Restorative Rochester, a collaboration of local organizations and citizens focused on creating a restorative community, is presenting a series of films on crime, forgiveness and the impact of violence on victims and perpetrators.
The next presentation will be the Hallmark Hall of Fame production Crossroads: A Story of Forgiveness, which will be shown at 6 p.m. Saturday at Rochester Institute of Technology in Eastman Hall, room 2000.
The telefilm, starring Dean Cain and Peri Gilpin, chronicles the struggle of Bruce Marakami to come to grips with the deaths of his wife and daughter in a drag-racing accident, his efforts to bring those responsible to justice and how ultimately he is able to forgive and move on with his life. It also presents an example of how restorative justice practices can be used to reduce the negative impacts of criminal activity.
“Restorative justice focuses on conflict resolution and meeting the needs of victims and offenders through open discussions and restitution as opposed to exacting punishment,” notes Judy Porter, professor of criminal justice at RIT and an organizer of the event. “Crossroads shows the pain and lasting anguish suffered by both victims and perpetrators and seeks to illustrate how dialogue and forgiveness can assist all involved in finding closure.”
Restorative Rochester is a collaboration of RIT’s Department of Criminal Justice, the University of Rochester’s M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, SUNY Brockport, the Center for Dispute Settlement and Partners in Restorative Initiatives. For more information, go to www.gandhiinstitute.org/restorative.html.