Community and Family

  • Making a case for victims having a say in sanctionsBenjamin Andreozzi, attorney for victim #4 in Sandusky trial from WGAL Interview

    Benjamin Andreozzi, the lawyer for Victim No. 4 who was the first victim to testify in the Jerry Sandusky trial that dealt with molestation of boys at Penn State, has in a tv news interview criticized Penn State and the NCAA for going ahead with sanctions against the college


  • Students and Community Push for Restorative Practicesfrom the CNS Press ConferenceStudents and community activists in Philadelphia are not satisfied with the new draft of the school district's discipline code, according to an article the other day in the Notebook, which bills itself as "an


  • I've often thought that there would be, and I have occasionally seen suggestions of, links between the Occupy Wall Street movement, with its emphasis on inclusivity and consensus processes, and restorative practices, restorative justice and circles. In this piece by OWS member Stephan Geras about recent trainings by Kay Pranis in New York City, that hunch is confirmed. Below are some key passages in Geras's post at ZNet, "Restorative Justice at OWS." All added emphases below are mine.

  • In a resolution dated June 12, 2012, the Michigan State Board of Education states its call to end zero tolerance policies in no uncertain terms:

    Given the steadily increasing use of zero tolerance policies, the alarming rate of suspensions in school districts across Michigan, the lack of evidence these policies improve safety, and negative impact these disciplinary actions are having on student outcomes, the State Board of Education calls for schools across the state to adopt discipline policies without mandated suspension or expulsion for issues that do not involve weapons.

    The Board, along with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, remains absolutely committed to policies that preserve the safest


  • Interdisciplinary Conference

    This interdisciplinary conference will provide an international perspective on restorative practices theory and practice in a variety of settings, including education, social welfare, criminal justice, community development and workplaces. Restorative practitioners from around the world will share their knowledge and achievements and find encouragement, support and advice.

  • This piece, titled "Restorative practices at home: A method used in some schools seems a useful tool in mommy’s toolbox," by Aimee Lewis Strain appeared July 3, 2012 in the San Carlos Patch. Strain began wondering about restorative practices when she read an article about its application in San Francisco schools. Here, in this creative column, she talks about how she attempted to resolve a conflict with her 7-year-old son not with a conventional punishment but rather with a conversation modeled on what she'd been reading. Strain gave us permission to re-post the entire piece here on the Restorative Practices Blog.

  • Reporting from the American Humane Conference on Family Group Decision Making this morning, Ted Wachtel writes:

    Nigel Richardson gave an excellent opening keynote that relied on the critical themes of restorative practices for helping children in the two cities where he has served as director of Children's Services: Hull and Leeds, UK.

    The title of his keynote was "Only Connect...Transforming Life Chances — How Serious Are We?"

    He began with the quote from E. M. Forster's book, Howards End: "Live in fragments no longer. Only connect."

  • From the Oakland LocalThe Oakland Local has this thorough piece, "Oakland leads ways as restorative justice techniques enter education mainstream". It begins:

    Jacob Mathis was a classic underachiever and troubled child.

    The 15 year old’s grade point average was just 0.77 and by


  • IIRP President Ted Wachtel phoned in last night (very late) to report on the conference he's attending in Helsinki, Finland. He said:

    Today I attended the first day of the European Forum for Restorative Justice Conference that’s being held in Helsinki, Finland. It was nice to hear Nils Christie give a plenary speech. Nils Christie is now an 84-year-old emeritus professor from Norway whose famous article, “Conflict As Property,” defined the whole idea that governments and courts and lawyers steal our conflicts, and that we should have a right and an


  • The following story appeared at the City of Lima's web page. The original story in Spanish can be found here. Thanks to Google Translate for translation!

    Mayor Susana Villarán holds up a t-shirt reading "Give Back to Your City" at the program presentation

    The Metropolitan Municipality of Lima has launched a program


  • Here's something we posted a few years back that I was reminded of today as someone else reposted it recently. It's footage of a conference for a group of girls in Albany who restored their relationships after a pretty serious fight. I think most of the people in the room were surprised that this would be possible through talking it out, but the conference format truly does facilitate that type of useful and constructive dialog.


  • For your reading pleasure, we now have the following titles available in Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble Nook formats, for instant delivery and all priced at just under ten US dollars.

    The Restorative Practices Handbook An  introduction and guide to restorative practices covering practical techniques, tips and strategies, implementation guidelines and real-world stories of restorative practices in action. 

  • Image from courtesy of nativeamericanministry.comHere's a piece by Kristi Eaton of the Associated Press from Pine Ridge, South Dakota. According to the story, the first circle has been convened for a youth case with hopes to continue and broaden the program. Note in the second paragraph that victims and relatives of


  • Two letters tell the story. This was posted Monday, May 7, 2012  in the Upper Rogue Independent, without a byline:

    One of the programs that we administer in partnership with the Jackson County Juvenile Department is called the Victim Assistance, Youth Accountability (VAYA) program. This program is rooted in the principles of restorative justice - a community response to crime that focuses on addressing the harms done to victims and communities by holding offenders meaningfully accountable for their offenses. According to Cara Walsh, Director of Restorative Justice Programs for Mediation Works. We recognize that crime is more than just a violation against the law and state, but also a violation of people and relationships. Thus, our role in the community is to support youth in being accountable for the harms they caused, provide supportive services to victims of crime, and engage the community in this process, said Walsh.

  • Israel is home to many different people and communities. Restorative dialogue among these individuals and groups and between them could make life much more relaxed and happy.

    Israeli society was introduced to Restorative Justice and its concepts in the late 90’s. In November 2011 the Knesset (the Israeli Legislature) incorporated restorative justice in its legal system with the 16th amendment of the 1971 Youth Judgment, Punishment and Methods of Treatment Law, making restorative justice practices a formal criminal justice diversion in juvenile cases. Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Justice also initiated a pilot


  • In reviewing the movie “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” on April 14 Miranda Cashin in The Chronicle wrote, “If you are not a fisherman, it’s hard to get excited about fishing… But it is more than just a film about fishing… It is a tale of faith, of hope about reaching for a dream and clinging onto it despite all odds.”

    For me, as a restorative practitioner, watching that movie there was indeed more than fishing…   and even more than reaching for a dream… for me it is about restoratively reaching a dream while at the same time truly dealing with, and reducing, the odds.

  • Flickr Creative Commons © Jerry BunkersHere's a letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register which concisely articulates the essence of restorative justice and restorative practices:

    In his story of restorative justice (“Growing Past Hate”, April 22) Fred Van Liew shares a poignant example of how


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania public school students have launched the "Safe to Count on Me Campaign." Their kickoff rally is scheduled for 3pm on April 25, 2012 at Norris Square Park (Howard & Diamond Streets) in Philadelphia. Confirmed guests speakers include:

    · Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter
    · Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez
    · State Representative Tony Payton
    · Student Advocates from Youth United For Change

  • Sticking with the theme of anecdotes, here's one from last week's eForum article by IIRP graduate student Tamam Moncur about her experience adapting restorative practices for use within the context of a weekly church soup kitchen.

  • Pennsylvania Approves 4-Day Institutes for Social Worker Continuing EdTwo Four Day Institutes – Basic Restorative Practices and Responding to Grief, Trauma & Adversity – have been approved by the PA chapter of the National Association for Social Workers (NASW-PA) for continuing education credits.

    Social workers in Pennsylvania should take note of upcoming ...