Everyone has a story
I find training to be one of the best parts of my job. I enjoy watching people grasp the concepts of restorative justice and how to apply them in different contexts. Occasionally, people share personal stories that make for a much more powerful training experience.
How key elements of a Restorative Justice Peacemaking Circle create more than conversation.
From the article by Kris Miner on Restorative Justice and Circles:
Circles are so simple, yet so complex. I’ve been told I make it look easy, that ease comes from a deep committment to honor the process and the key elements of Restorative Justice Circles. Here are a few of the elements and how utilizing them impacts the process, creating a deeper container a richer experience, and has people quickly moving to a place of emotional safety.
Consistency and proportionality in victim-offender mediation agreements
from the article by Caryn Saxon on Mediate.com:
As restorative victim offender mediation programs continue to gain ground within the criminal justice system, more community organizations committed to restorative justice values and initiatives are collaborating with traditional justice agencies and offices. While these collaborations are mutually beneficial and socially transformative, inevitable tensions emerge when restorative and traditional models of justice engage one another within a community. In this paper, we will examine one example of this – the question of consistency and proportionality in our response to offenders and crime – and explore ways in which bilateral (restorative) and unilateral (traditional) methods of resolution can amend this apparent conflict and remain collaborative partners in effectively bringing justice to their communities and its members responsibly and safely.
Restorative Justice Circles promotes one voice, as speakers share one at a time.
...I teach and train keepers of Restorative Justice Circles, to promote equality in dignity and worth. This means in language and speech about describing the Circle. Saying phrases that might seem cheesy, yet promote this sense of community and connection. For example “lets sit equal distance from the Center” , “next to each other, knees and shoulders”, “if we were a tire we would go down the road smooth and round”. If you request it kindly, gently and from a good heart, people hear it that way. There are other ways to promote within the space, making sure if you are in the room you are in the Circle. Not having a different chair, or some people using bean bags. I co-create with the space I have, moving furniture if needed.
Jun 24, 2013 Practice
Call for more restorative justice plans
A restorative programme to help develop conflict resolution skills in west Tallaght in Dublin should be rolled out to all schools in Ireland, former governor of Mountjoy Prison John Lonergan has said.
At the launch of a report evaluating the Restorative Practice Programme of the Childhood Development Initiative, Mr Lonergan said inter-community relationships “are at the very heart of the quality of life that people have”.
An inventory and examination of restorative justice practices for youth in Illinois
....Key findings include:
- Respondents reporting using restorative justice practices were found in 54 Illinois counties, and in many different types of organizations who respond to youth misconduct, including police departments, probation and court services, schools, community-based organizations, and other state and municipal departments.
Empowered Victims & Moral Perpetrators: A Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation
At a recent workshop at Leiden University on Obstacles and Catalysts for Peaceful Behavior, Nurit Shnabel presented exciting research distinguishing the needs of victims and perpetrators in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts. According to Shnabel and colleagues’ Needs-Based Model of Reconciliation, victims of conflict experience a psychological loss of status and honor, thus undermining their identities as powerful actors. Perpetrators, on the other hand, experience a psychological loss of social acceptance, thus threatening their identities as moral actors. Accordingly, victims and perpetrators are differentially motivated to restore these respective identities, and interactions that do so will increase their willingness to reconcile....
An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MnCoSA)
....The use of the COSA model with high-risk sex offenders began in a small Mennonite community in Canada in the early 1990s. Grounded in the tenets of the restorative justice philosophy, the COSA model attempts to help sex offenders successfully reenter http://www.doc.state.mn.us/publications/documents/9-12MnCOSAResearchinBrief.pdfthe community and, thus, increase public safety, by providing them with social support as they try to meet their employment, housing, treatment, and other social needs. Each COSA consists of anywhere between four and six community volunteers, one of whom is a primary volunteer, who meet with the offender on a regular basis. The results from several evaluations of the Canadian COSA model suggest it significantly reduces sex offender recidivism....
What to do when you've made someone angry
Several weeks later, when I was describing the situation to a friend of mine, Ken Hardy, a professor of family therapy, he smiled.
"You made a classic mistake," he told me.
"Me? I made the mistake?" I was only half joking.
"Yes. And you just made it again," he said. "You're stuck in your perspective: You didn't mean to be late. But that's not the point. The point is that you were late. The point — and what's important in your communication — is how your lateness impacted Eleanor."
Loudoun's Restorative Justice marks milestone
The Loudoun County Restorative Justice Program is heading into its 16th year of operation and is celebrating its success within the community.
As part of the Juvenile Court Diversion Program, Restorative Justice is designed to divert juvenile offenders from court and provides an opportunity for offenders to address the harm that they have done to their victims and to the community while working to avoid stay out of trouble and avoid permanent criminal record.