Link to What's New This Week The Convicted/Unconvicted Felon as Other

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Shared Reading, Corrections

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: July 15 2004
Latest Update: July 15, 2004

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Index of Topics on Site The Convicted/Unconvicted Felon as Other

  1. Introduction Why I chose to share this reading.
  2. Focus: Main point of this reading.
  3. Reading Full identification of source for reading AND excerpt.
  4. Concepts: Concepts and Key Words.
  5. Discussion Discussion questions.
  6. Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses What this has to do with our class.

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  • A human interest story appeared two or three days ago in the Los Angeles Times about one of the officers accused in the Rodney King case. This fit right into my thoughts about the up side of caring about andd honoring the cops, whom we need, most of whom are good, some of whom are real heroes, and to whom we owe much of the relative peace we do have in our cities and towns. Some times those same cops make bad decisions. We all do that at one time or another. Reading this article made me give the title Restorative Practice to our Hypertext Poem 4: Corrections and control with Caring


  • I would like you to come away from this shared reading with an understanding that we stereotype groups with "good" or "bad," when in fact the real situations we encounter everyday are far more complex than any duality. I would also like you to recognize that labelling a situation as good or bad at one point in time is not adequate to a description of that situation at a later point in time. Temporal, spatial, and contextual changes make the situation require reconstruction and re-evaluation.

Concepts and Key Words:

  • restorative practice -
  • the measure of repayment -
  • Rotter: inner, outer locus of control - we differ on this just like IQ - and consider it with rape or any other victimization
  • duality -
  • radix - the root - out of Foster, xvi. the past must be deconstructed, reconstructed and the future reconstructed. There is no single perspective that can grasp that whole. A postmodernist interpretation.


  • The Nation; COLUMN ONE; Haunting Past, Bitter Present Timothy Wind, jobless and lonely in Indiana, can't move beyond his role in the Rodney King beating. The ex-officer remains unrepentant. Jean-Paul Renaud; Los Angeles Times; Jul 12, 2004; pg. A.1

Discussion Questions:

  1. At what point does the perpetrator become the victim of his/her own perpetration?

    Restorative practice, forgiveness. The sex offender who served his time. The murderer, paroled, and hired by a bank. The understanding of whether what Wind knew was really considered, or whether we assumed Rodney King was a totally innocent citizen. Remember, everthing is interrelated, but not everything is admitted into evidence. In some cases, the complexity of the situation is not even admitted into the mix of data long after the event and ists aftermath are over.

    "He probably feels he's paid [penance] a hundred times over, but there's probably more to pay. He can either whine about it or collect himself." The Prosecuting Attorney in one of the trials. Consider carefully the connotations of the word "whine." Is that an "objective" assessment?

  2. When and how does forgiveness come into play?

    Consider the definition of forgiveness you are operating with. Consider Jones' "cheap forgiveness."

  3. Is it multiple punishment, cruel and unusual, if the perpetrator is treated as an outcast once the event and its aftermath are over? How is this issue related to forgiveness? Whose forgiveness?

    Give some examples from Wind's experience. Details, please.

  4. How could restorative practice apply here? Who should, would have responsibility for applying it? Is anyone responsible?

    Consider whether there's any agency, any NGO (non-governmental-organization), any faith-based group that Wind could turn to. consider whether the law and/or the corrections system take forgiveness into account in any way.

  5. How might the official criminal justice system take forgiveness into accunt?

    Consider self esteem issues and impulse control and anger management issues. To what extent do we consider these in correctional institutions? How much do we know about how to improve and or control frustration and anger in interrelations, especially in interrelations where there is a clear power differential?

Conceptual Linking to Substantive Courses:

  • Agencies:
    Sample linking: Ways in which underlying assumptions of assimilation affect services offered and clients' ability to access and use those services. How does this reading illustrate the need for social agencies, for more generalized agencies, for what Bolman and Deal would call "leadership" AND "management"? How does this reading suggest ways in which we could be more effective in rendering help, and what is the reading's relationship to a "safety net" for those who need help?

  • Criminal Justice:
    Sample linking: Ways in which some groups are underrepresented in the unstated assumptions of our theories. How does this reading serve to illustrate adversarialism, mutuality, retribution, revenge, illocutionary understanding, the definition and operation of the criminal justice system?

  • Law:
    Sample linking: Extent to which laws are made on the assumption that we are all essentially assimilated to the dominant culture. How does this reading help us see the need for contextual readings in law? How does it relate to our natural instincts to seek some kind of natural law? What facts and principles does the reading offer for discourse that could clarify for Others validity claims presented by an Obscure Other?

  • Moot Court:
    Sample linking: Ways in which to make validty claims of harm understood by those who have never experienced many of the world's different perspectives. How can this reading enlighten our praxis in terms of different kinds of discourse, like instrumental, illocutionary, governance?

  • Women in Poverty:
    Sample linking: The culture of poverty and assimilation. How does the reading deal with our underlying assumptions about poverty, especially poverty of the exploited, the NOT- male? What does the reading suggest of the interrelationship between our society and its children, generally cared for by women, often poor?

  • Race, Gender, Class:
    Sample linking: The extent to which silence has been imposed by these affiliations so that domination and discrimination have entered our unstated assumptions in interpersonal relations and the structural context arising from them. What does the reading tell us about exploitation and alternative ways to deal with one another? What does it tell us about institutionalized -isms and our denial of complicity? What does it tell us about our common humanity?

  • Religion:
    Sample linking: The spiritual component. Humans are spiritual creatures, creatures that recognize moments that go beyond ourselves to God, Allah, Isis, Gaia, the Universe, or a deep sense of responsibility to create our own meanng. How does the reading fit into our ability, our need to create such meaning in life?

  • Love !A:
    Sample linking: What's the aesthetic link in this reading? How does it bring us closer to one another as humans? What does it tell us about our need for love, unconditional love, not rewards for doing well or being well, but caring and acceptance for being who we are?

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2004.
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