Restoring Community

Schools

Across the U.S., schools are Minding the Discipline Gap in Education between white and minority students by turning to restorative practices:

"We cried and we laughed, and we understood through lived experience the power of circle in building community," states a Gotham Gazette (New York) opinion piece, Restorative Justice is Key to School Discipline Reform.

An Oregon teacher touts restorative practices: "If we can teach [students] to communicate peacefully when they have a conflict, that’s a tool they can take with them."

A Baltimore, MD, teacher writes, "Our school's response to the recent violence has been to offer our students support and a place to share." (See also our Restorative Works feature this month, "Baltimore students 'circle up' to cope with unrest.")

Padres & Jóvenes Unidos issues its The 2nd Annual Colorado School Discipline Report Card.

FixSchoolDiscipline posts all its webinars for viewing, including its recent event, "Institutionalized Racism and Inequity."

From EdWeek: When schools attend to psychological, social and emotional development, engagement and academics improve.

In Barbados, the Minister of Education wants to end corporal punishment in schools and proposes restorative practices as an alternative.

Study: Bullying by peers has long-term negative effects; while according to the U.S. Department of Education, "New Data Show a Decline in School-based Bullying."

Justice

Nils Christie, "one of the most important independent criminological thinkers and an icon of the restorative justice movement," writes the European Forum for Restorative Justice with great sadness, died on May 27, 2015. People are invited to share memories and feelings at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be compiled on the obituary page.

IIRP Licensee Pat Miller, who runs a restorative justice diversion program in Tennessee, says, "We’ve had, to date, a zero recidivism rate."

Paper: Restorative Justice in Cases of Sexual Violence: Exploring the views of the public and survivors.

Report from the European Forum for Restorative Justice: "Victims and Restorative Justice: An empirical study of the needs, experiences and position of victims within restorative justice practices."

From The Nation: "The criminal-justice system is set up never to jail police. Could restorative justice serve communities better?"

A teenage vandal makes cups of tea, cleans the car for his disabled victim and shows genuine remorse for his actions, in Hull, UK, through a Humberside Police restorative justice scheme.

From the British Journal of Criminology: "I Thought 'He's a monster'… [but] he was just ... normal," a paper "Examining the Therapeutic Benefits of Restorative Justice for Homicide."

A Vera Institute report shows that the hidden costs of incarceration are much higher than previously reported.

Videos:

Higher Education

Dalhousie University, in Halifax, NS, Canada, issues a report detailing its 5-month restorative justice process around a scandal involving 13 male dental students who made inappropriate sexual comments about their female colleagues in a private facebook group. Watch a video in which several involved students discuss the process, their intentions, how they responded to the public frenzy around the scandal and what they've learned.

Leading the way, University of San Diego, in CA, and James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, VA, revamp and rename their offices of student conduct to reflect their restorative approach.

Family & Community

Norfolk County, UK, schools offer a course in restorative parenting. A mother explains, “We say ‘what happened?’ and take it from there and talk about the behaviour rather than getting angry with each other.”

The Search Institute, a social science research institute based in Minneapolis, MN, that aims to "address critical issues in education and youth development," outlines a framework for studying "developmental relationships," which urge people to "Express Care," "Challenge Growth," "Provide  Support," "Share Power," and "Expand Possibilities."

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