• In Philadelphia, The Campaign for Nonviolent Schools, a citywide, youth-led campaign, is planning an afternoon event titled Ending Violence Through Schools. Workshops include Implementing Restorative Practices, Interrupting Bias Violence, Creating Nonviolent Schools and Ending the School to Prison Pipeline.

    The event takes place on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 16th, from 1 to 4pm, at Arch St. Methodist Church, 55 N. Broad St, Philadelphia.  Pre-register for the event here: www.endingviolence.eventbrite.com

  • Here's a video showing a multi-faceted Restorative Juvenile Justice Project in Peru. People involved in a wide variety of aspects of the project have been interviewed and there's some striking footage of the country. Jean Schmitz, director of the Latin American Institute of Restorative Practices, an IIRP affiliate, appears briefly. This 14-minute video is in Spanish with English subtitles.

  • I'll be slowing down on posting during the holidays, but I may do quick posts with links to interesting pieces like this one for those who continue to check in. Here's a very personal story about a mediated dialog between a victim of rape and her rapist. Click here: Restorative justice in a case of serious sexual assault — RJ Online.

  • This piece struck me as interesting because it specifically discusses the possibility of using restorative justice to resolve  juvenile hate crimes. It even quotes a youth who specifically says he would have liked to have talked with the offender to get questions answered and to correct misinformation. Are criminal justice systems truly listening to the voices and needs of victims?

    On Monday, celebrity chef, Tony Singh was in Leith - one of the most culturally diverse areas of the capital - to support the juvenile hate crime scheme that aims to stamp out crimes motivated by prejudice against race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and transgender people.

  • Here are a list of films related to Restorative Justice, compiled by Kris Vanspauwen from suggestions made on the Restorative Justice International (RJI) LinkedIn group, that contributors thought would be useful to show to prisoners and inform them about the meaning of RJ:

  • Here's a couple clips from an article reposted in the Seattle Medium by Michael Radcliff entitled "Effective Strategies in the Prevention of Youth Violence." The article plans in a number of cities, but note the paragraph about Detroit's program which employs restorative practices.

    Dr. Ben Robertson, Professor of Social Work at Southern University at New Orleans, whose published works include, “Urban Youth and Programs geared to help them Deal with Conflict Fighting and “Attitudes Towards Violence Among Urban Youth,” discussed Cultural Specific Conflict Resolution at a recent seminar on Youth Violence Interventions sponsored by Southern University at New Orleans.

  • In this two-part video from Anderson Cooper's syndicated daytime talk show, he explores a case in which a woman, injured by a bizarre and potential deadly prank, extended forgiveness to the boy who caused her so much hurt.

    Two quotes from the show by Victoria Ruvolo, the victim, explaining why she forgave:
    “God gave me a second chance, so I just passed it on.”
    “Kids don’t think about what they do. That’s the whole point.... Everything we do affects someone else.”

  • Tuesday, November 28 is the last chance to book a place at this seminar in London on December 1st from noon to 5pm:

    Independent Academic Research Studies and the Restorative Justice Council are pleased to invite you to a joint half-day seminar.

    The seminar will launch the IARS report "Restorative Justice and the Secure Estate: Alternatives for Young People."

    The report is based on a three year research programme that looked at the use of restorative justice practices in prisons. The fieldwork was carried out in the UK with a particular focus on young people in custody. The event and the IARS report is part of the "Mediation and Restorative Justice in Prison Settings" project MEREPS.

  • I'm pleased to reprint this article by Ben Ingram about a presentation given at a school by Bruce Schenk, director of IIRP Canada.

    Bruce Schenk uses a Hoberman sphere to illustrate the benefit of helping offenders to feel apologetic instead of threatened, to learn from their actions and not only be punished for them. Photo by Ben IngramA Nov. 10 presentation at Chatelech Secondary School in Sechelt discussed the benefits of adopting a restorative approach to conflict resolution in both the community and its schools.

    The idea behind


  • Today I'm reposting a comment by IIRP professor Alia Sheety in response to Lisa Rea's commentary (read the original post here) regarding the ongoing Penn State sexual abuse story.

    I totally agree with the need to ask different questions. I also believe that through the media we could bring others to the awareness of asking different questions.

    As we witness in this case, a punitive approach was adopted. Still, what bothered me most is ignoring the needs of the victims. Thanks for remembering the victims' needs and for bringing this forward. It is time to respond to those needs – even 15 years later.

  • It looks like the Restorative Justice Council's Practitioners Register is growing. To view the register click here. There appear to be about 20 accredited members and another 40 or so associate members. Associate membership is open to anyone who agrees to the RJC Practitioner Code of Practice. This document states:

    Restorative Processes bring those harmed by crime and conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

  • Lisa Rea has this opinion piece today at RJOnline which highlights a need for the media to start asking different questions which could ultimately have a bearing on our legal system.

    As the story comes out in more detail about the alleged sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, the coverage of the story seems to be more about the actions of veteran coach Joe Paterno--his resignation or the university's decision to fire him.

  • Vidia Negrea, Director of CSF HungaryFrom a new eForum article by Vidia Negrea, Director of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, and IIRP affiliate, about a restorative process used in the transition process for releasing a prisoner who had committed murder:

    The first phase of a three-phase intervention plan involved preparing and running a circle meeting with János and his family to prepare for his temporary release. This hybrid restorative circle came out of my experience with FGDM


  • The Week of November 13, 2011 Is Restorative Justice Week

    According to this piece, "'Re-visioning Justice,' the theme for this year's Restorative Justice Week... calls upon Canadians to envision how a restorative justice approach can be applied and implemented within a broader social justice context. It is a challenge to those who work in the health care, educational, justice, correctional and all other systems and/or levels of government, to be creative and innovative in looking at 'justice' through a restorative justice lens."

    A National Restorative Justice Symposium will take place in Kamloops, British Columbia, November 13-15, 2011.

    For an up to date google news search of Restorative Justice Week Canada related events click ...

  • Ted Wachtel's keynote from the 2011 European Congress on the Family Group Conference: Democratizing Help and Welfare in Utrecht, the Netherlands, October 19-21, 2011:

    Restorative Practices: Creating a Unified Strategy for Democratizing Social Care, Education and Criminal Justice

    I’d like to tell you about the first Family Group Conference story that I ever heard. I heard it in 1994 from an Australian police officer named Terry O’Connell. Terry was traveling around the world on a Winston Churchill Fellowship and he came to where I live in the U.S., in Pennsylvania. When he told this story I was deeply moved. It touched my heart. So much so that Terry said he remembered me because I was the person sitting in


  • Ted Wachtel, IIRP PresidentIIRP President Ted Wachtel will be presenting and delivering keynotes at three major conferences in Europe within two weeks during late October and the beginning of November. The general aim of his talks will be to encourage practitioners to associate themselves and connect with the larger international restorative practices movement.

    In Utrecht, the Netherlands, from October 19 to October 21, 2011, the European congress on the Family Group Conference (FGC, also called Family Group Decision Making or FGDM in North America) will


  • Terry Frieden of CNN reportson Tue October 4, 2011 titled, "Report Calls for Sharply Reducing Juvenile Incarceration":

    Locking juvenile offenders behind bars is costly and largely ineffective, according to a report released Tuesday by an advocacy group that favors alternatives to youth detention.

    The report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation examined data from the past four decades and found that removing juveniles from detention facilities in cash-strapped states has not caused crime rates to jump.

    "Numerous states have closed facilities or lowered correctional populations, reaping significant savings for taxpayers without any measurable increase in youth crime," the report found.

  • I'd like to point out a new blog of the Colorado Restorative Justice Council, which is being coordinated by IIRP graduate Ben Emery. In a recent post, Emery asks, "Restorative Justice Training - Co-op Style?" He points out:

    The State Coordinating Council on Restorative Justice is into its toddler years now. And when Senate Bill 11-1032, deemed the Restorative Justice Bill, landed on 22 district attorney desks this summer, those D.A.s no longer needed to Googlerestorative justice. Many have been using the approach for some years now.

    ... Among today's pressing issues facing the Colorado restorative justice community, which include consensus building around standards of practice as well as credentialing, is the question of sustainable training models.

  • Lynette Parker has written up a nice concise piece about her recent trip to Bulgaria. Parker works with Prison Fellowship national organizations in the development of justice reform initiatives and programs. She writes:

    The guiding philosophy behind the project is that children and their families are capable of solving their own problems and all those affected by a crime or harmful behaviour should be included in the response. It incorporates various services such as mentoring, support groups for parents of at-risk children, counselling, and restorative conferencing – both with victims and to address family issues.

    Considering the role of the entire community in responding to the needs of at-risk youth, PF Bulgaria created a civil network of


  • RJC Launches Practitioners RegisterThis is exciting news from the UK – the creation of a register for restorative practitioners and the launching of a quality control structure. The Restorative Justice Council(RJC) "Practitioner Register" for the first time gives restorative practitioners professional recognition for their work. It has a very broad focus, open to practitioners in education, social care, criminal justice and community-based agencies as well as practitioners using these skills in their workplace. Based on the