Restoring Community

These articles were formerly posted on our Restorative Works website.

online students bannerRadical changes are coming to higher education, explains IIRP President John W. Bailie, Ph.D., as he reflects on his experience at the New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum. He says that smaller, nimble institutions - like the IIRP Graduate School - will be best positioned to provide 21st century students the kinds of useful skills and experiences they will want and need.

Gina AbramsGina Baral Abrams, Dr.P.H.We are very pleased to welcome Gina Baral Abrams, Dr.P.H., as the new IIRP Director of Research and Program Evaluation and Assistant Professor.

Most recently, Dr. Abrams has been teaching research methods in the online MSW program at Boston University School of Social Work. She was previously Special Assistant to the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at Lehigh University and Director for Health Promotion and Wellness at Princeton University.

Dr. Abrams's background in public health, social work, educational statistics, and measurement and evaluation will enable her to contribute to the growth of the Graduate School. And her experience in mixed-methods research, program evaluation and online teaching, as well as two decades working in higher education, will provide valuable learning opportunities for our students.

Dawn Squire with studentsIIRP student Dawn Squire is passionate about helping children and families in her community of high-poverty York, Pennsylvania. Her IIRP education has given her the confidence to transform her concerns into actions that have tangible, lasting impact.

Dawn works at McKinley K-8 school, where 99.5% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. As Family Involvement Coordinator, she assists children and families, many of whom are homeless or transient.

“From the moment I walk through the doors, we are ceaselessly working to make students, staff and families feel valued and heard,” explains Dawn. “This is more than just nice words. We really demonstrate that we are doing something different to make sure people know they are important.”

Screen Shot 2017 05 26 at 1.39.01 PMMore than 70 practitioners from across Canada and the U.S. convened April 4-5, 2017, in Ottawa to converse about the future of restorative justice in that country. Hosted by IIRP Canada, the event used a restorative format to allow participants to interact and develop a list of themes that will guide progress of the movement.

IIRP Canada Director Bruce Schenk says the forum was all he hoped it would be. “It gave people a chance to listen to each other and engage in dialogue about their experience of restorative justice.” At the same time, participants explored “what a new more relationally based justice paradigm might be and what it will take to get there.”

conference 1In this guest blog, IIRP lecturer Nicola Preston reflects on the IIRP Europe Conference, which took place May 9-10, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. Preston (pictured on left) is IIRP Adjunct Faculty; teacher and special educational needs coordinator; Ph.D. student at the University of Northampton, UK; and trustee and senior restorative practitioner, Thames Valley Partnership.

Maranatha residentsAt Maranatha House Aged Care Facility, staff take a restorative approach to help residents “live life my way made easy," to paraphrase the organization’s motto.

Nursing homes, even very nice ones, tend to regiment life for their residents based on the rhythms established by the institution. But General Manager Debra Wells says the idea is to “deinstitutionalize” the system and “put residents in charge.” Rather than having to live each day by staff routines, residents at Maranatha, in Wellington, New South Wales, a town and rural region of about 10,000 people located 225 miles from Sydney, Australia, are greeted with choices and conversations that allow them to express their needs.

Tanaiste Frances FitzgeraldTánaiste and Minister of Justice & Equality Frances Fitzgerald will give an address to attendees of the IIRP Europe Conference at a reception held at Castletown, Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian style house.

Presidents Blog GlobalizationIIRP President John W. Bailie, Ph.D., argues that restorative practices in the broadest sense can help give regular people a meaningful voice in the progress and direction of human globalization.

Tribal Justice 2

"Two Native American judges reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates, foster greater safety for their communities and create a more positive future for their youth. By addressing the root causes of crime, they are providing models of restorative justice that are working. Mainstream courts across the country are taking notice."

The IIRP presents a special Summer Symposium, which is open to everyone and also provides the in-person experience for a hybrid graduate course, RP 540. This summer, Frida Rundell, Ph.D., is organizing A Restorative Journey: Restorative Journey photoCreative Commons Transforming Relational Harm, July 17-19, 2017 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. The Symposium will explore perspectives and tools of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC).

EFRJ Summer School 2017Our friends at the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) are organizing their seventh biannual summer school July 24-28, 2017 at the monastery of St. Abbondio in Como, Italy, in partnership with the University of Insubria. This year’s theme is "Restorative justice in serious crime: Good quality standards and effective services." The topic has been chosen for its alignment with the EFRJ’s agenda in the coming years to ensure that every person in Europe has a right to access restorative justice services in any criminal case at any stage of the criminal process.

The Summer School 2017 will provide a safe and inspiring space for participants to gain knowledge and practice advanced skills to benefit victims and offenders. Events include presentations and practical exercises on the use of restorative justice in cases of homicide, sexual abuse, political crime and offenders with mental disabilities.

The early bird registration fee closes April 30. The whole training will be held in English (with informal translation provided in Italian/French/Spanish). The entire program, along with biographies of the presenters, can be found on the EFRJ website.