Getting feedback is awesome, we should give it more often, directly.
NOTE: One of the reasons that Kris' blog is so useful is that she is transparent about her experiences as a facilitator and agency director. In this entry she talks about two kinds of feedback she received recently and how she intends to use both.
At the beginning of Circle, we write a relationship value on paper plates, we place these on the floor in front of us. We make a commitment to honor these values in Circle. If they are good values for our relationships outside of Circle, they are good values for our relationships in Circle.
We do a give and get activity. One person starts by picking a plate and giving it to someone else in Circle. An explanation of how the value was demonstrated and why it was given is part of the activity. Once you get a plate its your turn to give one.
Yesterday I got two plates: LOVE and INTEGRITY. I also got a phone call I was ‘reported’ to a statewide association. Getting the plates and getting the phone call, very different types of feedback, but I am going to accept them both as awesome. Let me try to explain that:
What have I done? A victim empathy programme for young people
by Eric Assur
This book is very practice oriented. It looks and feels like a workbook. The accompanying DVD is to help with didactic use with groups of teens. The professionals Wallis acknowledges as having helped him are largely probation or ‘youth offending service’ professionals in the United Kingdom.
The Canadian, Australian, or United States reader immediately notes that the spelling of the Kings Language is of the British or UK variety. Regardless of spelling, this book is a simple, easy to use workbook to guide the skilled and the not-so-well-informed youth services professional who works with teens who have offended.
Restorative justice: A travelogue
from Ryan Hollon's entry on Dr. Pop Blog:
I was heading to South Africa as part of a restorative justice delegation from the Windy City. Our group brought with it a diverse history of activism, action, and hustling for change.
Some of the delegates were working to transform the disciplinary culture of the public school system, others were community leaders deeply rooted in neighborhood life, several had been working for decades to reform the ways our society responds to domestic violence, and many in the group had dedicated their lives to working with young people to shift power in their communities.
All of us were practitioners of conflict resolution methods like peace circles, and all of us shared a basic belief in the power of groups to come together to address difficult issues, to deal with the conflicting forces in our lives.
Giving crime victims the right to meet with their offenders: Virginia legislative developments
by Lisa Rea
Should a crime victim have a right to meet his/her offender? It is very good to see that the Virginia State Legislature is considering the benefits that come with victim offender dialogue and restorative justice programming in general.
FACE circles: A well rounded opportunity in Canada
In North Simcoe people can find resolution out of court through the Forum of Accountability in a Circle Experience (FACE) -a Huronia Restorative Justice Project since 1998. The Midland program was part a worldwide revival of the native traditional way of dealing with offensive behavior -and it works.
A community circle is an alternative to traditional court proceedings where offending conduct is resolved by having the offender, the victim and supporters of each sit together in a circle to opening discuss an incident and work to reach a consensus on how to resolve the harm done.
As restorative justice practitioners, hard work needed regarding victims: Five things to do
I want to offer some lessons for people who do restorative justice. These lessons are for working with victims in either a victim-offender dialogue or a talking circle. I think its important to keep up our compassion towards victims skills. To really do our best, I have 5 things to work really hard at:
Youth Justice in Western Australia
The aim of this paper is to advance debate about the future of youth justice in Western Australia. The focus is on how we can improve outcomes for the small number of children who are coming into contact with the criminal justice system. It argues that youth justice practice has been allowed to drift over the past decade, principally because of lack of focus on the specific needs of young offenders due to the subordinate status of youth justice within what is essentially an adult focused correctional bureaucracy, and because of waning commitment to the principle of diversion on behalf of the police. These two phenomena are interconnected. Lack of clarity regarding the role of youth justice has led to a decline in the quality of support for children and families at risk, which has, in turn, undermined confidence within the police regarding the benefits of diversion from the system. Diversion is simply about choosing the least intrusive option when dealing with young offenders.
Going Off Script: What is appropriate for a facilitator to say?
Recently, I was in a pre-conference with a young man who had stolen various types of signs -- street signs, stop signs, farm signs -- and felt it was just a joke and couldn't understand why it was such a big deal. I found myself wanting to tell a story about an incident that happened when I was in high school or college when a family friend was hit by a tractor trailer. The problem was that someone had stolen the stop sign at the intersection and the truck driver didn't know he was supposed to stop.
All this came to mind when I heard the young man say that taking the signs was just a joke and "everyone does it." I found myself wanting to lecture and tell him the story about my family friend and how the person who stole the sign was really responsible for the accident. But, I bit my tongue and listened to him tell his story. I did ask him to think about what the possible outcomes of taking the signs could be.
The conversation did cause me to re-examine my role and ask what is appropriate for a facilitator to say in a pre-conference setting.
How to run a meeting like a restorative justice talking circle
from Kris Miner's blog:
Not everyone is comfortable with Circle, so over time, I have found ways to engage bits without making people freak-out and shut down. On the same hand, I’ve gotten quite confident at running a Circle, with skeptical people. (imagine a circle of attorney’s!)
Running a meeting like a Circle, I’ve promoted the interactive meeting format to include:
A restorative justice approach to working with children in residential care
From the paper by Dr. Willie McCarney presented at the 1st World Congress on Restorative Juvenile Justice. Lima Peru, 4-7 November 2009.
A child is at greater risk of obtaining a criminal record following entry to the care system than a child living at home with the support of his/her family. Consequently, there is a very real need to focus thinking on the reasons why this should be and to develop a response which may reduce that likelihood.
One of the greatest risk indicators is living in residential care and the collective influence of living with other troubled young people. Research suggests that much of the early offending takes place in the residential children's home and as the situation deteriorates increasingly the police are called in to defuse it and more often than not an arrest is the outcome.
The research referred to looks at offending behaviour in “regular” children’s homes. I will be focusing on Intensive Support Units which deal with the most damaged and troubled young people in residential care. Many of these young people already have a history of serious offending on entry to the units. Court appearances frequently relate to offences which predate their arrival. That is not to say that the research I will be commenting on does not apply to these particular children. Indeed the use of Restorative Practices is even more important in their case. What it does mean is that the baggage children carry with them on entry makes working with them so much more difficult. It also means that formal approaches like family group conferencing are not always practical. Responses need to be immediate and “on the hoof”. These might be things like a “corridor conference”, “restorative chat” or “restorative discussion”. Success depends not so much on the response chosen but rather on whether a “restorative ethos” permeates the unit.
Jan 18, 2010 Practice