Friday, December 17, 2010

December reflections 2010 Chuck's work, Auburn's work and Court Case

We plan to help Chuck launch a small business this coming year where he offers his services as an inspirational speaker for business, non-profit and religious organizations to help their fundraising and other development endeavors. He still deals with significant speech impairment and difficulty accessing the words he needs to speak on the spot, but is able to dictate ideas well in a relaxed setting and deliver prepared messages that reflect his heart.

He already has several preaching engagements lined up at Goodyear Heights Presbyterian (our great friends and support from the start thanks to Pastor Christy Ramsey) and has been talking with daughter Shelley and son-in-law CJ about contributing to some of their work as missionaries to teens.

Mandela is home from Princeton and off to see friends in Findlay. This year, I've had a lot more "Christmas" in my heart and experienced a deep, quiet joy decorating the hand-cut tree, hanging a wreath with lights, putting candles in the windows. Our little rental house is cozy and just right for us. We love and trust our neighbors.

I am teaching a writing class at University of Akron and will be starting a grassroots urban teen drama troupe in January with the goal of developing a cast that can take the One-Act play Cinderella to elementary schools where kids are likely to be under-served in the arts. The teens get to be rock stars and the little kids get to experience the magic of live theater. I submitted a creative essay to a literary magazine this week and plan to compete for an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist award for writing this year. (I was awarded $5,000 for a short story from this organization in 2002.)

We continue to get to know Michael Ayers through his family. He has a beautiful new child named Langston, brother to Lyric. Langston has a blood type that will help Lyric in the future with her sickle cell anemia. Our church gathered up a peace offering to send to each of Michael's kids for Christmas. We are fairly distant at this time from the court process itself but have spoken with defense and prosecution lawyers and have had communication with Judge Rolands. We are interested in restorative rather than punitive justice. Here's a partial Wikipedia definition:

Restorative Justice
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Restorative justice focuses on the needs of victims and offenders, instead of the need to satisfy the abstract principles of law or the need of the community to exact punishment. Victims are given an active role in a dispute and offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, "to repair the harm they've done. It is based on a theory of justice that focuses on crime and wrongdoing as acted against the individual or community rather than the state. Restorative Justice that involves a fostering of dialog between the offender and the victim show the highest rates of victim satisfaction, true accountability by the offender, and reduced recidivism.

Restorative justice seeks "expanding the issues beyond those that are legally relevant, especially into underlying relationships."

Restorative justice attempts to strike a balance between a number of different tensions:
- a balance between the therapeutic and the retributive models of justice
- a balance between the rights of offenders and the needs of victims
- a balance between the need to rehabilitate offenders and the duty to protect the public.

Three common questions for a system of justice to ask are "1. What laws have been broken?, 2. Who did it?, 3. What do they deserve?" Restorative justice asks, "1. Who has been hurt?, 2. What are their needs?, 3. Whose obligations are these?"


Chuck has requested a visit with Michael Ayers. The judge sent us a message back that she too is interested in Restorative Justice but that she would not right now lift the order that prohibits Michael from having any contact with us. We're good with letting the thing unfold as it will and are at peace with our relationship to the process.

Chuck will be celebrating his 60th birthday on Jan 1. We're inviting friends to drop in to greet him and the family that afternoon at Shelley's house in Findlay from 1:30 to 3pm.

May the peace and light of the season enter into your hearts and homes. --Auburn

No comments:

Post a Comment