Higher Education

  • Ted Wachtel's plenary – "Defining Restorative and Building a Worldwide Restorative Practices Learning Network" – from this year's IIRP's 15th World Conference. View the video here.

  • The IIRP Class of 2012Saturday  June 23 was a beautiful day for the commencement ceremony of the fifth graduating class of the IIRP Graduate School, held in the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Jeffrey Lyle Farr, Julia E. G. Getty, Angela Lorraine Hankins, Donald Lloyd Jackson, Stacy R. Phillips and Sharon Rose Jones Witbeck received Master of Science in Restorative Practices and Education.

    Jacqueline Joyce Exum, Mary Jo Hebling, Robin C. Ide,


  • Interdisciplinary Conference

    This interdisciplinary conference will provide an international perspective on restorative practices theory and practice in a variety of settings, including education, social welfare, criminal justice, community development and workplaces. Restorative practitioners from around the world will share their knowledge and achievements and find encouragement, support and advice.

  • 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. 

  • Are you interested in creating a culture of community and connection on your campus? What tools can be used to live out the mission and values of your university actively every day? How can you engage students in addressing decisions they make as opportunities to learn? What is Restorative Justice (RJ) and how can you bring the principles and tools of RJ to your campus? This manual was developed to help answer these questions and provide a framework to bring restorative justice to your Institution of Higher Education. This framework is based on the impressive Restorative Justice work that is being led by Administrators and RJ Practitioners utilizing RJ principles and tools at 9 prestigious colleges and universities across the United States.

  • The piece in the National Center for Student Leadership's free weekly eNewsletter, SA Matters, focuses on the fact that restorative practices seem not only to be useful for students, but also makes RA's job easier to do:

  • Here's a piece by IIRP president Ted Wachtel that appeared on University Business Magazine's web site:

    Campus residence hall advisors (RAs) have a tough job. But there is a tool that can make their work easier and more effective: restorative practices.

    Most RAs sign on for the job because they want to help build community, provide guidance to their peers and learn what it means to be in a leadership role. RAs, however, also are charged with managing


  • Photo by Tim Plante - from Flickr Creative CommonsTo conclude the series this week of posts about Building Campus Community, IIRP's newest project dealing with applying Restorative Practices in residential life departments at colleges and universities, I'll conclude with a short passage from Chapter 5, Responsive Restorative Circles, from the new book.

    For more information about this project, visit the ...

  • IIRP now has a brand new book, Building Campus Community: Restorative Practices in Residential Life. I co-wrote the book with Ted Wachtel, and the introductory chapter was co-written by Stacey Miller, University of Vermont Director of Residential Life, and Ted Wachtel.

    Here are a couple excepts from Chapter 3 discussing the special role of the RA and how Restorative Practices can help balance the ideals of being a community leader with the need to also enforce behavioral norms:

  • This week I'll be featuring different links related to IIRP's newest project, Building Campus Community. This project helps campuses apply the full spectrum of restorative practices at the college and university level, beginning specifically with residence halls. Restorative practices gives resident advisors (RA's) a wide range of tools for both building community proactively and responding to harm and wrongdoing when it occurs.

    By way of introduction, here are two videos from administrators and RA's at the University of Vermont, a campus currently in its second year of RP implementation for residence halls across the entire campus.

  • 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.

  • University of San DiegoUniversity of San Diego's (USD) newspaper, The Vista, has a story by Libby Jelinek about a one-year pilot to establish a restorative justice program on campus. They will be using conferencing in the areas of student discipline and peace circles for working through issues that affect the larger school community.

    The one-year pilot program will implement restorative justice conferencing and peace circles to


  • UVM Uses Restorative Practices in Residence Halls Across CampusLast year the University of Vermont (UVM) began using circles and other restorative practices within their department of residential life. In August 2010 IIRP trained all 129 RAs plus other residential life administrative staff to run community circles, to help build community, and also to use restorative practices to respond to incidents in the halls and on campus.

    IIRP’s Steve Korr was one of three trainers who delivered this year’s training. “It was a very good training. There was lots of energy, lots of excitement. UVM has a number of


  • By Laura Mirsky, Joshua Wachtel

    At the IIRP’s first participatory symposium: Turning The Tide: Bringing Restorative Practices to Schools, Organizations, Workplaces and Communities, 42 professionals came together to share and strategize about how to implement and sustain restorative practices in a wide range of settings. The symposium, held August 2-4, 2011, at the IIRP Graduate School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, was also an opportunity for 14 students to earn graduate credit, doing additional online work.

    Five keynote speakers presented — all restorative practices implementation leaders — each inspiring lively discussion. Participants contributed input regarding the remainder of the agenda, in what IIRP president Ted Wachtel called a self-organizing “open space technology conference.”

    The first keynote speaker, Joseph Roy, is superintendent of the Bethlehem Area School District (15,000 students in 22 schools), which is planning


  • I'll be letting everyone here know when new articles have been posted to our eForum, IIRP's online newsletter, which now hosts literally hundreds of articles about restorative practices around the world. This is a huge resource, which is fully searchable.

    New Two Part Article

    Throughout Latin America there are growing efforts to confront the social consequences of poverty and violence. Restorative practices provides an outlook that is appealing to many who are working to bring people together to resolve problems and transform the nature of society.

    This two-part article by Joshua Wachtel discusses how individuals in Latin America are implementing restorative practices in their organizations, schools and communities. Part One discusses Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia. Part Two talks about Mexico and Peru and references work in Brazil.

  • By Laura Mirsky
    The fourth commencement of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School, on June 25th, 2011, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, was a little different from the past three. At 35 graduates, the number of students had grown progressively larger than those in the preceding years, as had the overflow crowd of 230-plus family and friends. More significant, perhaps, just two days before, on June 23rd, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education1 granted the IIRP official accreditation status.

     The fourth class of master’s degree


  • By Joshua Wachtel

    “At first I didn’t comprehend what had happened.” Jordan Humble, a student and resident advisor (RA) at the University of Vermont (UVM), left his lab on October 18, 2010, around 7:30 p.m. and learned from text and voice messages that something terrible had happened on his residence hall floor. He made his way home to discover that a student had been found dead on his floor and that police and emergency personnel were already on-site. Only students directly involved in finding the young man’s body were allowed to remain in the building. Humble joined them while they waited to be interviewed by a detective.

    “I wanted to get a feel of where everyone was at emotionally," said Humble. “I asked them what they had been talking about and what steps they had gone through. It became a coping session until I could tell people had had enough of it. Then I directed it to a more free-flowing atmosphere. I brought in games, we made paper


  • IIRP Class of 2010With friends and family looking on, 19 women and men received their degrees in restorative practices from the IIRP Graduate School, at the joyous commencement ceremony on June 19, 2010, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. Jill K. Dreibelbis, Eileen V. Hovey, Marlene Karen Ruby and Kate Burns Spokas Shapero received the Master of Restorative Practices and Education, and Roxanne Atterholt, Stacey Ann Bean, Christi L.Blank, Mardochee T. Casimir, Julia Maye Malloy, Sharon L. Mast, Ann Phoebe Moyer, Lynette Vineis Reed, Tami Beth Ritter, Mary Schott, Michele Wertz Snyder, John Douglas Tocado, Kelly L. Trzaska, Paul Jeffrey Werrell and Melinda Lappin


  • The IIRP’s Second Class of Master’s Degree Recipients: Front Row, left to right: Marie-Isabelle Pautz, Mary-Lynn LaSalivia-Keyte. Second row: Viola Bush, Mary Ellen Mannix, Perrine M. Weierbach, Deanna L. Webb, Jennifer Lyn Barvitskie, Gloria Alvarez Pouleson. Back row: Nicole A. Sutterby, Benjamin Emery, Kevin W. Eisenhart, Lemi Daba Gudeta, Bonnie L. Witt. (Not pictured: Darian Smith.)The second commencement of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School, on June 20, 2009, was special because of the 14 graduates. Five received the Master of Restorative Practices and Education: Kevin


  • Terry O’Connell, director of Real Justice Australia, a division of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), was awarded an honorary doctorate by Australian Catholic University at its October 2008 graduation ceremony. O’Connell, a retired 30-year veteran with the New South Wales Police Service, is well known as the “cop from Wagga Wagga” who developed what is now the IIRP’s Real Justice restorative conference model.

    IIRP president Ted Wachtel first heard O’Connell speak in 1994 in Pennsylvania, and was so taken with O’Connell’s work adapting the New Zealand model of family group conferencing that he founded Real Justice, now the IIRP’s restorative justice program. The IIRP has promoted the use of O’Connell’s restorative conference process based on his “restorative questions,” which foster empathy and shared understanding among offenders, victims, and their respective friends and family members.

    Since retiring from the police