• Today's excerpt is from Julia Steiny writing at EdWeek and also on her blog. She says there is no evidence that punitive measures work to change students' behavior. But restorative justice does work. The piece is presented as an open letter to President Obama. The full link appears below.

    No research shows that suspensions teach kids the social skills they need to keep them


  • Photo by Duane Brown at Flickr Creative Commons

    The following story was posted at CBC News Nova Scotia, about a restorative justice program set up at Dalhousie University. IIRP hosted its 14th World Conference in 2011 in Nova Scotia in cooperation with Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Community University Research Alliance (NSRJ-CURA). NSRJ-CURA director Jennifer Llewellyn, and a number of other participants at the conference, are


  • Ted Wachtel's plenary – "Defining Restorative and Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network" – from this year's IIRP's 15th World Conference. View the video here.

  • Estelle Macdonald of Hull Centre for Restorative Practice

    Here's a lovely piece by John Maslin from the Wanganui Chronicle about a two-day conference on the subject of Wanganui, New Zealand "re-inventing" itself as a restorative city. Estelle Macdonald, head teacher at Collingwood primary school in Hull and director of Hull Centre for Restorative


  • Here's another great short video from Restorative Justice Colorado. This one looks at a youth crime from a victim's point of view.

    Restorative Justice In Victims Services - YouTube.

  • At the beginning of the summer Ted Wachtel described Nils Christie's plenary at the European Forum for Restorative Justice in Helsinki, Finland. Christie "talked about the shootings of children that occurred last summer on an island in Norway at a labor party camp and the bombing in Oslo. And he talked about how Norway seems to have become increasingly restorative. The response of the public, instead of for vengeance was one of acknowledgement of harm, of caring for the people whose children were victims and for those who managed to survive."

  • I found this very impressive video on YouTube the other day through the Restorative Justice Colorado web site. Officer Greg Ruprecht of the Longmont Police speaks very movingly about the power and potential of restorative justice. He tells the story of the first conference he ran and then discusses how RJ works to prevent repeat offending by teaching people the impact of their actions and giving them an opportunity to take responsibility for their deeds.

    Enjoy when you've got 8 minutes to spend!

    Restorative Justice in Justice Systems - YouTube.

  • Site of September 2012 Conference - Towards a Restorative CityPhoto by Phillip Capper - Flickr Creative CommonsHere's bit of good news by Anne-Marie Emerson from the Wanganui Chronicle. Inspired by the city of Hull, UK, this small city in New Zealand moves toward becoming "restorative" itself. Wanganui is hosting a conference on the


  • Illustrate article about restorative justice in UKLady Justice from Flick Creative CommonsIn this recent post from the West Berkshire (UK) Council, officials report a nearly 50% reduction in the number of youth entering the youth justice system year over year. The article reads:

    A fall of 48.7% is shown between January and December 2011 (compared with same period for 2010). The


  • An August 7, 2012 piece, "Researchers Sound Alarm Over Black Student Suspensions," at EdWeek by Nirvi Shah and Lesli A. Maxwell begins:

    Nearly one in six African-American students was suspended from school during the 2009-10 academic year, more than three times the rate of their white peers, a new analysis of federal education data has found.

  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada invites the public – in person or via webcast – for an event on August 14, 2012, 7:30 to 9:30pm (ET), Harbourfront Centre’s WesJet Stage, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA.

    The evening will feature a keynote address by TRC Chair Justice Murray Sinclair, drummers and dancers from the Aboriginal and Black communities and an Authors’ Dialogue moderated by veteran broadcast journalist, Shelagh Rogers.

  • Earlier this summer I noted that Martin Wright received an honor at the European Forum for Restorative Justice. Here is a brand new piece by Wright, both timely and perceptive, in which he discusses the banking crisis and how white collar crime might be addressed through the use of restorative justice. In the middle of the piece Wright references John Braithwaite's influential work, Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation, which lays out the theory and mechanism for an essentially restorative system of government oversight.

  • End Zero ToleranceStudent activists with Dignity in Schools Campaign Get Creative in How They Express Their Desire for Changes in New York City Schools Discipline PolicyLast week I posted the news that the Michigan State Board of Education was recommending an end to zero tolerance policies in public schools in the state. The trend toward reevaluating


  • 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


  • This article, with a rather sensational title, "Shoplifters in Hull could be forced to apologise to victims instead of being prosecuted," discusses what sound like a great new scheme coming out of Hull, UK – the first municipality we know of to aspire to become a "restorative city." The part I quibble with is the phrase "forced to apologise." That sounds to me like something the newspaper put into the story rather than a true representation of the process being promoted.


  • 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.

  • Here are two passages excerpted from a piece in Ethos Journal by John Bennet, Restorative Justice Advisor at a youth detention facility in the UK. The first passage focuses on the use of youth meeting their victims in the prison, with a very high rate of success from the victim's point of view. These sound like victim offender mediation meetings, rather than full blown conferences, but they do seem to include the victim's, if not the offender's, family as well. The second passage describes use of what I imagine to be a more informal process internally, between youth in conflict


  • Mike Licht at FlickrCreativeCommons - Attribution LicenseHere's a fascinating suggestion, that journalists who print inaccurate stories that subsequently have a damaging effect on those they write about should be offered restorative justice first.

    David Brindle, reporting for the Guardian (UK) writes:

    Restorative justice schemes have been pioneered in the criminal justice sector, whereby a convicted offender can be forced to meet their victim and be invited to apologise. The idea has


  • 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.

  • From the Denver Post:

    As Sharletta Evans prepared for her face-to-face meeting with the man who killed her son, she couldn't escape one uncomfortable but gnawing need — to touch his hands.

    "The harm he caused me was through his hands," said Evans, whose 3-year-old son, Casson, was slain in a 1995 drive-by shooting. "The fact that he actually pulled the trigger, it was something about the hands that kept coming to me."

    But when the opportunity arose May 23, Evans hesitated, uncertain whether she could follow through with her request of Raymond Johnson, the man serving life without parole for the murder.

    There was so much else Evans needed from Johnson, and it had been so long. He was 16 at the time of his crime, but he now stood a month shy of his 33rd