Crime Victim Bill Pelke Appointed to RJI Global Steering Committee
April 25, 2016
Restorative Justice International today announces the appointment of Mr. Bill Pelke to RJI’s Global Steering Committee. Bill is a victim of violent crime and Founder of the Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing. Pelke’s grandmother Ruth Pelke was brutally murdered in 1985 in Gary, Indiana (U.S.) by a group of teenaged girls led by Paula Cooper. Pelke’s story is linked below at the Journey of Hope website. We also provide an in-depth televised interview with Bill conducted by Democracy Now on June 19, 2013 regarding the release of Paula Cooper. Pelke tells his story of forgiveness and describes his commitment to the mission of the Journey of Hope since 1985. Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, is also a guest on the show.
Lisa Rea of RJI has worked with Bill Pelke since 2001 through The Justice & Reconciliation Project. Because of the work of Pelke and the Journey of Hope we have met tens of victims of violent crime around the U.S. and globally. Each victim has a story to tell. Each victim has sought healing and restoration in their own lives while investing themselves in transforming the current justice into one that reflects restorative justice principles. RJI honors the work of Bill Pelke and we welcome him to RJI’s Global Steering Committee. It is our belief that deep systemic reform of the justice systems is needed today and through restorative justice the changes we seek are occurring not only in the U.S. but around the world. We know that through the voices of crime victims like Bill Pelke those changes we seek are happening affecting our national dialogue on crime and justice and impacting public policy debates globally.