Restorative justice seeks to heal the harm caused by crime. Instead of focusing on retribution, it focuses on rehabilitation. At its core, it is a process that offers both victims and those who caused harm an opportunity to seek answers and accountability to begin to repair the damage caused by crime.While Jones is compelling in his role as host of the show, the spotlight more regularly shines upon the parties who have been impacted by crime. The first episode "My Mother's Murder" featured a remarkable dialogue between a young woman and the man who killed her mother when she was only an infant. This Sunday, the episode "A Life Forever Altered" involves an entire family:
For the past 10 years, Karen and David Stokes have been struggling to care for their daughter, Ashlee, who suffered severe cognitive and physical impairment when a drunk driver hit her when she was 15 years old. Van Jones travels to Metairie, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans, to meet with Ashlee’s parents as well as her younger sister Meghan. All four members of the Stokes family – including Ashlee -- want to sit down and talk with the woman who was behind the wheel driving with an alcohol level three times the legal limit. Callan Gill spent 10 years incarcerated and had time to come to terms with her actions. She is now ready to sit down face-to-face with the family and the young woman whose life she devastated.The Redemption Project and Mr. Jones succeed at not overdoing their messaging to favor one side or the other. The families who have agreed to participate are authentic and real in sharing that forgiveness is a process. This is hard stuff and the show doesn't pull any punches, but it also doesn't provide a "one size fits all approach" to reconciliation. I was especially moved by the transparency of Karen Stokes, a devastated mom who continues to struggle on a daily basis to forgive Ashlee's offender. As I've learned in my own life, sometimes reconciliation and forgiveness are a daily decision. For this reason, "The Redemption Project" feels like an especially apt title for a remarkable journey. As we walk alongside Van Jones and the courageous individuals who seek redemption, we will without a doubt learn a few lessons that will cause us to look more honestly at our own relationships and past hurts. Tune in to CNN Sunday at 9 pm ET or learn more at Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Copyright 2019 Lisa M. Hendey Image courtesy of CNN, used with permission
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.