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Violence, Crime & Safety

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A Public Voice '95: 'Juvenile Violence' and 'Immigration'

Milton B. Hoffman Productions.

Each year, many public television stations around the nation air an hour-long program that features U.S. citizens deliberating in National Issues Forums around the nation. The programs also feature distinguished panels of nationally known political leaders, commentators and journalists meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to reflect on what this 'public voice' may mean in setting direction for America. The topics are different each year.

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Americans for Informed Democracy's Organizers Toolkit - Darfur and Beyond: The Role of the ICC

In March of 2005, the U.N. Security Council referred the crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court. Notably, the U.S., a veto power on the Security Council, decided not to use its veto to block this historic action. Just months later though, in August of 2005, President Bush appointed John Bolton as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton has a clear record of ardently opposing the International Criminal Court and aggressively seeking to undermine its effectiveness and legitimacy.

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Americans for Informed Democracy's Organizers Toolkit - Reforming the U.N. for a Safer World

On March 21, 2005, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presented a new report for sweeping reform in the United Nations, In Larger Freedom. In his report, Annan calls for a collective security system to fight terrorism, an enlarged Security Council, a revamped UN human rights system and new guidelines for military action. While the reforms are critical to the U.N.'s continued effectiveness in a changing world, questions remain as to whether the U.S. will support these reforms, which many advocates believe are necessary to address the pressing security and development imperatives of the twenty-first century, from the genocide in Darfur to the Millennium Development Goals.

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Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1998.

A four-session discussion guide on many important neighborhood issues including: race and other kinds of differences; young people and families; safety and community-police relations; homes, housing and beautification; jobs and neighborhood economy; and schools.

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Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD)

CAPD is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 to help institutions, communities and public systems craft and execute thoughtful responses to pressing social issues--particularly, improving outcomes for children, adolescents, and families. CAPD works on many issues, including education, violence prevention, community change, reduction in racism (particularly institutional racism), leadership, and civic engagement.

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City Voices, Children's Needs

The National League of Cities.

Describes widespread concerns about the quality of schools, violence by and among young people, and inadequate opportunities for youth to become engaged in constructive activities during non-school hours.

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Community Conferencing as a Special Case of Conflict Transformation

John M. McDonald and David B. Moore. In Restorative Justice and Civil Society. Heather Strang and John Braithwaite, 130-148. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press., 2001.

McDonald and Moore seek to broaden the theory of transformative justice and conflict transformation. Specifically, they deal with community conferencing as the major reactive intervention based on a theory of conflict transformation in many settings: criminal justice, the workplace, education, and more. After summarizing the early theory on conferencing, with emphasis on the importance of the expression of shame in the process, the authors reexamine the notions of shame and guilt, particularly in relation to the sequence of a conference.

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Community Relations Service Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

CRS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, is a specialized Federal conciliation service available to State and local officials to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict, violence, and civil disorders. CRS helps local officials and residents tailor locally defined resolutions when conflict and violence threaten community stability and well-being.

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Constructive Conversations for Challenging Times: A Guide for Home and Community Dialogue

Watertown, MA: Public Conversations Project, 2001.

A 38-page guide to convening and facilitating constructive conversations about the events of September 11 and all that has happened since. The guide draws on over a decade of experience conducting dialogues about divisive public issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and how to use natural resources. It contains instructions for a two-hour structured dialogue and suggestions for briefer or less formal conversations that have the spirit of dialogue. For step-by-step support in hosting your own dialogue in person or online, download a free copy of PCP's Guide for Home and Community Dialogue.

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Crime Issue Guide

Public Agenda.

America has long had the dubious distinction of being the world's most violent industrial nation. Violent crime skyrocketed in the U.S. starting in the late 1960s, a trend that continued into the early 1990s. It's no wonder that crime has consistently been one of the public's major concerns over the past three decades. Public Agenda Issue Guides or “Citizen Choicework Guides” contain background information on the topic and present three different approaches to the issue for people to deliberate.

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Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance Highly Recommended

Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright. Verso Press, 2003.

This book presents case studies which demonstrate how people are inventing new political forms that realize the deeper democratic ideal of government of, by and for the people. The four contemporary cases explore the participatory budgeting process in Porto Alegre; decentralized school councils and community policing groups in Chicago; stakeholder planning in environmental protection and habitat management; and new participatory governance structures in Kerala, India.

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Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy

Archon Fung. Princeton University Press, 2004.

Every month in every neighborhood in Chicago, residents, teachers, school principals, and police officers gather to deliberate about how to improve their schools and make their streets safer. Residents of poor neighborhoods participate as much or more as those from wealthy ones. All voices are heard. Since the meetings began more than a dozen years ago, they have led not only to safer streets but also to surprising improvements in the city's schools. Chicago's police department and school system have become democratic urban institutions unlike any others in America. Empowered Participation is the compelling chronicle of this unprecedented transformation.

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Ensuring School Safety Guide

Public Agenda.

Everyone wants schools that are safe, where students, teachers and support staff can concentrate on learning and not have to worry about crime and violence. In this community dialogue, you'll be asked to discuss your ideas on the best way to ensure that schools are safe places for children to learn and grow. Different approaches to school safety will have different benefits and different costs and challenges. To help you and your neighbors decide what is most important to you, Public Agenda presents in this Citizens ChoiceWork Guide three hypothetical school communities, each of which has approached the issue of school safety in a different way.

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Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide. Our goals are to: strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement. Created with gifts and bequests by Edsel and Henry Ford, the Foundation is an independent organization, with its own board, and is entirely separate from the Ford Motor Company.

How to Combat Bias and Hate Crimes: An ADL Blueprint for Action

Anti-Defamation League, 1997.

The Anti-Defamation League is the nation's leader in the development of effective programs to confront violent bigotry and prejudice. The League's strength is its ability to craft national programming and policy initiatives and then to refine and implement them through our unique network of 30 Regional Offices. Staff members in the field closely track hate crime, study the trends in this criminal activity, and craft programs and initiatives to reduce prejudice, improve the response of the criminal justice system, and improve education. This Blueprint for Action is a compilation of ADL programs and initiatives that can be instituted more widely and replicated in communities across the country.

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Illegal Drugs Issue Guide

Public Agenda.

Compared with the peak years of the late 1970s, government statistics show that drug use is down in the United States. Teen drug use has held steady for the past four years after rising sharply in the early 1990s. Teen use of some drugs, such as LSD, methamphetamine and cocaine is down somewhat, but use of other drugs like ecstasy has increased, according to the University of Michigan's annual "Monitoring the Future" survey. Public Agenda Issue Guides or “Citizen Choicework Guides” contain background information on the topic and present three different approaches to the issue for people to deliberate.

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Imagine Coexistence: Restoring Humanity After Violent Ethnic Conflict

Antonia Chayes and Martha L. Minow, Editors. Jossey-Bass, 2003.

In the last decade, the world has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of ethnic conflicts worldwide. But what do nations that have been in bloody conflicts do when the shooting stops? How can people who have been engaged in terrorist genocidal wars ever return to a situation of peaceful coexistence? Imagine Coexistence is a groundbreaking program that grew from the joint initiative and conference sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Imagine Coexistence seeks to enhance prospects for coexistence and break the destructive cycles of intergroup violence.

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Indigenous Community Participation in the Sentencing of Criminal Offenders: Circle Sentencing

Luke McNamarra. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 5 (5), 4, 2000.

Since the release of a discussion paper regarding circle sentencing by the NSW Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee (AJAC), serious consideration is to be given to this practice, successfully started in Canada in 1992. "The objective of circle sentencing is to allow direct community involvement in the sentencing process, with a view to arriving at an appropriate sentence which reflects, where achieved, the consensus view of the circle."

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Institute for Community Peace

The Institute for Community Peace is an organization leading a national movement for community peace. ICP promotes a safe, healthy and peaceful nation by mobilizing community resources and leadership to support strategies that emphasize civic empowerment. ICP partners with communities and facilitates their movement toward community peace and away from inaction over social problems.

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International Institute for Restorative Practices

IIRP is the world's first graduate school wholly dedicated to restorative practices. Two IIRP programs, RealJustice and SaferSanerSchools, offer trainings in restorative justice. RealJustice offers trainings for bringing the restorative justice model to the police and legal systems in our communities, including how to facilitate restorative conferences. And SaferSanerSchools offers trainings on bringing the restorative justice model into schools, including how to facilitate restorative circles with young people.

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