• Henry's Story - Facing the Music

    Photo from RJC

    As I waited for Rachel to arrive I was absolutely terrified. I knew what would happen but it was terrifying doing it – actually facing her. She was the one I stole from. It went right to my guts. I knew then that this just wasn’t me – I had to change. I think back on that day and it gives me the attitude that I need to never go back to how I was before.

    At 14 I moved schools and it was soon after that when a friendpressured me into trying ketamin for the first time. It became my addiction. I left school with 1 GCSE. I left my family


  • Martin Wright Speaking at the European Forum Conference for Restorative Justice Upon Receiving the AwardThe Restorative Justice Council reports (note the link below for a free download of Wright's "Toward a Restorative Society"):

    In recognition of his outstanding contribution to restorative justice, Martin


  • Dignity in Schoolsposted this piece by Derek Slaughter, a high school student from Baltimore, Maryland who is involved in a national student movement to draft a Student's Bill of Rights. This strikes me as a significant move by youth to establish their own rights. I found some information about this movement here. Slaughter here argues for explicit mention of the "right to restorative justice" in this prospective "bill of


  • Photo by Paul Sableman, Flick Creative Commons

    On May 9, 2012 a piece titled, "Jovenes Unidos Win Landmark Discipline Reform" was posted on the group's web site. It details a new law passed in Colorado which seems to do away with "zero tolerance" policy in schools – where children are summarily suspended or expelled for certain offenses.

    Late Wednesday evening, the


  • This morning the RJC has sent an email "asking all our members to support our call to Government to enact restorative justice legislation" by Friday, June 22, 2012 (TODAY), and to take advantage of this "opportunity to make restorative justice available to all victims of crime."

    The email states:

  • 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


  • Research from Derbyshire, UK posted in the Derby Telegraph confirms what other studies have also found: when done well, restorative justice conferences produce a very high victim satisfaction rate, exceeding both courts and mediation. Below is an excerpt of the article:

    MORE than nine out of ten crime victims who saw offenders punished by restorative justice have been left satisfied by the outcome, say police.

    A survey by Derbyshire Constabulary, showed 94.8% of those questioned were either fairly or very satisfied with the experience, a figure the force described as "phenomenally high" and an increase on last year's 90.8%.

  • 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 collegemagazine.com 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.

  • The Restorative Justice Council has postedthat on June 9, 2012, in the Queen's Speech which marks the start of the new session of parliament, she will mention "Neighbourhood justice panels, in which community volunteers use restorative justice to deal with anti-social behaviour and low-level crime." This process will be a part of new legislation. According to RJC:

  • 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


  • MEREPS – Mediation and Restorative Justice in Prison Settings – was a three-year project funded by the EU. Their final publication (edited by Barabás, T.,  Fellegi, B. & Windt, Sz.) is now freely downloadable here.

    The pilot project tested the applicability of the restorative justice (RJ) approach in the Hungarian prison system. It focused on two key practical questions:

    • How can practices representing restorative principles be introduced in prison settings?
    • What are the institutional, legal and personal conditions that serve as supportive circumstances, and what are the specific challenging

  • 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


  • Here's a clip from an article by Martin Howard that appeared at Restorative Justice Online's blog. The Sycamore Tree Project connects victims of crime with offenders in prisons.

    "I've never seen a program change people like this one." 

    I've heard this from a prison psychologist and a prison manager, who are more familiar with the failures of the typical group therapy sessions. What they notice during STP is a change in the empathy level of the inmates. And they are stunned by the positive chemistry that is created within the group.

  • 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.

  • Riotsfrom dash24.comEveryone loves a good story, and I'm no exception – especially a good anecdote about an instance of restorative justice or some other more informal restorative interaction. These anecdotes, more than anything, can often cut through a person's doubt and questions about how RJ works.

    So here's a story from the UK's 24dash.com by Julien Tremblin, dated November 17, 2011 but posted today on twitter by Theo Gavrielides: