The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously backed a plan to expand juvenile diversion programs that seek to keep kids out of the criminal justice system. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn proposed the more comprehensive approach. “While there are a number of promising programs, access to them and their accompanying services, like …
One solution for these growing tensions is restorative justice. Howard Zehr, a restorative justice scholar, describes it as a way to handle conflict and wrongdoing by engaging everyone involved, allowing them to address the full range of harms that occurred and work together to develop a plan for accountability and healing.
Often mistakenly seen as a lenient approach, restorative justice is less accepted in the United States as it is in other nations. In this country, justice focuses on retribution. Getting tough on crime is punishment focused. Approaches to crime that are not heavy-handed and authoritarian are dismissed as ineffective and lenient.
This perceived lenience, however, is the greatest misconception about restorative justice. Peaceful reactions, strengthening relationships, developing a sense of responsibility and righting wrongs are not accomplished easily.
Utilizing savings from Proposition 47, Yolo County officials are busy crafting a new restorative justice program with a little help from the community. Exactly who will be served by this program and its overall reach were among the questions raised during a presentation earlier this week, which welcomed feedback from county residents on what services they would like to see. Similar meetings were held in Woodland and West Sacramento. Specifically, the county is going after a $6 million grant — distributed over three years — funded by savings garnered by Prop. 47 and distributed by the California Board of State and Community Corrections. Approved by voters in November 2014, Prop. 47 calls for treating offenses such as shoplifting, forgery, fraud, possession of small amounts of drugs and petty theft as misdemeanors instead of felonies with the aim of decreasing jail populations, or at least saving the space for those who committed more serious crimes. One of the concerns in terms of drug offenses in particular is that individuals with substance-use disorders would be less likely to get treatment, and more likely to reoffend, creating what Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig has called a “revolving door for low-level arrests.” Two years after its passage, Prop. 47 now presents an opportunity to offset this through program funding. From the start, one of the proposition’s promises was that statewide savings from the measure would one day help fund rehabilitation efforts to help keep people out from behind bars. This would include programs that offer mental health services, substance-use disorder treatment and diversion opportunities, along with housing and job-skills training. Now, Yolo County officials are at work designing the perfect program, poised to finalize their grant proposal by the fast-approaching deadline.
Tulsa police are planning a program to connect with youth at schools in an effort to dispel negative stereotypes of law enforcement. The program, a partnership between the city and Tulsa Public Schools, is dubbed Project Trust. It will start with informal meetings between police officers and about 15 students to talk about issues that young people face, Deputy Police Chief Jonathan Brooks said. Brooks and others showcased the project, sponsored by City Councilor Karen Gilbert, for other city councilors on Wednesday. “They are our future,” Brooks said of the students. “To protect the future of our community and our city, we felt it was important to work with them. That’s what this project is really all about.” Brooks said the object is to establish early relationships with children through their schools. That relationship can help officers understand the problems faced by Tulsa youths and improve students’ perception of police. Police plan to survey students about their views of police officers before the program and afterwards. Brooks said that data will help police officers understand how they are perceived and how they can improve. The effort will begin as a pilot program at McLain High School, 4929 N. Peoria Ave., after school on Jan. 23. Police plan to expand the project over time, with hope of eventually having ongoing programs throughout the district. City Councilor Phil Lakin asked that Tulsa Police Department officials consider expanding the program to all Tulsa school districts in the future to include Union, Jenks and others. The program will start out small with few resources required, but Brooks said he hopes some grant funding can be acquired later to help fund the effort and expand it. “This will take time to develop,” he said. “This is theoretically a pilot project. We’re going to have to make adjustments to make it more beneficial. Once we have a repeatable process, then we can start going district wide.”
A mediation program designed to help LAPD officers and residents understand each other better is largely successful when both sides agree to meet, according to a department report to be delivered Tuesday to the Los Angeles Police Commission.
But cops and residents often choose not to engage in face-to-face mediation.
The three-year pilot program, established in 2014, sought to “influence the way employees communicate and treat people, as well as give community members a better understanding of law enforcement practices,” according to the report. Mediation was “an informal process” in which officers and the people complaining about them would meet “face-to-face with impartial mediators to discuss the alleged misconduct.”
The idea would be to reach a “mutually agreeable resolution,” instead of sending the complaint through a formal process where the department dismisses it entirely or the officer could face formal discipline. Complaints involving suspected bias and/or discourtesy – not more serious conduct like excessive use of force – were eligible.
The report found of the 363 eligible complaints, 73 resulted in meetings between officers and residents over the three-year period that ended Dec. 31. Why didn’t the two sides seek mediation more often?
Most of the time, either the officer or resident had no interest in meeting with each other.
In 2016, nearly half of officers demanded a full investigation of the complaint. Nearly a fifth of officers wanted to “avoid the other party,” according to the report.
Among residents who filed complaints in 2016, about a quarter wanted a full investigation. Another fifth said it was “too much bother” to meet with the officer.
But when the angry resident meets with the man or woman who wears a badge, mediation appears to work.
Of 185 survey responses, 155 participants were either satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the process, according to the LAPD report. And two-thirds of the officers and residents who participated said their understanding of the other party increased after mediation.
The department plans to continue the program and, as more and more officers wear body cameras, make that footage available for viewing as part of the mediation.
Student suspensions in the Rochester City School District were down 38 percent in the first three months of the school year, continuing a promising trend as the district commits more attention to the problem of heavy-handed student discipline.
There were 1,905 suspensions issued from September to November 2016, compared with 3,073 in 2015 and 4,313 in 2013.
There was also a large drop in the number of weapons found or confiscated: 44 in 2016, compared with 154 in 2015.
In a presentation to the school board's Excellence in Student Achievement committee in December, Deputy Superintendent Kendra March attributed the improvements to the continuing roll-out of restorative justice practices and the institution of "help zones," where students can spend a few moments to collect themselves before they do something they'll regret.
A lawsuit that accuses the King County Sheriff’s Office and some of its top administrators of bias and an array of other allegations has cost county taxpayers nearly $1 million in private attorneys’ fees and additional expenses, with the tally continuing to rise as the case heads toward trial.
The bulk of money spent to date to defend against the suit brought by one current and two fired sheriff’s deputies — about $837,000 — has been paid to Winterbauer & Diamond, a Seattle law firm specializing in employment and labor law, according to an accounting provided this month by the King County Office of Risk Management.
Rob Duke's insight:
An ADR/Mediation system would have been cheaper in the long run....
Save your sanity and don't ignore these danger signals in the interview process.
1. Your future boss speaks poorly about current staff in the interview. In the interview with my prospective boss, he was very negative towards his current team in the way he talked about them. He used flattery towards me while at the same time putting down the competency of his current team. Consider this quote from Gregg Stocker, author of Avoiding the Corporate Death Spiral: Ask what the company's problems are and what their causes might be. If the answers to these questions consist of blaming others in the organization, especially those on his or her team, the person lacks trust in others.
2. Your future boss comes across as a narcissist. If your boss keeps talking about how great he or she is during the interview, it might be a sign of self-absorption. Working for a self-absorbed boss ensures that your work will go largely unnoticed and he or she will use every opportunity to take credit for any of your successes, without giving you the credit deserved.
3. The interviewer is late. The second interviewer was a senior manager. He showed up 15 minutes late for the interview. This individual appeared disorganized, and it seemed like he had not even reviewed my résumé before the meeting. I was struck by just how unprofessional the interviewer was.
4. The company has a history of high turnover. Make sure to do some research regarding the turnover rate for not only the company you are applying for but also the specific position. A good starting point is Glassdoor.com. It will enable you to see what the company's current and former employees are saying anonymously. If you want to take it a step further, you could even do an advanced search on LinkedIn to find employees in your position and reach out to them for feedback. Most people are happy to help out, and if you're headed for a train wreck, they will gladly give you a heads up. To my credit, I did do research. However, once again, I ignored the warning signs.
5. They put a lot of pressure on you to take the position. In my case, my prospective employer put a lot of pressure on me to take the job. It was like they were trying too hard to close a deal. I got emails and phone calls practically begging me to go to work there. Then they put an aggressive deadline on me that forced me to make a decision much faster than I was comfortable with.
6. You're not sure if your values align with the company. If, after going through the interview process and doing research on the company, you are questioning the company's values, think long and hard about whether or not you will be able to be happy working at a company where your personal values may conflict with the company's way of doing business. Weigh how much of a conflict it will be, and whether or not it is worth the compromise you would have to make. Trust your gut on this one. Initially, I got a bad feeling regarding this company's culture. I talked myself into thinking otherwise by rationalizing their poor behavior.
7. The offer letter contains errors. When I received my offer letter, it was $5,000 less than what had been offered to me over the phone. I quickly pointed out the discrepancy to their HR coordinator and they fixed it. However, again, this was a sign of things to come in regard to the way it did business, not only with its employees but its customers as well.
Steven McDonald, a police officer best known for forgiving a teenage gunman who left him paralyzed in 1986, inspired New York City by choosing a spiritual journey over self-pity and spite, Mayor Bill de Blasio and others said Friday.
McDonald's "road on his earth was not easy but he showed us what we need to know," de Blasio told McDonald's widow, Patti Ann, police officer son and other mourners packed into St. Patrick's Cathedral for Friday's funeral. "Now we have an obligation to tell his story across this city and all across his nation, especially at this time."
The officer was a role model at the New York Police Department, the nation's largest, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said in his eulogy.
"What we can learn from Steven's life is this: The cycle of violence that plagues so many lives today can be overcome only by breaking down the walls that separate people," O'Neill said. "The best tools for doing this, Steven taught us, are love, respect, and forgiveness."
Convicts spend years in prison. Prison is loud, compact, and feels like you're in another world full of the worst of humanity. So what goes through the mind of a convict the moment they leave prison? What do they do? Go inside their mind by reading this and you'll know!
Rob Duke's insight:
The often surprising first steps for people whose lives were on hold....
Oysters and alliances have something in common: a little irritation can produce a thing of beauty. When partners in an alliance come into conflict, it can be just what is needed to produce a technically and commercially successful product.
Eli Lilly and Company measures the health of its alliances with a “Voice of the Alliance Survey.” Members from each partner organization rate the alliance in areas related to strategic fit, operational fit, and cultural fit. Sample questions include: “Knowledge and information from our partner is freely shared with us” and “Our partner openly listens to our ideas and opinions.” Lilly recently analyzed fourteen years of data to understand the relationship between the health of these alliances (as evidenced by the ratings on the survey) and the technical and commercial success of the products on which they worked.
The results were fascinating.
When the Lilly employees in the alliance were irritated with the partner, there was an increased probability of technical and commercial success. It wasn’t that they didn’t like their partners; they typically held them in high regard. What distinguished successful from unsuccessful alliances was more of a “productive” irritation — creative tension between differing ideas about how to develop alliance products – reflected in disagreements about the strategy and tactics of how best to develop a particular molecule. Even more interesting, there was no relationship between how the partner viewed the alliance and future success. What mattered in forecasting success was how Lilly people viewed the alliance.
Here’s an example. Lilly and its alliance partners might differ in how to design a clinical trial. These design differences have significant resource implications for both organizations. Tensions are often high as experts from both sides argue the merits of each other’s ideas. Professional opinions clash and irritation results as both parties struggle to make the best decision. It is this kind of irritation that forecasts later technical success, according to fourteen years of survey data.
Why does this happen? Enrique Conterno, Senior Vice President and President, Lilly Diabetes, sums it up well. “Nothing great is achieved without some conflict. Conflict sharpens the senses; it invites full engagement in solving important problems. However, you must create more light than heat when you engage in conflict. Heat degrades the substrate of innovation, while light catalyzes it.”
This idea that disagreement and conflict between groups can be productive is not new. We see similar findings in research looking at individual work teams. For example, the research of Amy Edmondson and Alicia Tucker in hospital emergency rooms shows that the failure to speak up can lead to medical mistakes with disastrous consequences. Similar failures among cockpit crews can lead to airline crashes. Finally, there are countless examples of business misconduct among corporations where employees were aware of misconduct but they simply did not feel comfortable speaking up and reporting it. Creating an environment where team members feel “psychologically safe” to speak up and share their point of view can dramatically improve the effectiveness of these kinds of teams. Lilly’s research shows these same effects can happen between members of alliance innovation teams.
The managers in charge of these alliances caution us, however, that a positive relationship between irritation and success does not mean that you should be looking for opportunities to create just any conflict. The beneficial irritation is respectful conflict on the most pivotal issues to the project.
Leaders can enhance the value they get from alliances using various strategies that reap the benefits of conflict:
Focus on the areas of risk that produce the most productive conflict. Lilly trains its alliance managers to look at risk as the precursor to conflict, as parties typically engage in conflict as a method of reducing or controlling alliance risk. They regularly see three common types of risks: human risk – the sum of the positive or negative affinities of people working in an alliance, weighted more heavily towards those leaders that govern the alliance; business risk – all of the factors related to getting a product or service to market made easier or more difficult due to the partnership; and legal uncertainties – the risk that is created by writing a contract that cannot possibly foresee all of the future obstacles and issues that will need to be surmounted by the alliance. Conflict in each of these areas is interconnected and is found in every alliance.
Focus your conflict-management resources where it matters most. In the pharmaceutical industry, the conflict surrounding a clinical trial design, for example, represents a value inflection point where managed or mismanaged conflict will yield disproportionate value creation or destruction. These clinical trials require thoughtful design and involve high levels of disagreement and conflict even without an alliance partner and logarithmically more disagreement and conflict with an alliance partner. Identify clearly where value is created and destroyed in your own value process and deploy your conflict management/alliance management resources there. During one alliance that was mired in conflict while designing a very complicated $200M clinical trial, Lilly and its partner agreed to use both alliance management and decision science experts to help the group work through the complexity and the conflict.
Train key alliance personnel to listen and make space for disagreement and conflict. Lilly trains its alliance managers to use structured empathic listening, a manner of listening and responding to others that improves mutual understanding and trust. This skill is borrowed from couples’ therapy and allows each party to be heard and understood, without having to necessarily agreeing to what is heard and understood. Lilly alliance managers report that conflict “heat” becomes “illumination” when partners truly listen to each other: “Although it seems counterintuitive, slowing down a conflict to allow time for listening to each other actually saves time in the long run.” At Lilly, escalated alliance issues are strongly encouraged to be presented jointly. The disputants need not agree with each other, but they must agree that their joint presentation accurately reflects their disagreement. This aligned presentation often catalyzes quick and healthy issue resolution.
Establish an alliance management function. If resources allow, the formation of such an area within your organization will increase the chances of alliance success. Task the alliance management team with creating greater value by learning how to build, maintain, and unwind alliances efficiently and effectively – and train them in spotting and encouraging productive conflict. An alliance management department can be both a repository of information and experiences, as well as a champion for the organizational learning that comes from forming alliances, where each company can benefit by learning from and emulating the best that their partners have to offer. Lilly’s Office of Alliance Management was established in 1999 and has published over twenty articles, focused on the “How To’s of Alliance Management” which can be used as resources for the successful implementation of such a functional area. The Association for Strategic Alliance Professionals, a cross- industry organization dedicated to advancing the skills of alliance management professionals, offers a variety of tools and educational and developmental opportunities to support your efforts.
Particularly with partners, we often try to avoid conflict to avoid irritation. But too little irritation risks failing to create the pearls of wisdom that good conflict can produce. Leaders should look beyond irritation to the benefits of the right kind of conflict, even seeking to create good conflict at the most pivotal value and risk inflection points. An oyster takes up to 24 months to culture a grain of sand into a pearl; but with careful alliance structures, active listening, and other techniques suggested above, leaders can much more quickly use alliance conflict as a source of significant value.
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