• Restorative Justice cover

    Prevention Researcher devotes the entire contents of its February 2013 issue to the topic of "Restorative justice: Changing how we approach crime and wrongdoing." Prevention Researcher has made the entire issue viewable in digital format on line.

    Relevant links can be found embedded in the following text from associate editor Colette Kimball's blog post, "Restorative justice: The evolution of an issue":

    "For our issue, we found an excellent author, Avery Calhoun, to write the

  • Boys at the Southside Bethlehem (PA, USA) Boys & Girls ClubTwo high school kids were on the verge of a serious fight on the basketball court, but they decided to talk it out instead. They weren’t afraid to use their words instead of their fists. They’d learned about restorative practices at Liberty High School, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, and took it with them out into the world. Winston Alozie, program director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bethlehem, told the story:

    "I was in the Bethlehem Area


  • Experience three days immersed in a restorative environment.

    April 3-5 (Wed.-Fri.) | Bethlehem, PA
    544 Main St., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018 USA

    Cost: $425 per person (includes lunch)
    Space is limited, so register early.

    Download event flier (PDF) »

  • In anticipation of the February 2013 issue of The Prevention Researcher on restorative justice, which is sponsored by the International Institute for Restorative Practices, the magazine has just released an audio podcast interview about school implementation of restorative practices. Dr. Christopher Plum is Interim Superintendent at the Plymouth Educational Center, a K-12 charter District in the heart of Detroit, Michigan.

    A few years ago, the Plymouth Educational Center began using mandatory, district-wide, restorative practices. Since then, district administrators and faculty have witnessed a "magical" transformation of their school culture. Dr. Plum talks about the restorative practices which have been


  • Along the lines of the previous post, I would also add this statement from the Dignity in Schools Campaign:

    In the weeks following the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, a number of advocates, including members of Congress and the National Rifle Association, have called for armed guards and/or police officers in public schools. As Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on gun violence develops policy recommendations in response to the attack and gun violence more generally, a coalition of youth, parents, education advocates, civil rights organizations, and law enforcement are cautioning the White House against embracing proposals to put armed guards and police in schools.

    “A police presence makes us feel unsafe and unwelcome in our own schools,” said Tanisha Denard, a youth organizer with the Youth Justice Coalition, a member of the Dignity in


  • Photo by Pat Schneider for The Capital Times

    Pat Schneider in The Capital Timesreports on a project to implement restorative practices in a number of Madison, Wisconsin schools, with training provided by the YWCA.

    Here are two excerpts from the article:

    To hear the students at Sennett Middle School tell it, restorative practices hold a lot of potential for helping students do better


  • Nirvi Shah reports in Education Week that researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a relationship between suspensions and failure to graduate from high school. But they also say that other factors might be at work in reducing graduation rates.

    About three-fourths of Florida 9th graders who were never suspended out of school as freshmen graduated from high school, compared with a 52 percent graduation rate for those suspended once and a 38 percent rate for those suspended twice in their first high school year, an analysis has found.

  • On February 14 and 15, 2013, coinciding with Black History Month activities, Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York and the Kings County District Attorney's Office have partnered to create their first Symposium on Race, Law and Justice. The theme of the Symposium is "Closing the School-to-Prison Pipeline." IIRP Director of Continuing Education John Bailie will be part of a national panel to come together and "address the rapidity with which young students are being driven away from a learning environment toward a life involving the criminal justice system."

    Details: Thursday, February 14,


  • Timote Vaka, 18, a senior at Ralph J. Bunche High School in Oakland by Ramin Rahimian for Education Week

    Nirvi Shah at EdWeek has reported many times on restorative justice, restorative practices and other alternatives to zero tolerance policies in schools. This week the magazine published a lengthy piece, "Discipline policies shift with


  • Andrew Shaw, writing in the York Dispatch, reports that "Four York County [Pennsylvania] schools received state grant funding to prevent and reduce incidents of violence."

    One of the four schools, Crispus Attucks YouthBuild charter school, "is working with Bethlehem's International Institute for Restorative Practices. The institute will train YouthBuild teachers with its 'Safer, Saner Schools' [sic] program to reduce 'incidents of misbehaviors, expulsions, bullying and student absenteeism,' according to principal Melissa Bupp.

  • Les Davey, director of IIRP UK & Ireland, writes:

    In partnership with the City of Salford, IIRP UK & Ireland are pleased to announce their Summer 2013 Conference: "Restorative Practice: The way forward in Salford" to be held at Salford City Stadium, Manchester, on Thursday, 20th June 2013.

    We are pleased to announce that Transforming Conflict is collaborating with us in planning a workshop stream. Both organizations are exploring closer collaboration where possible, as we share so many core values, principles and practices. This event will replace Transforming Conflict’s annual conference "Restorative Approaches in Educational and Care Settings" Conference for this year.

  • This article recounts a great story in which a restorative circle was used to address conflict with about 20 girls in an alternative school in Maryland. Joe Burris of the Baltimore Sun writes:

    It began as many confrontations between students do: with a hard stare between two passing strangers, according to Toni Holmes, a senior at an Ellicott City alternative school. One of the girls told a friend, "I don't like her." Snide remarks about clothing and appearance went back and forth, and then other girls chimed in.

    Soon, unexplained yet simmering enmity exploded into a series of face-to-face confrontations among about 20 girls at the


  • Presentations from the IIRP UK & Ireland 2012 Conference in Swansea, Wales: “Putting Theory into Practice: The Restorative Way”

    Following up from the IIRP UK & Ireland 2012 Conference in partnership with City and County of Swansea: “Putting Theory into Practice: The Restorative Way” at Liberty Stadium, on Thursday 29th November, below are links to PDF files of the Plenary and Workshop Presentations submitted by presenters so far.

  • Family Learning Signature (a Restorative Practice approach) at Carr Manor Community School, Nov 2012.

    Example of a completed Family Learning Signature

    In the caption for this video, Leeds City Learning Centres writes, "The Family Learning Signature is a simple self assessment tool which generates information about how a family


  • Students with Dignity in Schools t-shirts ushered into an 150-person overflow room, which would also fill up

    The Washington Post's Donna St. George reported on the Senator Durbin's "School-to-Prison Pipeline" hearing in the US Senate last week. The article begins:

    At a congressional hearing billed as the first-ever focused on ending the “school-to-prison pipeline,” Edward Ward emerged as a voice of experience.

    Ward, a recent high school graduate from Chicago, recalled


  • Restorative PracticesHampstead Hill Academy, a public charter school for elementary age students in Baltimore, Maryland, adopted the use of restorative practices school-wide beginning in January 2008. Hampstead Hill partners with the Baltimore Curriculum Project, "a nonprofit organization that empowers four neighborhood charter schools in East Baltimore with the tools they need to help every child succeed." Baltimore Curriculum Project also works with

  • For this Sunday's video I'm posting a short video of youth leader Edward Ward's testimony during the Senate's "School to Prison Pipeline" hearing convened by Senator Dick Durbin Wednesday afternoon. Ward is 20-years-old and the organization he represents, Blocks Together from Chicago, is a member of the Dignity in Schools campaign,which had a heavy presence at the hearing.


  • via woodleywonderworks at Flickr Creative CommonsJoyce Dawley is a music teacher in Bethlehem Area School District and a student in the IIRP graduate school who plans to graduate next spring (2013). I talked to her the other day about how she is using restorative practices with her students, and also with adults she works with.

    Joyce has integrated restorative practices into her small group teaching as well as large group band and orchestra conducting. Normally she works with small groups


  • To follow up on Friday's post, there's this piece from the New York Times by Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She begins by relaying a tragic story of a student with Asperger's syndrome who is roughly arrested in school for an offense which amounts to "contempt of cop." His is not an isolated case, just one of 882 arrests in New York City public schools during the 2011-12 school year.

    The entire piece is interesting, but I would note this passage:

    In New York City, the Police Department has a special unit to


  • A recent blog post at EdWeek by Sarah Sparks points to a new research study, to be published in the January 2013 issue of the Sociology of Education, which demonstrates a link between teenage arrests and school pushout:

    While 64 percent of Chicago students who were never arrested eventually earned a high school diploma, the graduation rate for students who had been arrested was only 26 percent. Similarly, only 16 percent of students with an arrest record eventually enrolled in a four-year colleges, compared with 35 percent of students with a diploma or GED who avoided the legal system. Arrested students were also more likely to have missed school, failed a grade, or been identified for special education, even though the researchers found little