actually taking responsibility for any harm they may have caused. They are simply being punished. Likewise, if employees are consistently late to work, they may be punished by losing pay or not receiving a raise. Again, this doesn’t involve taking responsibility for harm they may have caused to others such as fellow employees who had to pick up their duties or responsibilities.In the criminal justice system, offenders are held accountable for their actions strictly through the use of some type of punishment. On the surface these punishments may seem as though they hold the offending parties accountable for their actions; however, the concept of accountability is defined and used differently in the context of restorative justice.To prepare for this Discussion:• Review Chapter 3 in Changing Lenses and the selected pages of Chapter 1 in The Little Book of Restorative Justice. Examine the definition of accountability in the context of restorative justice.• Reflect on the quote, “As long as consequences are decided for offenders, accountability will not involve responsibility,” located on page 40 of the course text, Changing Lenses. Think about how the current practices of the criminal justice system impact offender accountability.• Again review Chapter 3 in Changing Lenses. Consider the impact of incarceration on offenders. Think about whether incarceration practices impact an offender’s ability to empathize with victims and if empathy is necessary for offenders to internalize responsibility.• Select a punishment used in society. This can be from a school, religious affiliation, business, or other organization.• Think about whether the punishment you chose supports accountability.With these thoughts in mind:By Day 4Post a brief description of the punishment you selected and then explain the extent to which it supports the restorative justice concept of accountability.Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.