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Eric O. Ledermann

about.me/ericledermann twitter.com/ericledermann facebook.com/ericledermann Eric Ledermann

Thanks for stopping in. Pour yourself a cup o' jo, take a load off your feet, and check out what's here. You are looking at my ramblings about issues of faith, life and culture—they are my own and are not necessarily shared by those with whom I work, live or otherwise engage.

My journey has led my family and me across the country where I have been introduced to a lot of people and a lot of different ways of doing things. One passion, though, runs through all these experiences: building beloved and sustainable community. "Sustainable" community is kind of a strange notion, as communities (people) change constantly, and things are always in motion. So, the latest chapter of my life has led me to the notion of "impermanence"—not an idea that comes naturally in a culture that likes to build monuments to our greatness for future generations to view and admire. But, I'm trying to practice my awareness of impermanence—the idea that nothing is permanent, nothing is forever, and things are always in flux.

Feel free to share your comments and engage in any conversation that may be happening here, but just know that I do reserve the right to delete any spam or anything I deem inappropriate or offensive. I look forward to dialoguing with anyone who cares to dialogue!

Peace and blessings,
                   Eric Ledermann

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“Restorative” Justice?

This past weekend we had a few guests at Church: Leroy and Joan Willems with the Mennonite Central Committee, and Will Gonzalez, Chief Deputy Prosecutor with the City of Phoenix. They came to share with us something that has been sweeping through communities and transforming how they go about “being” community: Restorative Justice.

The thrust of their version of this flavor of justice is trying to “fix” broken situations in a way that helps the offender to hear from their victim and take responsibility for their actions, and helps the victim seek the kind of justice that will actually help heal their psychological and emotional injuries. I have heard of “restorative justice,” as opposed to punitive or retributive justice, for many years and have only a cursory understanding of it at best. This year my congregation is trying to steep themselves in this more biblical perspective of justice, according to those who are promoting and practicing it–like the Mennonite Central Committee and it’s many ministries.

One of our guests suggested that this type of justice is much harder. It is much easier to punish or banish (which is how our criminal justice system mostly works, using punishment as a deterrent–how’s that working out for us so far?). Of course, there will be situations when the offender is unable to listen or take responsibility. But, according to Mr. Gonzalez, restorative justice has already begun to transform entire schools who have sought to implement it, and is beginning to find its way into our criminal justice system. The rates of repeat offenders has dropped dramatically among those who participate.

Isn’t that God’s vision: to “restore” creation, including us?

1 comment to “Restorative” Justice?

  • Vernon J Meyer Jr

    Sr Helen Prejean and of course Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu are examples. There was a great story on the prisons in German compared to ours. They have a very low rate of recidivism because they seek to restore the person than punish the person. Very gospel too when many want an “eye for an eye” and Jesus says “love your enemy.”

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