Restoring Community

These articles were formerly posted on our Restorative Works website.


The New York Times quotes Dr. Keith Jensen, co-author of a study showing young children have a sense of justice: "[G]iven a choice [toddlers] would rather restore things to help the victim than punish the perpetrator."

Law Street examines "How Can Restorative Justice Change the Criminal System?" illustrated with a number of embedded videos.

Restorative justice pioneer Howard Zehr was “roasted” during a celebration of the anniversary edition of his groundbreaking book, “Changing Lenses.”

Budapest-discussionThe first IIRP Europe Conference brought 160 people from 23 countries to Budapest, Hungary, on June 10-12, 2015. For three intense days, participants shared stories, practices and research on restorative practices in criminal justice, education, social services, the workplace, faith communities and other settings. They heard how restorative practices are overcoming centuries of distrust between the Roma people and others in Romania, reintegrating prison inmates back into society in Hungary and helping heal victims of sexual abuse in Ireland. In circle discussions, they brainstormed how restorative practices can improve civil society all over the world. Everyone left the conference inspired to take what they learned back home.

Each day began with plenary presentations, attended by all the participants, followed by a large selection of “breakout” sessions.


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

When civil unrest erupted in Baltimore, MD, during the last week of April 2015, schools that had been implementing restorative practices all year employed talking circles to help students feel safe, heard and restored. Unlike their counterparts in many other schools in the city, these schools felt prepared to respond in a way that strengthened their school communities.

My Baltimore

“It was a tense few days,” says Corey Basmajian, principal of Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle School, in West Baltimore, referring to the feeling not only in his school but throughout Baltimore.

In West Baltimore, protests had begun April 18 over the police’s treatment of Freddie Gray, who would die on April 19 of spinal injuries sustained during an arrest April 12. By Friday April 25, some of the protests had turned violent. The unrest peaked the night of Monday April 27, after Gray’s funeral. Baltimore City Schools responded by closing on Tuesday April 28. But when students returned to classes on Wednesday, everyone was anxious about how they would act in light of all the unrest taking place in the city.

school climate reform "We're excited to bring together some of the country's most important leaders in school climate reform, to collaborate at the IIRP's first Presidential Symposium." - John Bailie, Ph.D., IIRP president

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) presents a Symposium, Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts: Join the Conversation with National Leaders, July 20 – 21, 2015, at its campus in Bethlehem, PA.

Dr. John Bailie, IIRP president, will be facilitating the Symposium. He is excited about its possible outcomes and potential for impact and shares his thoughts about it.

Student Odessa Reid helps Grandma – Suzanne Ham, CLC's 'foster grandparent' – learn to program her new phone over lunch.Student Odessa Reid helps Grandma – Suzanne Ham, CLC's 'foster grandparent' – learn to program her new phone over lunch.

Last school year, staff at Community Learning Center (CLC), a school in Winfield, Kansas, for students at risk of dropping out of high school, successfully managed a major move by employing restorative practices with students.

“Our students loved that we had always been a separate off-site private school away from all the perceived problems of the other place – the big public high school,” says CLC director Jennifer Muret-Bate, who holds a Master of Science from the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

But in 2014, the school district decided to incorporate the CLC program back into the main school building. Muret-Bate presented a case study about the restorative process they used at the 2014 IIRP World Conference in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Susan Deppe
Dr. Deppe says, "If we can help everyone — parents, teachers, religious leaders, business people, those in criminal justice — understand emotion and its management, we can do even more to help people make changes."


In the following interview Susan Leigh Deppe, M.D., a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine, and member of the Board of Directors and Faculty of the Tomkins Institute in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, talks about the importance of affect and script theory for enriching restorative practices and the fun that will be had during the professional development event she'll be offering at the IIRP Main Campus on September 17 & 18, 2015.


Director for Central and Eastern Europe, IIRP EuropeVidia Negrea will be a featured presenter at the IIRP Europe 2015 conference. The conference, entitled "From Dream to Reality: Dawning of a New Social Science," will be held June 10-12, 2015, in Budapest, Hungary. Learn more »

Vidia will chair the morning plenary session on day one, a panel about applications of restorative practices in criminal justice settings. She will also present in two breakout sessions related to her work in corrections (details below).




BorbalaFellegi_photo200wBorbála Fellegi, Ph.D., will be a featured presenter at the IIRP Europe 2015 conference. The conference, entitled "From Dream to Reality: Dawning of a New Social Science," will be held June 10-12, 2015, in Budapest, Hungary. Learn more »

The breakout session, “Alternative Ways to Peacemaking in an Intercultural Context,” is scheduled for 1 PM on the second day of the conference.


The IIRP hosted a symposium entitled, "Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts," on July 20-21, 2015, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. The event featured a panel of national leaders in school climate reform. Below find presentations and recommended readings provided by each panelist.

Read a day-by-day summary of the symposium and highlights of comments from panelists, "Hope for the future of school climate reform," by IIRP Assistant Director for Communications Laura Mirsky.

Janet L. Fox Petersen, Ed.D., a school psychologist in Wichita, KS, Public Schools, talks about her experience at the Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts symposium:


The Detroit News reports overall crime dropping in schools with restorative practices being implemented district-wide.

Chicago Public Schools, with the mayor's support, open Parent Peace Centers. Watch a video about how a Parent Peace Room has been established in one school.

The Wall Street Journal publishes numerous letters and comments countering Eva Moskowitz's op-ed criticizing the use of restorative justice, and one advocate notes elsewhere that "restorative schools manage to achieve communities of joy, safety and learning."

Further, as the New York City Council proposes "Bills Aimed at Clarity, Improvement Around School Discipline and Support," a writer for the New York Times Parenting Blog looks at the implications of police involvement in school discipline. Also, WNYC radio looks at the positive impact of restorative practices in a Brooklyn School.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) town hall meeting looks at how restorative practices can help end the school-to-prison pipeline. (Article and video.)