Greetings from Day Three of the IIRP's 15th World Conference, "Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network."
Jean Schmitz, Founder and Director of the Latin American Institute of Restorative Practices presented the day's only plenary session, Restorative Practices in Neighborhoods in Lima, Peru.
He began by asking: Why are victims poorly served and re-victimized by the justice system? He then talked about how he and his colleagues are working to change this condition by establishing a "restorative zone" in Lima, Peru, with support from the city's mayor, Susana Villarán.
He discussed the goals for and steps necessary to creating such a zone, stressing the importance of involving all stakeholders in the community. Modeled on and inspired by Hull, England, "the world's first restorative city," the zone would encompass all aspects of society, from schools, to the justice system, to social services and faith communities. The goal would be to create a culture where "fair process" is always employed with the citizens.
Please see this related article by Jean Schmitz, which was included in the IIRP conference book: Legislation, Penalties and Prisons: How Much Do They Promote Citizen Security (and How Much Do They Not)?"
Conference participants then split up to attend the last breakout sessions on offer for the morning.
At the final lunch, people shared with the group what they had learned, realized or been surprised by at the conference. Everyone agreed that the experience had been inspiring, invigorating and indeed restorative.