Listen to an interview by L. Jaye Bell on Destination Maine Radio Show, broadcast on June 8, 2012 with Midcoast Community Chorus Director Mimi Bornstein, and Wendy Watson of the Restorative Justice Project.
Buddy’s Story: An Unforgettable Mentoring Experience
By Lincoln County Mentor, Bobsy Dudley Thompson
My most meaningful Restorative Justice mentoring experience involved a pale, thin quiet 18 -year-old prisoner in Two Bridges Jail, Wiscasset, Maine. He was nearing his court hearing and probation date, one of many in his life. I’ll call him “Buddy,” (In my home I call him my beloved jail-bird.) my buddy, as in a swimming buddy. You know, someone you keep track of, you stand by him. You make sure his head is above water, at least most of the time. We met twice in the cold, gray, airless, metallic arraignment room. I listened to his stories—he told them haltingly, inarticulately, incomplete mumblings. Sometimes just a quiet moan or groan. Usually his head was down, his eyes on his feet.
When volunteers sign on to be mentors for RJP, they commit to a challenging but rewarding journey that provides opportunity for growth for themselves as well as those they mentor.
“Mentoring is courageous work, requiring us to bring our full selves to the table on behalf of those we support,” says Lynne Hutchinson, Volunteer Coordinator for two of the six counties RJP serves.
“We are working with individuals dealing with a multitude of challenges ranging from...
Waldo County Juvenile Community Corrections Officer (JCCO) Roy Curtis summarizes his experience with Restorative Justice by saying, “Over the last 5 years I have referred about 30 cases of first time juvenile offenders to the Restorative Justice team. The cases included criminal mischief, vandalism, shoplifting, assault, death threats, burglary and theft.
All contracts have been completed and recidivism has been about one third the rate of offenders handled with the traditional process.”
A Two Part Series interviewing T. Richard Snyder, chair of the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast. In this series, Snyder talks about some of the basics of restorative justice, the formation of the project, the scope of its work, and larger issues relating to crime and punishment in the state and nation.