b'For more than 40 years, BrotherPHOTO: STEPHEN CHERRYFrank ODonnell, SM, has col-laborated with The CommunitySchool, an academic and men-toring high school in Baltimore,which uses restorative justicepractices.What is restorative justice? In our justice system, we separate the communityThe year 2009 was momentous for those advocating and victim from the offender, and it becomes an for restorative justice. That year, Catholic Mobilizing adversarial process with the state and the courts Network (CMN) was founded in response to the U.S. taking the lead, says Marianist Brother FrankConference of Catholic Bishops campaign to end the ODonnell, an attorney who has worked in Baltimoredeath penalty. CMN, collaborating with the Congre- for many years, including collaborating with the gation of St. Joseph, galvanizes Baltimore City Public Schools and the Maryland support for the repeal of the Department of Juvenile Services. Generally, no oneThose of us who work in the death penalty and promotes is satisfied. Everyone leaves the courtroom feelingcriminal justice environment restorative justice practices as an angry. With restorative justice, everyones voice mattersknow that it is a broken system. alternative to retributive justice. the victims, the offenders and the community thatThats where restorative justice Retributive justice is the old has been impacted. This means listening to everyonescomes ina powerful tool that eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth story and agreeing on some form of accountability.transforms our understanding approach, in which justice is de- Its not about being soft on crime.of crime and shifts our focus termined using punishmentRestorative justice changes the way we think aboutusually incarcerationas pay- crime and conflict and puts the focus on restoring from broken laws to damaged back for a crime. We see this de- relationships among people who have been harmed.human relationships and the picted in television programs The core belief, the heart of restorative justice, is thatharm done to human dignity. such as Law & Order, in which each person has dignity, no matter what he or she hasprosecuting and defense attor- ever done or suffered, says Krisanne Vaillancourt Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man neys use the court system to duke Murphy, executive director of Catholic MobilizingWalking and The Death of Innocentsit out, leaving the victim and of- Network. Everyone should have an opportunity forfender largely on the sidelines. redemption and healing.12 Call 1.800.348.4732'