Choosing to change: Transitioning to the transformative model in a community mediation center
Understanding that transitioning to the transformative framework would be a long journey, we committed to that path. As a staff, we began to attend trainings and apply what we learned to cases at the Center. We attended our first transformative Mediation Training in 2001, with Baruch Bush, Sally Pope, and Judy Saul, and it became clear what had been missing: a mediation practice grounded in premises and principles about people in conflict.
It all began to make sense when we came to understand that crisis is a conflict in human interaction, and that conflict has an effect on one’s ability to stay strong in self and connected to others. I had been a practicing mediator for more than 11 years and it was the first time that I learned mediation from a theoretical perspective – one that articulated clear underlying beliefs about people and their abilities, conflict and its effects, as well as what our purpose as mediators was and what it wasn’t.
Don't send that email. Pick up the phone!
Like many readers, I have experienced too many unproductive strings of back-and-forth emails or texts that should have stopped in round two, but continue. The problems with trying to resolve sensitive matters over email or text are quite obvious:
Review: Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice
While restorative justice is a theory that encompasses a set of values for how justice should be done, maintaining those values and the restorative focus can become difficult in day-to-day practice. People working in restorative justice organisations – whether staff or volunteers – make a myriad of decisions related to practices each day. Such decisions may be related to work with clients, work with other organisations or internal processes and interactions. How can they make these decisions while maintaining the integrity of their restorative justice programme?
Susan Sharpe seeks to answer this question with Walking the talk: Developing ethics frameworks for the practice of restorative justice. In the 62 page publication, Sharpe sets out a process that organisations and individual practitioners can use to develop an ethics framework to empower and guide decisionmaking. In doing so, she avoids the contentious issue of setting standards by developing the steps in a process that each organisation can use to develop a framework that has direct meaning for it and the various issues that it faces.
Elements of attitude, for effective Circle-keeping
Elements of attitude . . .
. . . for effective Circle-keeping
- We above me. Carefully consider that you are leading a group process. Pay attention to the social and emotional climate of all members in the group. Put aside your needs, and focus on the needs of the collective.
Practitioner Register launched in UK
The Restorative Justice Council (RJC) has launched a new Practitioner Register. This has been a long time in coming – the RJC worked since 2004 on Best Practice Guidance, which finally in 2010 formed the basis for National Occupational Standards (National Occupational Standards exist across all sectors in the UK, so are a benchmark of skills and knowledge).
Based on this we have now been able to develop Practitioner Registration. Pracititioners will be able to register with the RJC either by taking an award based on the National Occupational Standards (an award that assesses both their knowledge and their skills on the job) or by providing a portfolio of evidence to us that their practice meets the National Occupational Standards.
To teach Restorative Justice, have “treats” repair harm and remember best practices
....A few of the practices I use to enhance the “Restorative-ness” of teaching Restorative Justice:
4 stages of Circle. Each class/CIRCLE includes an open and close, a getting acquainted question, a building relationship question and for our issue, we talked course content. The taking action phase of the Circles was the “check-out”, “take away” or “reflection” on the class period. One thing I remember, is that college students seemed to enjoy original thought. We would have different aspects of the class time, or different perspectives presented when we did this ending. It also allowed for students to relate to each other and have a different understanding on the topic taught that day. The students taught each other what they learned.
In the society, community and family of Restorative Justice, 3rd National Conference 2011
I have attended 3 of the 3 National Restorative Justice Conferences. I am typing this blog from the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in Raleigh, host of the most recent meeting. I stayed tonight, the conference ended at noon. Instead of being surrounded by familiar faces, and at the very least, people in orange lanyards, I am here alone. I am feeling lost in a mystery of something much bigger than myself. This is a feeling that only being alone, without lonliness can provide.
My adventure began by picking up Kay Pranis, and traveling out of Minneapolis together. I love Kay, she really embodies the spirt and essence of a restorative justice circle practitioner. We were joined at the gate by Mark Umbriet, and I sat speechless, as the conversation included comparisions of criminal justice reforms, via restorative justice and health care, plant care, food systems and health. I was practically tongue tied as my thoughts drifted from the conversation to the the experience of sitting with these two pioneeers of this movement. They so very humbly, chatted with me about these issues.
7 steps to stopping violence in relationships
A seven-step tutorial for people involved in relationship conflicts is available online, free of charge, from the Conflict Resolution Information Source. Intended for educators and instructors, the course was designed by the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Victim's daughter meets IRA bomber: An interview with Jo Berry
On October 12, 1984 an IRA bomb planted by Patrick Magee demolished Brighton’s Grand Hotel in Brighton killing 5 people including Sir Anthony Berry, MP for Southgate and a member of the Thatcher government. The bomb hit on the last day of the conservative party conference held at the hotel. The IRA bomber Magee was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was released after 14 years under the negotiated Good Friday agreement.
The following is from an interview Lisa Rea conducted with Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry. She did this interview from her home in Macclesfield UK. Jo Berry chose to meet with Pat Magee in November 2000. Today the two work together on many initiatives including addressing peace conferences, giving workshops in prisons, and speaking at universities.
Q. How did the meeting(s) happen? What was the process? Were you, and Pat, adequately prepared to meet? Walk us through what happened.
Working with relationships, be mindful of your own sense of justice.
....An example of justification in a case:
Both parties charged with disorderly conduct. Two young women fought. One threw something at the other, and that “started” it. Further back in time, they were friends, friend A & B. Friend A’s boyfriend cheated on her with Friend B. The friendship ended, the judgements did not, the disagreement escalated, the fight, the court, then restorative justice. When processing the situation restoratively: 1) acknowledge you caused the harm 2) understand from someone elses point of view 3) recognize where you had a choice 4) make amends and 5) take action to change.