This week there was circle, but due to my school being on spring break, I was not able to attend as I went home for the week. But while at home I continued my research on restorative justice, specifically about restorative justice centers around the United States. I mentioned in a previous blog about what our world could possibly look like without prisons. As I was researching on centers around the country, I was surprised to find that there was one basically right in my own backyard in my hometown! Wisconsin is not known to have a very good criminal justice system so it surprised me to find that they did in fact have a restorative justice centers in the state. While there are only two, on in Waukesha and one in River Falls, it was still nice to see that there were these kinds of centers being used in the state.
Other research I have been doing is on the school to prison pipeline that is very much a problem in our country. For those who do not know what the pipeline is, it is in response to zero tolerance policies in schools where students are punished with suspension or worse for trivial and minor offenses like skipping class or stealing from another student. For the most part, the pipeline is disproportionately targeted toward minority students and students with learning disabilities and even LGBT students. For a paper I am required to complete in my Capstone class, I have chosen to write about the pipeline and how restorative justice practices can eventually eliminate the pipeline as students will be able to learn why their actions were wrong and why they received the consequence they did. All in all, I am excited and thoroughly enjoying the research I have been conducting and am even more excited to continue it. See you next week! ~Kasi