Advocates for the abolition of the death penalty and the greater use of restorative justice processes.
The top photo shows several team members during their 2022 Annual Meeting in Dayton, Ohio. The bottom photo shows a Team member (on the right) holding a sign outside of the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2020 Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty; this event is held annually from June 29 to July 2.
The DP/RJ issue team published a discussion guide in January 2020 with the help of NACMS. The guide is designed to be used during a faith community meeting and is a great introduction to death penalty abolition and restorative justice practices! Find the guide for use here!
In our home states (Ohio, Texas, and Maryland) and also Florida, we have worked and are working to abolish the death penalty. That dream became a reality for Maryland in 2013, when the death penalty was officially abolished in the state. We are still actively working in Ohio and Texas by supporting local groups (Ohioans to Stop Executions & Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) with financial donations and support for their legislative action. We also continue to support and attend the annual Fast and Vigil in front of the Supreme Court (and online). After the pandemic, we will resume attending and supporting other events that bring people together to highlight this issue on a national level, such as the Journey of Hope ... from Violence to Healing.
We have been working closely with Catholic Mobilizing Network, CMN, to be trained in restorative practices. Our issue team piloted their small group program titled Restorative Justice, Restorative Living and we are hoping to continue to engage Marianist communities and institutions with these restorative justice modules. If your community is interested in learning more about restorative justice, please reach out to us here so we can discuss using this program further!
Many members of this issue team have participated in a restorative justice training that introduced the circle process and a few have been formally trained as circle process facilitators. The circle process is a structured discussion process combining ancient wisdom and practices with our current complex multicultural societies. This process is meant to be used in difficult discussions and helps build understanding, strengths, safety, and authenticity within groups, even between those individuals who have been extremely hurt by the other. We support the use of restorative justice and circle processes in the criminal justice system, and also hope to see it used throughout communities for a variety of purposes. Our issue team continues to be trained in the circle process and hope to have more to offer directly to Marianists soon. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us. Catholic Mobilizing Network does have circle facilitator trainings throughout the year!