Reconciliation and Deterrence: A Mental Health Perspective

By Tuller, Liana | Kennedy School Review, Annual 2005 | Go to article overview

Reconciliation and Deterrence: A Mental Health Perspective


Tuller, Liana, Kennedy School Review


Abstract

The types of disruptions and trauma experienced by residents of high-crime neighborhoods can be similar to the trauma experienced by children and adults in times of war. Methods used to resolve trauma experienced during war or during times of political violence, specifically methods that involve public actions to reconcile conflicting elements of society to live alongside one another, may also prove effective in reconciling communities plagued by criminal violence. Through the reconciliation of offenders with victims, the establishment of provisions for ex-offender reintegration into society, and the public establishment of new social norms, international approaches to post-political conflict reconciliation and social healing hold promise for reducing crime in high-crime neighborhoods in the United States, specifically through offender-victim reconciliation, community-law enforcement reconciliation, and ex-prisoner reintegration programs.

Introduction

The killer of Isaura Mendes's son, Bobby, stabbed ten years ago while trying to break up a fight, is still at large. Isaura, whose two sisters have also each lost sons to street violence, goes to church, shops, and walks the streets in her Uphams Corner neighborhood of Boston, aware that her neighbors may know the whereabouts of her son's murderer, but are too afraid to speak to authorities. Some of her neighbors are part of the same gang as the person who killed her son, reported the Boston Herald.

In another Boston neighborhood, freshman Tanisha Brown (1) exited her high school to witness a speeding car spraying bullets into the crowd of kids. Now Tanisha has anxiety attacks when she is in crowded areas, like the school lunchroom, and frequently stays home because of panic attacks. She missed so much school last year that she is repeating ninth grade.

Like many big cities, Boston, Massachusetts, is home to a number of crime-ridden neighborhoods, like Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury, whose residents suffer from mass trauma--the type of trauma that begets more violence because people become, by necessity, distrustful of their neighbors, reluctant to let their children out on the street, and unconvinced of the sincerity of law enforcement officials. When the violence never stops, how can communities recover from mass trauma? How can people establish shared social values that condemn violence when they distrust their neighbors because of ongoing violence and when perpetrators live, frequently unpunished, alongside victims and bystanders?

While there are no easy answers, we can look to countries that have emerged peacefully from long periods of intense political violence for practical models that offer hope for our own neighborhoods. Peruvians who lived through their nation's civil war and South Africans who confronted apartheid's political violence suffered similar trauma to that experienced by residents of violent urban U.S. neighborhoods. Yet reconciliation efforts in Peru and South Africa have accomplished some degree of both psychological recovery and relative peace. Public ceremonies can help societies achieve recovery and peace in several ways: by relieving cognitive dissonance associated with living alongside perpetrators who have not faced consequences for their actions, by reintegrating reformed perpetrators into society, and by harnessing the performance aspects of the process through which social bonds are, in a sense, created in the community via a demonstration of public morality.

Although the crime prevention benefits of such public ceremonies may appear to be abstract and immeasurable, examples of community reconciliation in international and domestic contexts demonstrate the power of this approach in ending long periods of violence. Public safety officials, parole boards, police, politicians, and community activists in Boston can learn from these attempts to achieve reconciliation after political violence. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Reconciliation and Deterrence: A Mental Health Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.