Alumni / Social Issues

TEDxVancouver Talk on Restorative Justice from Alumna Natalie DeFreitas Gaining Buzz

How effective is our system of justice if 70 percent of people are reoffending after jail?  It’s one of the questions that Adler School alum Natalie DeFreitas, M.A., RCC, raised–and addressed–this fall at TEDxVancouver,  the Vancouver-organized program bringing together TEDTalks video and live speakers to spark deep discussion and connection in a TED-like experience.

From describing Canada’s current correctional system expenditures, to alternative approaches to justice at work in Texas, to stories of her own work with a former offender–DeFreitas examined “Rethinking the Impact of Traditional Justice.”

Her talk focuses on restorative justice: a practice that brings together those affected by a crime—the victims, offenders, and communities or government—to actively and consensually identify and implement steps to repair damages. In limited use in the United States, the practice is more widespread in other countries including Canada.

As a TEDxVancouver speaker getting excellent response, Natalie has the chance to speak on restorative justice at an upcoming mainstage TED conference.  TED provides tremendous international exposure of progressive, inspiring ideas and solutions.  We can help Natalie’s chances speaking to an global audience about restorative justice–simply by keeping the buzz going. In sharing the just-posted TEDxVancouver link  with us, Natalie writes:

You’re welcome to share any feedback and please, please, please feel free to share it with others, or post it. The more hits I get on this link, the stronger my chances of speaking at the main TED stage in California…. [I]t’s about banding together as a community towards the things we feel passionate about, so thank you for helping me live my passion.

Here is the link to “Rethinking the Impact of Traditional Justice.” Please watch. Please share far and wide,  and please share your reaction, thoughts and questions.

A 2011 graduate of the Adler School’s Counselling Psychology Program in Vancouver, Natalie has been at work for the last year with our Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice (IPSSJ) and team of students in Vancouver and Chicago, on a major project surveying restorative justice practices in the U.S. and Canada.

Their work and research will be published in a white paper in early 2013 in collaboration with the Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Project (IBARJP). The paper will measure inputs and outcomes; outline ways that U.S. and Canadian courts, schools, and societies have implemented restorative justice practices; and provide recommendations for expanding restorative justice practices.

You can also read more about the IPSSJ and its work addressing restorative justice and other approaches to traditional criminal justice: online and in “Binding Conviction,” the most recent issue of the Adler School’s annual magazine.

  • Jotul

    I understand this position on restorative justice and I am 75% a proponent. I live in Ontario where we have drug treatment courts which are excellent tools. But honestly- the comment about “sending people back to the places/same conditions” that caused the crime–what exactly are we to do about living in an imperfect world? We all confront this imperfect world, some people adapt, others do not. Some shoot schools and some go to therapy. Everyone has a way of dealing with the issues but as an M.A. Psychology are you sincerely saying that these problems are our society’s fault? That we are to make the external conditions perfect for everyone? I’m sorry but if Texas is one extreme, the contents of your speech (while excellent and well done) represent the equally opposite extreme position. Social is just one lens what happened to the other two (bio-psycho-social)? What about a person who simply does not want to be healed, who loves their drugs, violence and actions? And yes, there are such people.