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TEA grant to School of Social Work Will take innovative discipline program statewide

from the University of Texas press release:

School and district administrators across Texas will be offered training in Restorative Discipline, an alternative to “zero tolerance” methods, through a grant from the Texas Education Agency to the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue (IRJRD) at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work.

Restorative Discipline is a prevention-oriented approach that fosters accountability and amends-making to resolve school conflict such as bullying, truancy and disruptive behavior. The $521,000 grant will be used to conduct training sessions in Restorative Discipline in 10 Education Service Centers, which provide support to school districts and charter schools throughout the state....

Feb 20, 2015 , , ,

Julie and Anthony’s story

from the Restorative Justice Council's Restorative justice in youth offending teams information pack:

After Anthony, 15, lost his temper during a game of football and assaulted another boy, he was offered the chance to take part in a restorative justice conference. Here, Anthony and his mum Julie explain how it helped them to move on from the incident and deal with his behaviour. 

Anthony: I was playing football and there was a lad there called Ben*. He had come out with me and my friends a few times before but I didn't really know him well. During the game I thought that Ben had kicked me but he hadn't really done anything. I got really angry. I just lost it for no reason whatsoever. After the game as he was walking off I chased after him and as he turned around I hit him in the face and cut his eye open. After that I just ran home.... 

Feb 18, 2015 , , , , ,

East Timor’s ‘Poet Warrior’ steps down

from the article by Elliot Brennan in The Diplomat:

Gusmao joined Fretilin, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor, in 1975. For a week of that year the country was independent as the Portuguese exited their former colony. Days later, in a revolving door of occupation, Indonesia invaded. So began nearly a quarter of a century of violence and rebellion....

Winning the presidency in a landslide in 2002, Gusmao negotiated the country’s post-conflict factional violence and sought stability as prime minister from 2007 to 2012 under president Jose Ramos-Horta and his successor Rauk.

Feb 16, 2015 ,

Restorative justice has unanticipated results

from the article by Christine Wolf in the Chicago Tribune:

Imagine this scenario: the sound of shattering glass echoes through your condo building as you watch two boisterous teenagers bolt down your street. Much later, after you've helped to clean up the mess and cut your hand on the shard-crusted baseball launched through a lobby window, you're asked to participate in a Restorative Justice Victim-Offender Family Conferencing Program. Your local police department wants you to face the troublemakers and help create a plan to address their behavior. Would you do it?

I'd like you to consider why you should....

Feb 11, 2015 , , ,

How restorative justice changed a grieving family’s opinion of a hit-and-run driver

from the article by Douglas Quan in Postmedia News:

There was no ambiguity in how Coral Forslund felt when the man responsible for her sister’s hit-and-run death was finally sentenced to prison.

She “hated him.”....

But nagged by lingering questions — namely, was he remorseful for what he did? — Forslund, of Langley, B.C., reached out to a little-known federal program called Restorative Opportunities that arranges meetings between victims and offenders after sentencing. During their session in a B.C. prison, the offender broke down and Forslund heard him say for the first time that he was sorry.

Feb 10, 2015 , , , , , , ,

Review: The psychology of emotion in restorative practice: how Affect Script Psychology explains how and why restorative justice works

The psychology of emotion in restorative practice: how Affect Script Psychology explains how and why restorative justice works. Ed. by Vernon C. Kelly jr and Margaret Thorsborne. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2014. 272 pp. 

Reviewed by Martin Wright:

The phrase 'hate the sin but love the sinner' is attributed to Gandhi, although St Augustine said something similar. More recent psychological thinking takes the idea further, saying that the person him or herself should be encouraged to greater self-esteem. This is one more plank in the case against punishment as an acceptable or effective way of controlling each other's behaviour. Students of restorative practices are moving from research into whether they work to explaining why they work, and this book is an example. (Another is Meredith Rossner's Just emotions: rituals of restorative justice, 2013). 

Feb 09, 2015 , , ,

CNCR Debuts Database of U.S. Restorative Justice Legislation

from the news release from Georgia State University:

The Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (CNCR) at Georgia State University College of Law has introduced a downloadable database detailing state-by-state use of restorative justice in the criminal justice system.

“The new database will help those looking to draft new legislation or start new programs,” said Carolyn Lambert, CNCR’s project director. “The project is a real group effort. There is no database this comprehensive to date.”...

Feb 06, 2015 , , ,

Suspensions, expulsions fall

from the article by Pat Maio in U-T San Diego:

Suspensions and expulsions fell dramatically at public schools in San Diego County in 2013-14 as educators embraced alternative ways to keep kids in school ahead of a new state law aimed at softening how disruptive students are disciplined.

The decline in students getting kicked out of school was echoed throughout the state, according to data recently released by the California Department of Education....

Feb 05, 2015 , , ,

In school discipline, intervention may work better than punishment

from the article by Claudia Rowe in the Seattle Times:

Instead of sending the three smokers home with a litany of their failings, Levine sat face to face with each, explaining what it felt like to have his trust violated. He read them testimony from other teachers, who spoke of their belief in the young women — how they had a chance to go to college, build a career, leave their difficult family lives behind.

By the end of her hour-long conference, 18-year-old Monae Trevino was weeping.

Afterward, she signed a contract setting out ways to make amends: by leading three student discussions on questions surrounding drug use, each of which meant significant research; reading two works of college-level literature and writing a related essay.

Feb 04, 2015 ,

World needs to find alternatives to putting children in jail

from the article by Astrid Zweynert in The Daily Mail:

An estimated one million children are in jail around the world, a violation of child rights principles that say detention should only be a measure of last resort, a leading campaigner said on Monday....

The effects can be devastating. Children are likely to be exposed to abuse and violence, including from the police, security forces, their peers or adult detainees, said Vito Angelillo, chief executive of aid agency Terre des Hommes....

Feb 03, 2015 , , , , ,

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