This week there was no circle, which is a little saddening, but it gave me more time to really get into the thick of restorative justice research. I found a whole other world in the form of TED and TEDx talks. There are so many talks that have been done on our justice system and restorative justice and how we can fix our broken system. My favorite that I watched, or rather one of my favorites, is a talk done by a prosecutor named Adam Foss. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/H1fvr9rGgSg. I wrote another post that had this TED talk in it, but I really want to tell you all that this talk is amazing. He talks about helping his clients find their path to success and to understand their actions better and how they can impact other people that are not them. While this isn’t exactly restorative justice, it is pretty close to it and anything close to restorative justice is good to me.
Another talk that I watched is called ‘The Neuroscience of Restorative Justice,’ you can find it here: https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_reisel_the_neuroscience_of_restorative_justice. In this talk the presenter Daniel Reisel talks about a study he did in prisons and what the brains of those that are incarcerated look like. He found that in most cases, their Amygdala, the center for emotion control and empathy in our brain, are smaller than the average person. Because of this, they are unable to understand other people’s emotions to the full extent and are unable to be empathic toward others. Restorative justice aims to fix that in a sense. Like a muscle, the parts of our brains that may be lacking can be worked to be strengthened and if we are put in situations where we are being told how something impacts another person, specifically the actions of one person on another, it can strengthen the brain to understand and reciprocate those emotions back.
All in all, this week was mind blowing for me as I have researched so much that I have even decided that I want to make a future that involves restorative justice and trying to reform our justice system. I don’t know how exactly yet, but I am slowly working through that confusion and coming to a clearer answer. ~Kasi