People are not programs
from the blog article by Hal Pepinsky:
...From victim-offender mediation trainings and practice, I learned that regardless of formal structure and training, people will apply their underlying habits and perspective as mediators to doing “restorative justice.” Many advocates and practitioners of this model of responding to conflict in practice share my observation that in practice, many mediators concentrate on following the detailed letter of what to say and do, as they have been instructed to do, and in so doing, acts more like judges or arbitrators who interpret and implicitly tell parties what is what, what they need to do, and have a fixed notion going into mediation as to terms of an appropriate agreement. One prime example is requiring “offenders” explicitly to apologize to “victims.” Another example, one that has even formally been introduced into some theories and practices of “restoration,” is the belief that “offenders” must be “shamed” into overt remorse for their actions, and that a good agreement requires that “offenders” somehow “right the wrongs” they have done, both for their sakes, and for the sake of “repairing the harm” to meet “victims’” needs.
Circle with diverse members, harmed, harmer and community role models.
from the blog article by Kris Miner:
What a fortunate place I have, having kept 1,000′s of Circles in a range of contexts. I’ve also been fortunate to train a few hundred in the process, allowing me to hear stories back on what worked well, and what was a lesson.
It is soo important that Circles have a diverse mix of perspectives. This takes time, in training youth or community volunteers about the dynamics of participating in Circle. However, by training others, you yourself will be learning more about the fundamental belief systems that make Circles work.
Video: How parents can use restorative questions
This short video originally posted on the Restorative Works Learning Network includes parents and young people discussing the use of restorative practices in the school setting and how the restorative questions allow children to stop and think about their actions. The video also talks about how these use of these questions in the home can transform the response to conflicts and activities in the home in a way that deescalates and allows children and youth develop their own thought processes.
Living the R’s of Restorative Justice Respect, Relationship, Responsibility.
From the blog article by Kris Miner:
...Respect is deeper than just not rolling your eyes, or reacting negatively to someone else. It is holding, really holding that honor and recognition of equal dignity and worth in another human being. In Restorative Justice we ask people to hold that deep respect, even for those that have caused us pain and harm. I try to check myself in these concepts. ”Be the message” and “live the prayer”. Holding respect that means “honoring the dignity and worth” of each and every person.
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.