• The Restorative Justice Council in the UK published this significant bit of news this week:

    The Ministry of Justice set out a strategy to build access, capacity and awareness of restorative justice across the Criminal Justice System, in a Restorative Justice Action Plan, published today at the start of International Restorative Justice Week.

    A recent Joint Justice Inspectorates report found that restorative justice in the UK is limited by 'patchy' availability across the


  • Nicholas Bradford describes himself as a lifelong student of conflict and education at his new blog, "Restorative Justice – in the Puget Sound". In a post from November 8, titled "Restorative Justice in the Coast Guard?? Really? Yes, really!!" Bradford describes a situations in which a "physical altercation resulted from continued verbal sarcasm/jokes (harassment)." The normal discipline procedure would


  • I'm afraid I caught wind of this a bit too late to participate or to spread the word. However, I still think it's noteworthy to point to an online discussion hosted by the Guardian newspaper in the UK that took place earlier today in the comments thread of the following post: Restorative justice: live discussion. The link I've posted will allow you to scroll down and read through the entire thread.

  • Wipf & Stock Publishers have just republished "The Bethlehem Pennsylvania Police Family Group Conferencing Project" by IIRP founding professor Paul McCold, now adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University School of Criminology, and IIRP director of technology Benjamin Wachtel. Reissued with the title Restorative Policing Experiment, the volume takes its place Wipf & Stock's new Restorative Justice Classics series. The book announcement says:

    The Bethlehem Police Family Group Conferencing Experiment was the first randomized trial of restorative justice in the United States. Moderately


  • This announcement comes from the Correction Services of Canada:

    The theme for Restorative Justice Week 2012, which will be held November 18-25, 2012, is “Diverse Needs; Unique Responses”. This theme recognizes that restorative justice is an approach that addresses the various needs of people impacted by crime and conflict that are created when a person has been harmed or treated unfairly. Restorative justice processes, in response to crime and conflict, are highly adaptable to different people, environments, and systems as the identified needs of the people


  • Photo by Mike Fisher at Flickr Creative Commons - The photographer notes in his comment: "The juxtaposition of the flag with this sculpture of an Indian made me think of Black Kettle, who was a Southern Cheyenne Indian chief. Black Kettle's people were camped on the Sand Creek Reservation in southeast Colorado in 1864 when a group of Colorado militia men attacked them. Black Kettle had often counseled peace with the white men and flew an American flag from his tipi. The soldiers attacked in spite of the flag and killed as many as 150 of Black Kettle's people. Black Kettle himself escaped across the creek, only to be killed a few years later in the Battle of the Washita River in


  • Nigel Richardson, Leeds City Council director of children's services

    The project of Hull, UK to become a restorative city has since spread to nearby city of Leeds. Both projects will be highlighted Thursday and Friday, November 8 & 9 at a conference put on by Hull Centre for Restorative Practice, "A Tale of Two Restorative


  • This week's "Sunday Video" comes from Colorado, which hosted its 1st statewide Restorative Justice summit in August. Dominic Barter and Peter Block were keynote speakers. But this six-minute video also demonstrates the open space format used to generate active participation from all attendees.

    For another perspective on the summit, there's an episode – 47 minutes – of the Unitive Justice by Sylvia Clute podcast. Clute attended the summit and shares her experience in depth. Click here to listen.

  • In Nova Scotia, two article discuss new policies to support restorative responses in schools throughout the province. Clare Mellor in the Chronicle Herald writes:

    [T]he provincial Education and Justice departments announced they are putting together a provincewide framework for schools who want to use a restorative approach to managing conflict between students.

    During the next three years, the two departments will share the $500,000 cost of implementing policies and a list of resources and contacts for schools that use the program.

  • This is big news from the United Kingdom, where national legislation is being considered to allow restorative justice for victims of adult crime. The Restorative Justice Council in UK sent this news flash out in a recent email:

    In plans published today, new legislation for restorative justice with adult offenders and their victims will be introduced through an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill. This is part of the Government’s response to the Punishment and Reform: effective community sentences consultation.

  • Here's from a piece by Ben Byrne in UK's The Guardian. In these first few paragraphs he makes a concise case for Restorative Justice for youth offenders:

    Every local authority is grappling with the challenge of increasing demand for services at a time of severe financial constraint. To meet this challenge we will need new partnerships and new relationships with our residents to help us solve local problems.

    One way to approach this challenge is to put restorative practice at the heart of a local authority's work. Surrey's restorative story started in youth justice and our impressive results mean we have tried to spread the principle across the work of the county council.

  • Brooke Adams of the Salt Lake City Tribune writes:

    There are approximately 57 countries that use capital punishment for the most heinous crimes, but only one is a western industrialized nation: The United States.

    Capital punishment in the U.S. in the context of state, national and international policies will be the focus of the eighth annual symposium on the death penalty sponsored by Utah Valley University on Thursday. The event will feature such experts as James Acker, a


  • The Restorative Justice Council in the UK writes: "The UK has opted in to a European Union (EU) Directive establishing the right of victims to safeguards in restorative justice services and recognising the ‘great benefit’ to victims that participation in restorative justice brings. The Restorative Justice Council worked with the European Forum for Restorative Justice to secure changes to the draft


  • Here is the International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO) announcement of its conference November 6 & 7 in London, England titled "Criminality or Social Exclusion: Justice for Children in a Divided World":

    Even before the ‘credit crunch’ of 2008 and the economic crises of 2011, the globalization of neo-liberal economic and fiscal regimes was generating growing social, economic and cultural polarization.

    This has resulted in ever increasing numbers of children, young people and families finding themselves located in areas of concentrated social


  • IIRP President Ted Wachtel will be visiting the Netherlands in early November. He will be leading "An Inspirational Presentation and Dialog" on the subject of "Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network" in cooperation with Eigen Kracht Centrale and Restorative Justice Nederland.

    Rob van Pagée and Hedda van Lieshout will present the vision of the independent organization Eigen Kracht Centrale, which asserts that citizens are uniquely able to deal with their own situation, by getting together with others directly affected, to discuss what is happening and to


  • Two videos from Michigan State University recently came to my attention. The videos demonstrate the use of restorative practices for responding to student conflict at the university, which has 16,000 students living on campus with a total of 40,000 students enrolled.

    According to Rick Shafer, associate director of student life at MSU, for the past two years the university has increasingly used a variety of responsive restorative justice practices in a range of areas.

    Said Shafer, "Primarily we are using it in residence halls to deal more reactively with reported conflict." The video below, "Student Voices," shows some great examples of this. A resident assistant discusses how she used a talking circle to work through an issue with residents who responded threateningly to her when she confronted them in a room about noise levels. In another case students offended about a large confederate flag displayed prominently in a residence hall talked through the issue with


  • photo from the highlands of Papua New Guinea by eGuide Travel at Flickr Creative Commons

    A piece in the magazine Science titled “Turning from War to Peace in Papua New Guinea” (Vol. 337, September 28, 2012) by Elizabeth Culotta describes a recent anthropological paper co-authored by Polly Wiessner of the University of Salt Lake City, who has worked with and studied the Enga people of Papua New Guinea for 25 years, and Nitze Pupu, a blind Enga law school graduate. Wiessner


  • This week's video features Vidia Negrea, director of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, an IIRP international affiliate, delivery her full plenary at IIRP's 15th World Conference on August 2, 2012. The title of her talk was "Family Group Conferencing/Family Group Decision Making as a Transition from Prison in Hungary." Negrea begins by discussing her journey to introduce restorative practices in schools, social work and other areas, and then focuses on her work in prisons and how she has used restorative


  • Opinion: The mounting cost of violence - Rep. Mike Honda - POLITICO.com.

    From the Wisconsin shooting to the war in Afghanistan, we all know that violence costs our society, whether it’s domestic violence, a homicide, a war, or something as simple as a security system. We also know that there are direct and indirect costs associated with violence, whether it’s the immediate medical, court and police costs that stem from violent crime, or the long-term loss of economic productivity that stems from the loss of an American worker’s life.

  • Restorative Justice Today - Miller - WachtelA chapter about restorative practices in higher education by IIRP President Ted Wachtel and University of Vermont director of residential life Stacey Miller has been published in a new book called Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications, edited by Katherine S. van Wormer (University of Northern Iowa) and Lorenn Walker (University of Hawaii Honolulu Community College).

    The book also includes a section on traditional North American native restorative justice philosophy and practice by Laura Mirsky, IIRP assistant director of communications and technology.