John Braithwaite

To Hurt or To Heal

Last week, in honour of Norwegian criminologist Nils Christie who died May 27th in Oslo, I posted “Prison and Its Alternatives” a ten-hour series that was broadcast on Ideas in 1996.  The series responded to a request from Professor Christie that I help him to publicize the grave political emergency that he feared would be an inevitable consequence of rising rates of imprisonment in almost every industrialized country.   (I’ve posted some reminiscences, and a brief appreciation of Christie’s work in the blog section of the site.)  My ten programmes began with an investigation of the reasons why prison rates took such a dramatic U-turn in the 1980’s, after trending down for the thirty years that followed World Two.  Later shows in the series went on to canvas a variety of alternatives to imprisonment that were then being practiced and put forward under the banner of Restorative Justice.  Some time after the broadcast, I got a call from David Cole, an Ontario Court Judge.  He commended my work but invited me to “come and watch the parade” in his Scarborough court-room with a view to giving me a closer acquaintance with the day to day operations and dilemmas of the criminal justice system.  He followed up this lesson with an invitation to a conference of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association in Saskatoon, where the pros and cons of restorative justice would be considered.   So began “To Hurt or To Heal” a five hour sequel to “Prison and Its Alternatives,” that was more “balanced”, more focused on Canada and more concerned with practical issues in criminal justice than its predecessor.   I’ve listed the participants below, giving their qualifications as they were at the time of the broadcast in 2,000…

Part One – Edward Bayda, Chief Justice, Saskatchewan; John Braithwaite, author of Crime, Shame and Reintegration;  Cleve Cooper, Director of the RCMP’s Contract, Community and Aboriginal Policing Services; Bria Huculak, Saskatchewan judge; Danny Graham, Halifax lawyer, Nova Scotia restorative justice initiative

Part Two – Priscilla de Villiers, victims’ rights advocate; Lorraine Berzins, Church Council on Justice and Corrections; Jamie Scott, Collaborative Justice Project

Part Three – Kent Roach, law professor, University of Toronto; Julian Roberts, professor of criminology, University of Ottawa; David Paciocco, University of Ottawa, author of Getting Away With Murder; David Cole, Ontario judge

Part Four – Murray Sinclair, Manitoba judge; Sa’ke’j Henderson, Native Law Centre, University of Saskatchewan; Carol Laprairie, researcher on aboriginal justice issues; Jonathan Rudin, Director, Community Council, Aboriginal Legal Services, Toronto

Part Five – Tony Doob, professor of criminology, University of Toronto; Mary Campbell, Director, Criminal Justice Policy, Ministry of the Solicitor General; Ole Ingstrup, Commissioner, Correctional Service of Canada; Jim Gouk, Reform/Alliance M.P. for Kootenay-Boundary-Okanagan; Allen Manson, professor of law, Queen’s University; Paul Gendreau, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of New Brunswick, St. John