Saturday, May 21, 2022 |
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• Restore or punish? • Downward spiral • Don’t add fuel to the fire • Mahalo for beach cleanup
Restore or punish?
With great sadness I read about the year-long prison sentence for the negligent driver who took the life of one of our community members.
In contrast to his punishment, I remember a story by the sister of another auto accident victim. Because the driver was remorseful, the arresting officer offered an opportunity to go through restorative justice instead of court and jail — if the victim’s grieving family said OK.
The victim’s sister said at first she wanted vindication. Her brother was dead and the driver should be punished. When she realized she would be able to voice her pain to the one who caused it, she said yes.
In the Colorado town where this took place, the victim(s) and offender sit together in a conference with members of the community. Beginning with the offender, they each speak about the incident. With the help of trained facilitators, they identify the harms. Participants create and sign a contract for the offender to repair those harms over a specified period of time.
Ninety percent of offenders using the Longmont Community Justice Partnership program complete their contracts. Victims are heard. Offenders learn the impact of their actions and work towards making it right. The re-arrest rate for people who complete their contracts is 10 percent compared to the nearly 70 percent recidivism rate of those imprisoned.
I was pleased to learn that Kaua‘i has restorative justice programs for children (“Restorative Justice: a community task,” Feb. 19). I only wish that it extended to adults and that the driver who killed that innocent woman in 2006, and who said not a day goes by that he does not recall the incident, had the opportunity to say that to the grieving family in a restorative justice environment.
The Colorado victim’s sister says that through the restorative justice process she learned the driver who killed her brother had already suffered tremendously. Because of the offender’s eagerness to help the family in so many ways, they became like family.
Hard to imagine, and yet so is the thought of spending $30,000 per year to imprison someone who is not a danger to our community. I for one, prefer reparation to punishment.
Thank you, Kaua‘i, for offering our county’s youth the opportunity for restorative justice.
Marian Head, Kapa‘a
Another embarrassing moment for Kaua‘i residents with this whole mayor versus police chief matter. The local TV newscasters are making Letterman- and Leno-type of jokes of the situation.
Our mayor, who represents the residents of Kaua‘i, should be here on the island resolving the issue face-to-face, not issuing arrogant statements via telephone to the news media. I believe Kaua‘i’s residents would find this problem to be much more important than having our mayor attending an Oscar function.
And to have Mr. mayor issuing orders to his appointed assistant acting chief against the police chief is only going to cause more problems when this whole issue is resolved. The police chief will return to work and disharmony amongst those that were ordered by the mayor to take such actions will occur. I’m sure this will bring back the Police Chief Lum fiasco-type atmosphere that Police Chief Darryl Perry was able to have KPD rise above. I just don’t get it!
Kaua‘i has it’s own version of “Where’s Waldo?” via our own “Where’s Our mayor?” Priorities, Mr. mayor, priorities. Next time have your assistant book your travel reservations with travel insurance in case something more important comes up; that way the taxpayers won’t lose too much money on the cancellation fees.
Top it off with possible lawsuits by the KPD female officer who filed the original complaint, Chief Perry and his family, and the family of the man who was shot and killed by a KPD officer last week.
Kaua‘i is on a downward spiral to failure!
Francine Grace, Lihu‘e
Don’t add fuel to the fire
The ongoing controversy between the mayor and the chief of police leaves much to be desired.
Surely, there are more effective ways in which the complexities of the conflicts may be resolved. To draw the line in the sand in support of who is right or who’s to blame will not resolve anything.
Granted, there will probably be need for ho’o pono pono in dealing with the issues that have surfaced with the appropriate reprimands and adjustments to be made.
But for now, let’s leave speculations on the back burner. Let’s refrain from offering snide remarks about either side.
However things turn out, it is best for us not to add fuel to the fires of controversy. Nothing is gained that way.
Jose Bulatao, Jr., Kekaha
Mahalo for beach cleanup
On Feb. 2 and 3 more than 10 cubic yards of plastic, nets and marine debris were removed from the windward side of Nawiliwili Harbor
Kaua‘i now has a clean beach suitable for students to study and collect tsunami marine debris from Japan.
Many thanks to Island School Class of 2013, Larry Richardson and Sea Scouts, Captain Evans Hoyt and crew from the Pride of America, crew from Surfriders, Kaiola Canoe Club, Kaua‘i Fire Department, Ocean Safety, Nawiliwili Yacht Club, County of Kaua‘i, Garden Isle Disposal, Walt Designs and Kaua‘i Marine and Mower.
Steve Soltysik, Lihu‘e
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