How to Do #MeToo Without Prison
When the METOO movement caught fire in two thousand seventeen. The loudest demands centered on calling out offenders and seeing them prosecuted. But metoo founder Toronto Burke has been clear that mass incarceration is not the solution. Today's guest. Dr. Eliza Ackerman agrees. Prison doesn't work. The fact of the matter is only three percent of people who commit rape will adversity a day behind bars. And, the process of going through the criminal justice system is incredibly incredibly harmful for survivors. They are disbelieved, they are victimized again. Their entire sexual history is put on display in the courts. So knowing all of that we are looking for something that actually decreases harm. decreases, violence increases, empathy decreases recidivism, and that's what we find with restorative justice. Dr Ackermann is a criminal justice professor at California State University at Fullerton where she specializes in research on sexual violence and sex crimes policy. She's also a pioneer in her field of resolving sexual violence through a process called restorative justice. So ordinarily, our legal system response to criminal behavior with three questions. Questions what law was broken, who broke it, and what punishment is warranted. But restorative justice asks who was harmed, what are the needs and responsibilities of everyone affected and how can everyone involved collectively repair the harm that was done. Basically, it's all about healing survivors, communities, and offenders today. Eliza is guiding us through the restorative justice approach to sexual violence. Would it feels like for survivors and why it's a promising path toward preventing sex crimes in the first place all to find out? How can we do me to without prisons? Harvey Weinstein in an orange, jumpsuit has come to symbolize me to era justice, but the movement's original vision resonates far more with transformative and restorative justice approaches. Right. So toward the end of last week's part one. On feminism and mass incarceration prison abolitionist. My Shinwari told us about the transformative justice model that model aims to resolve harm without creating additional harm and without involving the legal system at all restorative justice shares that goal, but it can be put into practice both. And outside the system, what it entails is creating safe spaces. For. Survivors and for people who have caused harm to talk about the impacts that sexual harm has had, and it gives the survivor, a safe space to talk about really the very intimate aspects of sexual violence and the aftermath of that. It allows the survivor to ask questions of people who have caused harm. It also allows those people who have caused harm to ask questions at gives them insight about the behavior Dave engaged in that they would never get. From being processed through the criminal justice system, the term restorative justice was coined in nineteen, seventy, seven by prison psychologist, Albert igla-s, but its core principles come directly from indigenous forms of conflict resolution like sentencing circles and peacemaking courts most. Restorative justice programs focused on youth offenders and family welfare cases. But in recent years, experts like Eliza have started applying it to adult cases involving sexual violence for a number of practical reasons. Yeah. Many survivors don't trust police to properly handle their claims and many know their perpetrators and don't necessarily want to face them in a criminal trial plus evidence suggests that the restorative justice approach is both more empowering for survivors that going through a criminal trial and that it's a more effective method for perpetrators to actually learn their lesson and not re-offend. COMES BECAUSE? People. See as soft. Right they see you've done something wrong. You need to do the time for it. But Harsh Punishment Austin to anything to reduce harm to anybody, and if you ask the men that I have worked with what they would rather do face may or face another survivor, sit in a prison south, they will tell you prison cell every time. So I think once people understand that restorative justice is not soft. And, that it's actually much much more difficult to do. Maybe they'll get on board.