This Restorative Justice Life

91. Can Restorative Justice Work in Systems? w/ Kathy Bankhead

August 11, 2022 David Ryan Castro-Harris Season 2 Episode 27
This Restorative Justice Life
91. Can Restorative Justice Work in Systems? w/ Kathy Bankhead
Show Notes Transcript

Kathy was the Independent Juvenile Ombudsman for the Department of Juvenile Justice from August 2015 until July 2021. Retired from jobs but not work, Kathy is working with Just Peace, a community restorative justice initiative. Just Peace seeks to spark and broaden Restorative Justice knowledge and experiences throughout Chicago neighborhoods.

Support Kathy and learn about the Just Peace Initiative by reaching out at: aliemah@pbmr.org

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David (he/him): Kathy, welcome to this restorative justice life. Who are you? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Thank you, David. I am daughter of Thelma and Willie. I'm the mom of Nicholas. I'm the hope of my grandparents, Emma Penn, Jr. Velma and Sylvester. 

David (he/him): Who are you?

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm the dream of my grandparents, Mo Georgia, Penn, senior and Fanny. And the unknown and unnamed ancestors throughout the ages.

David (he/him): Who are you? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm the sister of Karen and Ken. I'm the aunt of Adam and Corey. The great niece of Carrie, the niece of Martha and a host of cousins, cross kinship cousins.

David (he/him): Who are you?

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm the daughter of 140 seventh and Winchester in Harvey, Illinois, and J Claude Allen CME church in DSOR, Illinois, and an alumna of Thornton township high school, therefore, a wild cat for life.

David (he/him): Who are you? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm a friend to friends I've known since I was five and 15 and 25. And And a close friend to Betty Marsha, Cynthia Deval, Sheila, Pam, Jean Paul Tyrone. I have a lot of friends. 

David (he/him): Who are you? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm a former prosecutor in cook county. I'm a retired ombuds person for young people, locked up in the states juvenile prison system. And I'm retired from government jobs.

David (he/him): Who are you? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm a restorative justice advocate and practitioner eternally grateful to Cheryl Graves for introducing me to this way and someone whose life and belief system has been changed and enriched as a result.

David (he/him): Mm, we're gonna get to all those intersections, all your relations, your work, your restorative justice life in our conversation.

We'll be back to you in just a minute,

 Welcome back to this restorative justice life. So excited to be having this conversation. It's one of the many conversations with folks who I ran into at the NACRJ conference while we were in Chicago and was like, yo, get on this pod, let's do this.

And here you are talking about your life, your work, since you've been quote, unquote, retired because you're still doing this work. We're gonna talk about so much and I'm very excited for all of it, but before we do any of that, it's great to check in.

So to the extent that you want to answer the question, how are you. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I'm doing great. I've been having a great summer. The RJ conference was amazing. I was really grateful opportunity to be there. Of course I was working so we didn't get to enjoy as many workshops as I would have wanted to, but I, I thought the plenaries were extraordinary.

And after that went to a sorority conference, I've been to Sox games and great America and bowling and just been having a great summer, 

David (he/him): There were three Sox games while I was in Chicago. And like, I, one of my regrets is not making time to go down to omen ski, right? Like south side for life.

I'm so glad to hear that you've been able to take the time this summer. I aspire to be you I'm getting the, that time for rest and fun in, in pockets. But you know, you've been doing. Restorative justice work for a long time and justice work. You were talking about, you know, your career as a state's attorney for even longer.

But before you even knew the word restorative justice, there was something inside of you. So where did that start? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Yeah, it started in my, probably in my home, but just as, particularly in my neighborhood as I kind of really started to understand the philosophy more, more than the practices of restorative justice, I realized that I grew up with it.

It was in my neighborhood, it was in my school elementary school. It was in my church. It is just how you treat people, wanna be treated, what you want and what you do when you care about people and you're right relationship. 

David (he/him): How did that manifest in some of those spaces? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Oh, well you know how like a lot of older people, or I'm old, but people even older than me.

And now I guess my generation will talk about when we were kids, anybody on the block could whoop us. Have you heard that? 

David (he/him): It's back when, like, there was still the neighboring hood now it's just the hood that whole, 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): But that's, it's true and not true. it is true in the sense that adults on the block could correct.

Your behavior could call you out on your behavior and then you would hope they wouldn't call your home. Like, that would be enough, but not everybody could do it. So two things were happening. The adults that you knew cared about, you could say pretty much anything to. And you would accept that and, and ultimately grow up and be grateful for it.

But your parents did not let everybody on the block say things to you or do things to you. It was only the other adults on the block that they knew cared about you. The mean lady down at the end of the block who hated all the kids. She couldn't say anything to us without us, of course, pelting her windows with rocks.

So I'm just saying we, we grew up in a, I grew up in a neighborhood of 54 kids on my block when I grew up and some of our parents had gone to high school together. And so it was a, a neighborhood where people cared, knew each other and cared about each other and each other's lives. And, and that's really at the root of restorative justice.

We're kind of all in this together. 

David (he/him): Yeah. Were there any particular adults or any particular stories of times where you needed correction that stand out? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Well, not me because pretty much, I've been a rule. 

David (he/him): Of course not you. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Yeah. I'm serious. I've been a rule follower all my life. I, and I figured out why, like why, why was I so tied to rule?

Because I hated for people to say anything to me, like, don't, don't tell me what to do. I know what to do. And so I would figure out what the rule is and just follow it, then that way you would have no reason to say anything to me. And if you did, I would be right and therefore get the last word. So that was me, but that wasn't everybody on my block.

So one of the stories, I think that really illustrates how our neighborhood operated is one of the kids on our block set a neighbor's garage on fire. We used to play kickball at the end of the block. And at the end, at that end of the block, All of the homes had garages in the back. So the street was clear, the perfect kickball arena and the ball would always go on this one neighbor's grass.

And he had that perfect lawn, the manicure, the edge, it looked like carpet. And so he took one of the, the balls that we were using belonged to one of the other kids. He took the ball and wouldn't give it back. And that young person got really angry. And so set his garage on fire the back of the garage.

But because he was always in his yard, he smelled it, he went out there, he was able to put it out in the back of his garage was scorched. No police were called. The thought of that, the idea of that, if there, there wasn't even an idea of that. He addressed the situation with the young person who did it, and with that young person's parent.

And that young person wound up having to help him paint the garage that was scorched. And then do yard work with him, felt like till he was grown

So that's how it was handled and, and, and all the things that happened on our block were pretty much handled in that way. 

David (he/him): It might be obvious to some people it might not be but why was calling the police not an option? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): It wasn't even in the realm of possibility, like the thought of the police never would never come up.

That's not what the police did I do have kind of another story that did it, all the police though. I was at the park. This kid threw a rock and, and kept hitting me with rocks and Hey, little boy, he was younger than me. I was 10. So he, maybe he was eight. "Stop throwing rocks at me, stop throwing rocks at me."

He didn't it. So I think I pushed him down. He ran home, got his older cousin who was 13. And then he came over the little boy pointed at me. He came over to me and punched me in the stomach. I was the oldest, so I didn't have anybody to go to other than my mom, my dad, my dad's work. My mom's at home. I go home.

I tell my mom, she comes over to the park. When she approached the young man, he kicks at her sh this was my mother. She chased him down, picked up a stick, sat on his back and whooped his behind. He then got up, went home and told his parents, they lived two blocks from us, told his parents. And then like 50 people from that block came onto my block, came to my house with the police officer police officer came downstairs and essentially he said to my mother and the other lady, she said, well, I could take the boy in for punching the little girl and I could take the mom in for spanking the boy, or you all can work it out.

And they said we will work it out. He left, they worked it out. We all went back over to the park and started playing again. 

David (he/him): Yeah. What's present for me is the ability for those relationships to happen. Those conversations that happen between people for a lot of reasons, it doesn't exist now. I mean, and I'm not saying that like it's beyond like.

Like it, it can happen, but it is, that's like almost beyond people's imagination too. Right. Where like you would never call the police. Like why would I actually go over and talk to somebody who I have no relationship to when the world, I don't wanna make the, that time, like an idyllic past, like, there were lots of things about what was going on there.

Like the reason that, like, there were relationships like that is because of housing segregation right. Like those were the only places that like we could live. And like we needed those relationships to like continue to take care of each other now in a world where people are able to live in different places.

And in some places where people have been gentrified out of their neighborhoods, like we don't have those relationships anymore. We have turned to those other systems like the police or, you know, sometimes people will call DCFS department of children, family services, like all these other to solve these problems for us.

Like that. Cause further separation. But, you know, having those times where people were more easily able to work things out, like speaks to the need for so much more community building, which is a lot of what you're gonna be doing with the just peace initiative. I'm just gonna tease that because like, we're nowhere near there in your story.

But I, I just wanna plant the seeds where, you know, so much of this work requires us to do that proactive relationship building in community building with people in our spaces. And so when we're talking about restorative justice, yeah, yeah, of course we're gonna repair the harm, but it's so much easier to repair that harm when you have those relationships to start with.

So like when you had those relationships, when you had that model. Of repairing harm being in community together. And maybe we're fast forwarding over a lot and you go into law for your profession. Like how did that make sense to you? Like, what was it that like, you know, I want to get justice this particular way.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): So it's a couple of things. I, I think because what I understand about the philosophy of restorative justice was organic in my neighborhood growing up. I never really thought about it. I didn't give it thought. Right? Like why did you go to school? Cause that's how, what it was that's what you did.

You went, I don't know why, because I, you were supposed to go. And so as I was growing up, so I grew up in the sixties and seventies. And so during the civil rights era, And my, and I won since I was nine. I decided when I was nine, I was gonna be a lawyer. I was gonna be a civil rights lawyer. Like that's what I was gonna do.

But then the civil rights era passed me, passed me by, right. So I, I, I gained all the benefits of the, the sacrifices and work that other people that done make it possible for me to graduate from high school and go to college and go to law school and live my life. And honestly, I accidentally fell into the state's attorney's office.

That to graduate from law school kind of was bumming around in the law, worked for small law firm and then the medium sized law firm and law firm dissolved. I substitute taught for a while. I, and then a friend called me. So I was between jobs and a friend called me and told me the cook county state's attorney's office is hiring.

Black lawyers because there had been an article that came out in the sometimes Tribune or something that said the office didn't have enough minority prosecutors. And so, oh, good. Thank you affirmative action. So I ran into the state's attorney's office was interviewed in and was hired in 1990. I started doing the work. I started in juvenile. It was confusing over there in child protection and then delinquency and moved, moved up and moved around in the office and wound up back in my neighborhood. So at the time I lived in Markham, across the street from the mark courthouse and practiced in Markham for 11 years.

As a prosecutor and loved the work. I loved it. I felt like I was doing good for my community. Oftentimes even defendants parents, grandparents, after a trial would come up to me and congratulate me and tell me how proud they were of me. And I loved trying cases. I loved everything about it. Even the anxiety of three o'clock in the morning, writing an opening statement before jury tri and I thought I was, I thought I was helping to make communities safer.

And then I, well ultimately became the bureau chief at juvenile for juvenile justice bureau. And it's there where I learned about restorative justice. When I became the bureau, chief Cheryl Graves and hoe and Peter Newman and LER, I think, and a couple of other people came and started talking to me about restorative justice.

And honestly, it didn't sound like anything that had anything to do with the state's attorney's office. It sort of like, well, what, that's nice, what that doesn't have anything to do with the work we do. We train the lawyers here to be lawyers at 26th street. And we ran into a conflict with one of the community organizations that was providing services to young people.

And they asked us to come to a meeting in the community and we were always touting our work with community. Yes, we work with the community, but when they said a meeting, of course, I thought about my office. It was a corner office, had a fairly nice view of the west side buildings and I had a round table in the corner that would sit here and talk, but no, they asked us to come out to community. And so we went out to, and we wind up going to a place called precious blood ministry of reconciliation in the back of the yard's neighborhood and sat in a circle of a very difficult situation. And I saw the power of this sitting together and talking in circle and hearing and understanding one another, even though we weren't able to solve the problem in the way that the community had wanted, it did preserve build relationships that had been roughed up fractured threatened.

And once I understood the power of it then I started utilizing it in some of the cases, the juvenile court. 

David (he/him): You just told a lot of story and there's a lot to follow up on. I'm curious when you sat in that circle at precious blood you talked about like, it didn't get resolved the way that the community wanted.

Right. And without going into detail, right? Like the circle is the circle. You talked about like the relationship still being valued and honored. I think people might have a hard time understanding, like what that could mean. What did that look like for y'all? 

So when, when the, when the conflict arose, it was tension between.

Our office and individuals in our office who had been very friendly with that community organization and close friends with people in the community organization. And then there was tension and sort of an avoidance and after the circle, our relationship felt like there had been no schism that we were back to where we were and in fact, even, even in a better place, because even though when they first came to talk to me about restorative justice, I had no, nothing.

I had nothing where no place to put that. I didn't understand what it was. I didn't know what it meant or how it could help anything. But once I had the experience of it, I saw quite clearly how it could be helpful in addressing cases in juvenile court.

Yeah. What I wanna highlight from that, just like a lot of times people think when we ask the question, you know, what happened, who was impacted and how, how do we make things, right? Like it's not that easy. Like the questions that we ask, those are pretty simple, of course, one to create that space and to hold that space that is work.

But even when you're getting into, you know, conflicting needs and different ability of people to meet the needs of the other, like people aren't necessarily gonna get their needs met or met in the way that they initially thought that they wanted to. And that, that sucks. That sucks. You know, we're talking in this instance, I don't, without the specifics of the conflict, like we're talking about a break in relationship. I imagine there was something around resources and time, and like some of those things in the dynamics of a relationship between organizations and when there are competing priorities, some of those expectations just aren't gonna be met, but what came out in that process right, was the stories of the why and the beat.

And Hey, this is not a reflection of you as a person in our personal relationship. I have love for you. I want to continue to be in good relationship. These are the circumstances, how can we move forward together in a good way, or as in, in as right relationship as possible. And while that's not like everybody gets their needs met, like that's better than severed relationship.

Right. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): That's right. That's absolutely right. And, and because of that, I mean, and then there was a, it wasn't optimal, but there was a workaround that, that agency continued to work at juvenile court and we continued to interact and that interaction continued my growth. Mm-hmm around the possibilities of RJ.

David (he/him): Yeah. So where did it go from there for you? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): So I left, they say I was demoted, but it felt like a promotion to me to leave ju now and became a prosecutor at one of the state's attorneys, what they call community justice centers. And I was on the south side and now having been trained as a circle keeper, more steeped in the notions and ideas of, and really digging into the philosophy of RJ.

I realized that I could resolve some felony cases using it. And actually here's a very interesting, I think this is probably the most interesting part of my evolution. The first case that I used restorative justice to resolve did not involve a restorative practice. It was just the philosophy of where I went to the victim and asked him what he wanted.

And he actually didn't wanna be involved in the process anymore in the criminal legal process. This. Because he was disappointed with the outcome of his case in juvenile, there was a juvenile charge and then a kid who was two weeks past being a juvenile who was charged. And I asked him if, well, if we could do something a little different than traditional criminal justice kinds of stuff, would you be interested in that?

He was like, maybe. So I explained to him what we would do sit to get that he would, that I would find out what he needed. I would talk to the defense attorney, see if we could get back for him. And he said that one of the things that he wanted was an apology in open court and, and he wanted his money back.

It was a robbery mm-hmm and so I talked to the defense attorney. We agreed that the young person who was charged would apologize to the victim and pay him back the money that was taken from him. When we went to court that day, And I picked him up from court because he was afraid to get on the train.

He was afraid to go to work because that young person's friends hung around where he worked. And so I picked him up, we came to court during the court process, I read a statement that he had written that was extraordinary. He talked in the statement about his parents being told when he was born, that he probably wouldn't live to be past 18.

He had a congenital condition and he was 24. And now, and in this statement, he said that if they told my parents I would live to be 18 and now I'm 24. I just want this young person to use the gifts and talents that he's been given to do good in the world. And it was just a beautiful statement so much so that the young person.

When it was time for him to apologize. Initially, when it was time for him to apologize, he kind of turned around and looked at the other young man and said, I'm sorry about what happened to you. And then turned back around to face the court. I read the victim impact statement. The young man had written.

And then at the, at the end of the process, sort of the young man whispered something to the deputy who was standing next to him, the defendant, because he was in custody and he and the deputy walked over to where the victim was sitting. And the two of them, the victim in the, and the defendant were talking to one another and then they hugged.

Usually in a courtroom, even when a plea is happening or something is going on at the bench, there's always a hum of activity. People are preparing for the next thing. They're shuffling papers. They're talking about, please. The courtroom was absolutely silent, absolutely silent. And the judge called up the young men who had been victimized and told him what an amazing person she thought he was, how generous and kind he was empathetic and compassionate and how much she admired him.

This is the same young man who didn't wanna participate in the system because when he had been in juvenile court, he felt that the reason why the juvenile was found not guilty was because the judge perceived something about his per thought, something about his perceived disability that made his statements less credible.

And in that courtroom that day, this particular judge lifted him up and it was a, I, it, I almost didn't get out of the courtroom without bursting into tears. It was so amazing. And that's the case that let me know, not only can we do this, we should be doing this.

David (he/him): Thank you for that story. I think about how, you know, it could be that easy. It could be that easy and the systems that we have in place make that so rare. You know, part of. Part of the impetus for me wanting to like, yeah, Kathy look like let's really lock down. This conversation is like, you just told that beautiful story.

And when we were talking at the conference you were talking to me about, you know, the way that you you know, moved out of that system work you're in retirement now you have felt good about a lot of the work that you've done in those spaces, and you've seen this work have positive impact.

And yet the statement that you made to me is like, we can't do this work in systems is not gonna solve our problems. Speak on 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): that. Yeah. So I, once I realized I could, I, we could do this in, in the, in the system, right. I started picking cases and asking friends to do circles around those cases. So the young person who caused the harm or the adult caused the harm or whomever would sit with the person who was harmed. And it would be beautiful in the circle. Never had one that wasn't had had one, some that were hard, one lasted three hours. And I actually started out sitting in that circle and left that circle.

Cuz I felt like my presence was keeping people from being absolutely honest. I left the circle, lasted over three hours. And it was actually the last case that I did before I retired. But the, what I saw as the error that I was making was what I should have done was once the circle was complete and people had been made whole or as whole as possible, I should have dismissed the cases.

Instead, I kept the system involved and it would, it would wind up that the, what needed to be done for the repair would go into some kind of system document, a probation spec, or a deferred prosecution document. And then it will fall apart because, because the system is just not designed for it.

It doesn't because here restorative justice is about relationships. Mm-hmm, building them, restoring them, strengthening them systems are not, they are the antithesis to relationship. Restorative justice seeks to bring persons who've caused harm and persons who have been harmed together to work through that harm systems wants to keep those people apart.

And so after I left the state's attorney's office, I went to the state as the Ambu person, the youth advocate for young people locked up in the state system. And what I found was that these young people are brilliant and funny and personable and loving and loyal and courageous and scared and amazing.

And so I'm meeting young people who I cannot put together, this young person that I've met and the thing that brought them into this. Like this person could not kill somebody. This person could not beat and Rob somebody. And yet they had that. Let me know the problem was not with the young person.

There had to be some issues in our system. There are problems in our communities, problems in our systems that bring them to this. And so that coupling that with what I had learned as a prosecutor, when I tried to do RJ or keep the system involved with RJ, I came to understand that they don't go together and we have used restorative justice and actually it, it, restorative justice started in systems that idea, those words in systems, right, as a way to deal with victimization.

And so it has lived in cook county in Chicago. It's lived in systems in the criminal legal system, in the school system where it hasn't lived is in community. And so when I decided that I was leaving government work government jobs to do restorative justice work in community, cuz it goes back to what you said and what I started to understand about what, how I had grown up.

I grew up with restorative justice and it was in community and that's where it has to live, breathe and have its being not just because that's where it belongs. And I thought about it this way. We all talk about restorative justice coming from the way of life of indigenous populations around the world.

For us in the United States, it would be native American populations. And then we took someone's way of life and made it a program, a practice, a tool, something that could help it could be useful, but what we needed to be is our way of life. Again, we need for restorative justice to be how we live again in right relationship with one another.

And so father Dave Cheryl graves, some of us were talking one day and we thought, this is what we need. We need to bring RJ to live in community. And so just peace has started trying to cultivate to help build those relationships, strengthen those relationships in communities through restorative justice.

David (he/him): We're gonna get to just peace in, in just a minute, you were making those realizations alongside of like your you're coming up to retirement. As you were making those realizations, what kept you in the system? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Thinking of the state's attorney's office.

I, once I started to see how the difference that restorative justice had made at, at the circle level and then how it had fallen apart at the governmental level where the government was back in was involved again. I, I knew that that was that my career as a prosecutor was coming to an end, that it didn't seem possible within that system to build relationships that would usher in right on a large scale.

And I just didn't believe in the prosecutorial philosophy anymore of punishment, making us safer of incarceration, making us safer. Cause I, you know, because I'm also now going into community groups and going into spaces with people who are doing RJ and, and reform work and, and, and it occurred to me one day.

If going to jail or going to prison, if punishment made us safer, then the communities in Chicago that have the most people going to and from prison would be the safest communities in our city. And yet they were not. Oh, and so I thought, okay, well, no, this is not what I should be doing. So I knew that I was, I was going to have to leave the state's attorney's office and I put a date down and I left her in that date.

What I didn't know was that I was going to wind up in, in the department of juvenile justice as ABUS person. And that's where I think my, my notions of restorative justice and safety really start to flourish because I'm seeing young people.

And it, it was, what do they call it? Cognitive dissonance. Mm-hmm how can this young person be here for this when they are not that person at their core,

these systems can't work. They, you can't build the relationships. You know, people would talk to me about boundaries. You know, we have to have boundaries and we have to have boundaries of a young person. If I'm meeting with a young person that young person tells me that his brother or cousin was killed last week.

And he wants to go to the funeral. And can I talk to the bosses at the department about him being able to go, am I, I'm not supposed to hug that young man when he starts to cry because of boundaries. System boundaries, governmental boundaries. I would hug him in community and me personally, I don't know boundaries.

I hugged him in there. And so I knew that I needed to get out of systems to do this work in community where it belonged. And so the reason I stayed is crazy. Now this is stupid, right? So every year the Ambu person's office has to do an annual report. We didn't have any administrative help. And it's a lot of work in DJ J meeting with young people, trying to meet with them at everywhere, everybody at least twice a month.

And so we fell behind in annual reports and so I kept staying. Thinking. Okay, next time we're gonna be caught up on the annual reports. And as soon as I get this annual report done, I'm gone. And, and then some things happened, things happened that made me know. I, I couldn't, I couldn't do it anymore. I simply couldn't do it anymore.

And so I decided an annual report done or not. I'm leaving at the end of this fiscal year at the fiscal year that I left and we actually did catch up. We got two annual reports done in a year and turned those in. And then I, I, I left with the third annual report undone, but I had an able deputy who became the ABUS person and she got it done and I left, I stayed as long as I needed to stay to come to these realizations and grateful for the opportunities that those government jobs gave me.

But I don't believe that they are the places where restorative justice can live. 

David (he/him): I'm so grateful for this conversation and there's just a ton of curiosity for me. Going back to, you know, your initial story about being a state's attorney and having families of people from your community say like, thank you so much, even like people who had been who had been causing harms their families saying like, you know, thank you this, how do you reconcile?

In, in your mind, I'm not like asking you to like morally justify, but like, how do you reconcile in your mind what was going on for those families who were appreciating your service then versus what you could, or what you hope to offer now? 

See, I think we all had this. We all had, we all had the same imagery about what justice looks like is, is what we've taught.

Right? All the, all, all the government can offer. All the system can offer or believes it can offer is accountability. That looks like punishment or punishment that looks like accountability. But what I count came understand, it's really not. Like when we think about wrongful convictions, those persons were held accountable.

Right. But they, but they didn't do, at least they didn't do what they were accused of. And so I, I like to think of restorative justice as giving people the opportunity to take responsibility. I can make anybody accountable, but will you take responsibility? And once we are able to take responsibility, then we're able to make amends for the harm that we've caused.

And so I, it, for me, it's the, it's like the same it it's getting to the same need, but it is, it is a more personal and real way of addressing the need. So I tell people this all the time, the prosecutor's office doesn't represent the victims of crime individual. It rep the state. Yeah, exactly. And it represents the, the community's desire not to be victimized in a deterrent kind of way.

That's the idea. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): We can punish our way out. People will see that this person was punished and then they won't do that thing. But what we know is that these things and what I know even more now haven't been on bus person is that these harms come out of lack, right?

Lack of resources, lack of opportunities, blah, blah, blah, on and on and on. And so if I, but here, let me give you this example. There was a case that I had a juvenile court, whereas some. People wrote a racist language on the garage of a Chicago police officer, African American, Chicago police officer.

They were caught at the, at the district level, the, the district level wasn't really gonna do anything about it. And this officer kept pushing and pushing and pushing. And so she, the kids were ultimately arrested. And I referred the case for a restorative process, took a long, it took some convincing to get the, the person who garage had been tagged to go along with that.

But she did. And here's the difference. Those kids could have come to juvenile court and she would've stood on one side of the court and they would've stood on the other side of the court. In front of the bench and a prosecutor and a defense attorney, would've spoken for both sides and talked about some agreement that they came to, probably a supervision and restitution.

She wanted her door replaced and she'd have got her door replaced. And the, the kids, families would've thought, oh, she gonna need her whole door replaced. We could have painted that door. And they left feeling aggrieved and she could have said, well, that wasn't enough punishment. And she left feeling agree, right?

Easy, easy for both sides to stand in their thought, without a thought for the other, get what they got from the court system and leave feeling. However they felt and working it out for themselves. But in that same situation, when the young people have to come and sit in front of her and community members and their parents.

And say why they would write something like that on her garage. That's hard when you have to face the person that you've harmed and explain your behavior. When you have to see and hear how it impacted that person, when the person who's been harmed gets to hear your story, how you wound up in the space, where you did that, and then talk to you about that and talk and listen back and forth.

It changes things. It changes things. And that's the power that restorative justice has in community that it just doesn't have in systems. Even when you talk about a victim impact statement, where a victim gets to read how the crime impacted them and the person who committed the offense gets to say something to the court.

But not to the person they harmed this SEP that's the separation that restorative justice cannot tolerate. It needs the relationship, 

David (he/him): a session that I really appreciated going to at the nacrj conference. Wasn't like a presentation, but it was one of the circles that around interests that we sat in on Saturday and the title of the circle was restorative justice. And the age of progressive prosecutors.

There are people who are listening to this right now, who might be in the, you know, I won't, I won't name any names, but like, Hey, this XYZ, progressive prosecutor is doing great work. And they've reduced all these, all this recidivism in their community and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. What do you say to that?

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I think that there is a place for that. Listen, I'm a realist. We're not getting ready to get rid of the court system and everybody just resolve your problems, your situations and circumstances in community. So I think that there is, is a place for that. I, I think that the challenge that I have is

oftentimes. Government is check boxes, we're checking boxes. We will save them something as restorative when maybe it's not, maybe it is, but I am all for if matters can be resolved in a way that satisfies the person that's harmed and the person that caused the harm and get people out of systems and back into community.

I'm all for it. But I, I have yet to see the government system that does the philosophy of restorative justice. Well, if it gets people out of the system, if people feel, you know what I mean? Because part of reducing crime is actually getting people outta. the system. 

David (he/him): Especially, right. So they're not violating parole or probation or right.

Like exactly for getting a ride to work for their, from their brother, cousin, whoever who's affiliated exactly. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Right. For, you know, getting people out of systems and back into their real bike with some resources and opportunities, that's the thing that's going to reduce crime. So I'm all for what get system people out.

And I think that it is important that prosecutors start thinking that way too, because one of the problem, probably the biggest problem, in my opinion, with the criminal legal system is the racism that's baked into it. And so if prosecutors start thinking about people differently, maybe it will make a difference.

The other challenge though, having said that with restorative justice and systems, is who do they use it for? Who gets, who gets the benefit of. The exit valve, so to speak because that can cause an increase in disproportionate processing and placement of people in systems. So it, it is it's fraught with difficulties in systems.

I'm I, I believe in a progressive prosecutor, I would, that all would be, I, I, you know, I, I think that's great, but I, my experience was that because there are so many other players in those systems that you, you, you, you still gonna have many of the problems that are baked into the system. 

David (he/him): Yeah. I think a lot about a lot of amplify RJs work.

Doesn't live in the criminal legal system just cuz I can't stomach it . But it lives in schools. Schools are also systems that are not really conducive to doing this relationship work well. And the way that I justify it in my head is simply harm reduction. Right. And like, I still wrestle with that idea a lot because,

and the way that I rationalize it is as much as like, Hey, I am equipping this teacher to like, do this in their classroom. It's also a human being that I'm equipping in the world to be this way. Right. That's the way that, like, I try to teach this work and really try to, like, I would say hammer home, that seems violent.

Really emphasize that, like, this is not just about classroom management. This is about the way that you are in relationship. Yes. With the students here. Yes. Your colleagues, but like. In life. This is just the way that we are. This is re reviving rekindling. These practices that are inherent to us ally, no matter how far, no matter who you are, if you go back far enough, we have these practices, we have these values within us.

And that's the way that I rationalize it. And I think it's a little bit easier to digest when it's like, you know, schools where like I'll make the argument that their inherent goal is not to like punish and cause harm. It's like the, the goal of schools is to like produce workers for capitalist society.

And like whether that's punishing and causing harm, it's not this, that's not this conversation, but it, it's, it's easier for me to digest and, you know, pouring resources into that means You know, the, the day to day lives of people within those systems will probably be better. I imagine in a lot of ways, it's the same with doing this work within the criminal legal system.

And yet, because of like all those, all those players and like pieces that just aren't conducive to this way of being, there's just so many more ways for this work to be bastardized, I guess. And like you're giving more power to these systems that aren't making us safer, aren't serving us. And so like with this abolitionist ethic that amplify RJ has in tension with like, yeah, prisons, aren't going away tomorrow, police aren't going away tomorrow, courts are gonna continue to exist for your, in my lifetime.

What do we do? , 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): that's why, that's why we have to take it out to community. Listen, What you talk about the progressive prosecutor, but even with traditional prosecutors, there are practices in place. Let me, let me say it like this. When I first started doing RJ in the felony trial division, I was getting and talking about it with my colleagues.

When I was a prosecutor, I was getting the, the recording of soft on crime. Mm-hmm oh, you can't do that, that crime because it's this, you can't. And I, but I, you forgot. I've been a prosecutor for a long time in this office and I've seen soft on crime. It never happens for people from my neighborhood, but it happened for other people from other neighborhoods.

And so I tell, so that's it. where people some people commit an offense and they get 20 years in prison and some people can commit the same offense and get four years probation. Mm-hmm . So, first of all, there is no argument that can be made with me regarding appropriateness of consequences, because I've seen the disparity in consequences and nobody complained about it when it was when it, and when the consequences were not as severe for people from privileged communities, be that racial or economic privilege.

And so that's an argument. Just dies on the floor as far as I'm concerned in schools. Listen, now, I, I never did RJ in schools, but I had a son that went to school so

gimme, lemme give you this example when I was in DJ, they attempted to implement say, so they started training staff in restorative justice, which was fantastic. And then implementing restorative processes, one of which was when young people got in trouble they, they changed some of the policies so that young people got an opportunity to speak to how they would make amends for the harm they caused or the thing they did but it was like, what happens a lot of time with government they'll see a program. They like the way it runs, but they won't take the whole program and bring it in. They'll take parts of it, cherry picking and, and then you don't get the thing that you were trying to get. And so young people would then say what they thought should be part of the consequences for them.

A paper would be written up and it would maybe incorporate what the young people thought. And sometimes it did. And to your point, oftentimes there was harm reduction, but it wasn't restorative in don't call it that. 

David (he/him): Right. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Well, don't call it that. Don't call it that. And so, and that's part of that was part of the epiphany that I had.

These kids go home and they think that this is restorative justice. They don't have any counterbalance to that. They don't know what restorative justice looks like because it doesn't live in their communities. If we can make RJ robust in communities, if we all know what restorative justice is, it does two things.

One, it makes our communities safer because we are in better relationship with one another, but also it pushes government to do the thing that the community wants, the way they wanna see government act. Because most government officials are politicians. They're relying on votes. If the voters are saying, we want people to go to prison and we want people to be punished.

That's we don't, that's how we want them held accountable. That's what will happen. But if the people in community, the voters say that doesn't make us safer, we wanna be safer. We want our young people in our communities, not out of our communities, then politicians who are government leaders and system pointers, cetera, et cetera, will start to move in that direction.

And to your point, at least at the government level, we'll have harm reduction. And then the community level, we will have real relationship building. 

David (he/him): So talk about just peace and what's the work that y'all are trying to do there. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): And so that's the work we are trying to Build relationship by having outings and innings, where people come in, come together have fun together, engage in activities with one another, going out and handing out sandwiches and water to people to build relationship to just, to be more friendly, starting to hold circles in communities.

So people become familiar with the ideas of restorative justice. When we talk to people about restorative justice on the street corner, they get it and they want it. They didn't know they wanted it. Mm-hmm they don't often know they wanted, they, they, because we've all been brainwashed to believe that what we want is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

But really what we really want, what we really crave and what we really need is love. And that's at the core of what just peace is doing. We were fortunate to have a judge reach out to us recently after having heard of the, about restorative justice in the work to ask if we could perhaps resolve a couple of cases through restorative justice and we are seeing how that might happen.

We're, we're trying to see how that might happen, how we might be able to do that, how we would work through systems to, to get that done, to see if the persons who were harmed or interested in it and what we think we can bring to that table. I say that because it's, it is that outreach is evidence of.

People starting to think differently about what accountability could and should look like for systems. But also what right. Relationships look like in community. I think mm-hmm . And so we are, we are just getting off the ground. We recently hired an administrative person because you know, we, a lot of us are we have a lot of ideas.

We just don't, just not good at implementing things. 

David (he/him): So what are the things that people can do to support just peace now or learn more about 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): it?

They can contact Alima Bradley, who's the administrative administrator for just peace. And I can give you the phone number. They can call me. I'm free to and anxious to talk to anybody who wants to talk about it. So they can reach ama aliemah@pbmr.org.

David (he/him): That's great. And and so if people want to get in touch about just peace we'll put them in touch with the administrative coordinator AMA and the, her email is gonna be in the show notes for folks.

Well thank you so much for, for sharing all that, you know, people can definitely tap in to, to learn more. But now it's time for the questions that everybody answers when they come on this podcast. So you've spoken to it a little bit already, but in your own words, define restorative justice.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Restorative justice is who we used to be when we were in right relationship with one another. Mm. All 

David (he/him): right. You've been doing this work for a while. As you've been doing this work, what has been an oh shit moment. Like either a moment where you messed up or like, you wish you did something differently.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Yeah, it was, it was the moment when I was walking out of court with the young man who had the perceived disability who had been robbed and who was afraid to go to work.

And I asked him if he was still afraid and he said, no, these are just stupid kids doing stupid kid stuff. I'm good. Mm-hmm , 

David (he/him): mm-hmm. This one's hard in a different way. You get to sit in circle with four people, dead or alive. Who are they? And what is the one question you ask that circle? Hmm.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Let's see. Ora, my grandmother, Emma, dr. King. And nelson Mandela. 

David (he/him): And what is the one question you would ask that circle of ORa your grandma, Dr. King and Mandela.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): What do we do to preserve humanity in every person?

I have to explain that. Cause I've been thinking about this a lot. When, when someone, especially someone in government, someone with power does something dastardly to another person. We use language that implicates the humanity of the other person. He treated him like a dog. He didn't see his humanity. He didn't see him as human struck me as I, because the person who was harmed appeared completely human to me had amazing, like clearly the person's humanity was on display. The person who caused the harm is the one whose humanity was implicated. And, and, and David, we, we are so used to using that language that implicates the humanity of the person, victimized that we don't even have real language that talks about the loss of humanity for the person doing the dastardly deed.

Some people. Who do horrible, horrible things are the same people. Their communities would call heroes that they're the people who the community in describing them would say he would give you the shirt off of his back. He's a great neighbor, a great friend, a wonderful father, a a perfect husband, or in the, and or whatever female language you use for the person who does that act.

And it's something about this moment, something about how you view another, the presence of another, that you've othered that causes you to lose your humanity. How do we keep our humanity? In the face of the one we consider other.

David (he/him): How do you find the humanity in those that cause egregious harm? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I love people and I see the humanity in everyone. You know, they say none of us are. None of us should be defined by the worst thing that we've done. I believe that I, I believe that. And I, in the, in the Bible, it says that love covers a multitude of sin. And I believe that to be true. I, I, I wanna know how we get to being the beloved community that Dr.

King spoke about in that Mandela hoped for that my grandmother lived. There's not all you, I think part of it is recognizing your own frailties and foibles. Like I'm not perfect. How do I expect others to be perfect? I've done things that I'm not proud of. I don't wanna be judged by those things and alone. And yeah, I, and I understand that whether we think it or not, or believe it or not, we are all in this together, we gonna live or die together.

When you talk about, if we go back far enough, these notions of restorative justice live in the ancestry of all of us. It, it makes sense, right? If, if we are hunter gatherers and we all have to be hunting and gathering to survive, we can't afford to put anybody out of our community. We, we can't pat people on the outside because we lose the talents and gifts and strengths and resiliency that they brought to the group.

Not only that, but if they're outside, that means we have to. Have people in our group not hunt and gather anymore, but rather post up to keep us safe from the people who are out in the wilderness without resources who may need to get back in or try to get back in to get some right. The people out in the wilderness don't survive and we don't survive.

Our survival depends on it. 

David (he/him): I guess in my heart civil rights the, the voting rights act doesn't get passed without Dr. King's work for sure. But we also had the threat of Malcolm and others, right. Like, you know, like the powers that we would rather deal with, like this acceptable Negro, right?

Yeah. Than, than like the se the, the, the perceived violent alternative, right? Yeah. We don't get, I think that there's like a framing of this word, like power seat concedes, nothing with the demand. Like you have to present like the worst option and like, that's not humanizing. Right. That's still needed in order to like, get people to see us as human.

Right. That's not love 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): and that's, and that's the, and that is the, that's the crux of it. I don't accept that people don't see me as human. I don't accept that. Hmm. I, they, there is something. Wrong in that person because clearly I'm human. So I can't accept that. You don't see me as human like that.

Doesn't even, that's stupid. That doesn't exist for me. It's something wrong here. How do we, how do we help you figure out what's wrong? It's Tomi Morrison said this, she was being interviewed by. I can never remember the name of the guy irrelevant, but basically she said he, he asked her, what, what would she, what advice would she give about how to deal with racism?

And she said, I, you know, I, that basically she said, racism is not my problem. Leave me outta it. You have to figure out how you gonna fix your problem. And so I think that in a restorative context, because we are all in this together, we do have a responsibility, I think, to help people who struggle with their humanity, figure out why and how they're gonna fix that.

 I am not the problem. And, you know, you said if I could bring back, like, sit with people live, like that's like the you know, the utopian world, right? Yeah. That's why, and that's why the question, and I agree with you that the threat of force is, is what gets people to, but also. The, the people who exercise the force are the ones who suffer the most for the game.

Right? So if we think about the protests that happen in Chicago, the people who protested, some of them are still in jail. Some are still waiting for their cases to be resolved. When it, and it was interesting to say, I know this is way off topic now, but I just have to say that it was really interesting to me when there would be violence in the protest, wherever, whatever side it came from, then people would say, well, you know, there need to be peaceful protests.

And then they would often talk about Dr. King and peaceful protests. But most of the protests that I saw, Dr. King was involved in were anything but peaceful people were getting bitten by dogs and beat by the police and had hoses turned on them that didn't look peaceful. And so it's interesting, the perceptions that people have about things based on who is the perpetrator of the violence. I think that our only, I, it feels to me like restorative justice is the best. If we could live restoratively, that's the best anecdote antidote for the pain and suffering that we have. And I I'll speak to the Chicago Chicago area. I just don't, I don't know what else we can do. Those people aren't going anywhere.

David (he/him): If you think about things like voting rights, right. And all this gerrymandering and redistricting people telling whether it's a federal judge or an elected representative about, you know, the ways that this is impacting you know, my voting rights that like, you know, my has marked for, like, I don't think they're sympathetic to that.

If somebody is making the argument about like the need for like universal healthcare, like people know, but they're just very interested in like having those power systems stay in place because they feel like they're benefiting from them. I don't think like, I, I think that those can be impactful, but I think most people who are sitting in those positions of power are much more concerned about keeping their power.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): You are probably right, but you can keep your power and do the right thing. You can keep your power and do the thing that helps people. In fact, you will be more powerful. And even because when I think about it, in terms of the people who, like, let's say a person who was a, a Klansman or in some kind of a right mm-hmm supremacist group and had an encounter with somebody who changed their whole mind about the way they thought of things.

I think a lot of people, and I, I agree the, so the power, the power mongers, cause I did think of this, right? So the values that we are that we espouse to and the values that we learn, generosity, a selflessness, kindness, love, peacefulness you know, helping your neighbor are the antithesis to capitalist values.

And it occurred to me that that's how capitalism rains is. They keep us down here trying to be nice while they're up here and making money by any means necessary. But I also think that as we talked about relationship, right, if you think about it on the individual, the one to one sure. Where someone has been profoundly harmed, and I know in restorative justice, we don't like to talk about, we don't like to use the word forgiveness, but that's essentially what it comes down to for those who've been victimized and they're able to find a place in their heart where they can forgive the person who's done.

The worst thing. I think a lot of people operate out of ignorance and self-interest, I wanna remain ignorant because it is in my self-interest when you make it impossible for them to remain ignorant. If they are, if they have any kind of humanity in them, they have got to come this way.

David (he/him): I mean like, do you think Jeff Bezos is ignorant to the like way that his factory workers are being treated? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): No, but I think that he might think that he's also helping people. Right? Who many of whom would not otherwise have a job. And even though the labor is difficult, it provides a way like, you know, coal mining was difficult too.

So I, I think that you, yes. Right. I do know, think that he knows, but maybe Jeff Bezos is somebody who could be, I mean, if he sat with people, knowing from a distance and knowing close up is different. 

David (he/him): I think what he would do is like, oh, that's so sad. Here's a million dollars. right. For that one person right anymore. As much as we need to, like on the, the small scale, continue to spread these practices. On the individual levels, like this work has amazing impact, but like, we do have to wrestle with those really real questions about people who I think it's.

Won't see the humanity and the others, and therefore won't take responsibility for the harm that they cause, right? Oh, here's this million dollar payout instead of like, oh, let me make this systemic change. right. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): I think I, what if we thought of it differently? What if it is not that they don't see the humanity in you?

They lose the humanity in themselves. And if we could point that out, who wants to be considered inhuman? If, if I can show you where you, so if you, if seeing a black face causes you to lose all of your humanity, if you are this wonderful OUS person, generous to a fault and loving and fun, and, but, but in the face of blackness, you just freaking lose it.

What, what needs to happen for you to understand that about yourself so that you don't lose your humanity?

You, you can't not see the humanity in me. What happens is you lose your own humanity because, and here's how you know, right. Here's how I know dogs. Aren't human. I used to think they were, when I was a kid, by the way, I did understand what people talking about. That dog, not human. What are you talking about?

This human. But dogs, aren't human, but the same person who would shoot somebody six times in the back will let their dog sleep in their bed. Right. Would never punish their dog with anything other than a spray bottle, like hu that humanity is intact except, and it's the, except that we have to work on. And the problem. I mean, the problem with violence of course, is as everybody knew, Dr. King knew it and Malcolm mag knew it.

You can win, we can't win with violence. We can only win with love at the conference during one of the plenary sessions when they were talking about the indigenous roots of restorative justice. Mm-hmm the native American man. I can't think of his name now. 

David (he/him): He's yeah. Dr. LAN, he's been on this podcast.

And can I just jump in when hotten talked about, you know, why take by force, what you could gain with love? Yes. I think, I think that is easier to say to an oppressor than somebody who is being oppressed.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): But it came it, but it came from the oppressed heart. 

David (he/him): Right. But like, how can I love you as you're oppressing me into seeing my humanity is I feel is, is what I feel like, what you're saying.

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): It this way to love you enough to challenge you, to see yourself. Right. Cause this is that because people think that restorative justice is like that, right? Like it's like people often refer to as kumbaya kumbaya, but it's really hard. Like it's really hard to sit with somebody and delve into the thing in you that caused you to cause this harm.

That's hard. Like the, the circle that if you're doing it by circle, that circle process is that's a difficult walk to take for both parties. And so that's the question, like that's the question to Dr. King and Mandela to my grandmother is, is how do we get people to see themselves flawed? That's it to see themselves flawed?

Because it's ego. When I, when I started changing, like when I talk about it changed my life, it sort of justice changed my life. Like I, I'm a person really pretty cool, you know, funny a lot and friendly a lot until I got mad. And then it's by grace that I'm not sitting in somebody's prison. I won't even go into telling you how many violent encounters I have cost.

Right. But when I really started getting into restorative justice and then, and then, and then wanting to be a more peaceful person, wanting to be a more loving person, wanting to be a more caring person. So when the person who cuts me off in traffic, that I would then start praying. I hope they crash and burn, not two blocks away from me right now.

I pray that that person gets where they're trying to go safely, not only for that person, but so the rest of us can get where we are trying to go safely. Somebody has an accident on the expressway. We are all impacted. If we are behind that accident, now I can't get home for hours. And so from that little thing to the big thing for me, this is how my thinking has changed.

I understand. It feels like to me, just like in DJ J right? So the staff would. Mean to the kids, hard on the kids and, and not like the kids and all that kind of stuff. And then the kids would just make their lives difficult because I'm not gonna do anything you say, if I do it, I'm gonna have to do it. But those of us who loved those kids who cared about those kids who showed them that both by our actions and by our words, those kids wanted to be better people because we saw them as better people. No matter what 

David (he/him): they had done.

And I think like, you were saying, like it's easier to conceptualize on the personal yeah. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Yeah. But, but it's eventually, I mean, ultimately it's all gonna be. 

David (he/him): Yeah. I mean, like when we talk about like, you know, systems are made out of people and the people who are making those decisions, like have to have these personal interactions, like you're right.

And the adage of, you know, how you do anything is how you do everything that is true. It is

when there are people who have shown patterns of behavior that not out of like economic need, right. When people who have demonstrated powers of behavior, of like abusing power to either preserve their power or like accumulate more or for the status quo that like keeps them here and others down here.

It's hard to see that humanity for me and, you know, that's. Continued growth. Thank you. Continued hope. Cause 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): as we talk about this RJ life, okay. 

David (he/him): turning it all back around on me. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): we talk about this RJ life, you know, how are we, how are we living those 

values? 

David (he/him): We have hundreds, maybe eventually thousands and millions of people listening to us right now. What is one thing you want them to know? 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Yeah. Yes. I want them to know that

restorative justice is the way forward, not the words, restorative justice, the but the philosophy of living in right relationship in good relationship with one another is the key to our safety. and the key to our happiness, I'm a much happier person since I learned about and really started understanding the philosophy, the ancient philosophies that restorative justice is built on.

David (he/him): what is something that you want everybody who is working within the criminal legal system right now, to know 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): mm-hmm that there are different measures, different ways of addressing harm in terms of accountability, and that if we think about it, We'll we will understand and know that punishment is not what makes us safer.

It is hearing the stories of other people, understanding harm caused to the person who caused the harm and the harm that person caused and looking to address that that will make us safer.

David (he/him): This one's a little bit of homework. Who's one person that I should have on the podcast and you have to help me get them on. 

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Betsy Clark.

she's very out. She's an abolitionist, very outspoken about restorative ju not restorative justice, but criminal legal reform and puts it in the context of, in international.

Like the convention on children that the United States is not part of. I can't think of the name of her. I can't think of the name her organization, so I'm gonna change it, but keep her in your mind. Okay. To Gary Gatewood. With Illinois justice project. 

David (he/him): All right. I'm looking forward to that introduction, email, and we'll make it happen.

And finally you can answer this however you want, but where can people support you and your work in the ways that you wanna be supported?

Kathy Bankhead (she/her): Your work by getting to know more about restorative justice, if they already know about restorative justice by hosting circles in their neighborhood and asking others to do likewise so that you're building a community of people who are familiar with and have had an experience of restorative.

Justice as they sat in circles so that we can build the groundswell of support and education and knowledge and sense of relationships that we need to change some of the harmful things that are happening in our communities and in our society, 

David (he/him): from your words to all of their ears, let it be. So thank you so much, Kathy, for being here on this restorative justice life, we'll be back with another conversation with somebody doing this work next week until then take care.