• This piece was written by John Macdonald discussing Hull, UK's project to become the world's first restorative city by implementing restorative practices throughout the city for public service agencies working with youth, including schools and police. He makes the case that private business would do well to examine restorative practices as a leadership model. The article first appeared under the title "Restoring Your Bottom Line: Restorative Practices in the Business Environment."

    IIRP has worked extensively with Hull, conducting trainings and offering materials that Hull uses for its trainings. Read more about Hull's efforts to become a restorative city ...

  • Illustration from Cooperative GrocerHere's a lovely article by Jennifer Crain for Cooperative Grocer, a trade publication for food cooperatives in North America, about a food market in Olympia Washington that operates on consensus and "decided to revamp its staff accountability" to "include the adoption of restorative practices."

    Before the Olympia Food Co-op became a two-store operation with over 80 staff members, resolving internal conflicts was a direct but mostly informal process. If a conflict arose, such


  • 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.

  • This is part of two of an article on how individuals in Latin America are implementing restorative practices in their organizations, schools and communities. There are now two IIRP affiliatesPart one discusses Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia. Part two talks about Mexico and Peru and references work in Brazil.

    There are now two IIRP affiliates in Latin America: the Central American Center for Restorative Practices (Centro de Prácticas Restaurativas para Centroamerica), headquartered in Costa Rica — website: www.iirp.edu, headed by Miguel Tello; and the Latin American Institute for Restorative Practices (Instituto


  • Many people face a transition in their lives when promoted to a supervisor 

    Reflective Questions:

    • What type of supervisor do I want to be and how do you want to lead others?
    • Do I want to give honest feedback even if it can be difficult to deliver?
    • When I have questions, how will I gain support from other leaders?
    • How would I want to describe the culture of our workplace…how do I create that?
    • How can I teach, direct, empower and develop the people I work with?
    • How can I hold the people accountable to the employment expectations while providing ample support simultaneously?
    • How is change created in our setting and how can I help that go better?
    • When I think of the leaders I respect most in my life, what where those

  • 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 Thomas S. Fertal

    Tom Fertal is principal of Lancaster Catholic High School, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. He is also a Master of Restorative Practices and Education candidate at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

    In the summer of 2008 I enrolled in my first restorative practices courses at the International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate School in Bethlehem. I had just been named vice principal of student affairs at my high school. My major responsibility was student discipline.

    As an administrator at a private, faith-based school, I had never been satisfied with the traditional system of detentions, suspensions and “Saturday school” in use at our school. I had long known that we needed an alternative to those traditional methods, but I hadn’t known what they might be.

    I had heard the term “restorative justice,” but at the time I


  • 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


  • Judy Happ, vice president for administration at the IIRP Graduate School and president of Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy, delivered the alumni commencement address at Shippensburg University’s School of Graduate Studies, in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA, on May 7, 2010. The following are excerpts from the address.

    I am vice president for administration for the International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate School. We teach educators and others who work with children and youth to employ restorative practices in their work.

    Restorative practices are processes and strategies for the development, repair or improvement of relationships, social capital and social discipline through collaborative empowerment.

  • On October 21-23, 2009, nearly three hundred education, social service, criminal justice professionals and others from 15 countries and 18 U.S. states met in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, for the 12th IIRP World Conference, “Restoring Community in a Disconnected World, Part 2.”

    Besides the plenary sessions, the conference consisted of participants sharing their work in “breakout” sessions. All plenary-session and many breakout-session papers are on our website, here.

    Intellectually stimulating and soul-nourishing, the conference was a celebration of restorative practices created by everyone who attended, whether or not they presented a session. Coverage of the plenary sessions and a random selection of breakout sessions follows:

  • John Bailie is assistant director of training and consulting at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, and a lecturer at the IIRP Graduate School. The following are excerpts from his paper presented at the First International Restorative Justice Conference: Humanizing the Approach to Criminal Justice, in Oaxaca, México, September 23-26, 2008.

    “Power” can be defined as the ability to exert influence over one’s environment and play an active role in the decisions that affect one most. Healthy communities set external boundaries while fostering inner control and social discipline.

    Restorative practices provide participatory processes that determine social power and promote healthy self-discipline and social discipline. Restorative practices greatly broaden the scope of restorative justice by offering a unifying model that


  • A plenary speech on day one of the conference, photography by Dávid VadóczBorbála Fellegi is a Ph.D. researcher at Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) University, Budapest, Hungary, in the field of social policy and criminology, with a special focus on the potential of restorative justice in criminal matters. She authored this report after attending the 10th IIRP International Conference.

    “Participation, responsibility-taking, communication, community, caring, restoration, understanding, acceptance” –these concepts were the focus of the three-day long conference organized by the International Institute for Restorative Practices in cooperation with the Community Service


  • After a preamble acknowledging those in attendance and acceptance of his new responsibilities as president, Wachtel began his speech.

    Thirty years ago my wife Susan and I, both public school teachers, were looking for solutions to the increasingly challenging behavior of young people in schools, families and communities. We left public education, founded the first of several non-profit organizations and developed schools, group homes and other programs for delinquent and at-risk youth. As time went on we realized that the successful strategies we were using with the troubled young people in our programs had implications for all young people, and for adults as well.

    We and our colleagues also got involved with an innovative approach in the field of criminal justice, called “restorative justice,” which provides opportunities for victims, offenders, and their family and friends, to meet and, to the extent possible, repair the harm caused by a


  • By Paul McCold, Ted Wachtel

    Paper presented at the XIII World Congress of Criminology,
    10-15 August 2003, Rio de Janeiro.

    English   Español   Português

    Restorative justice is a new way of looking at criminal justice that focuses on repairing the harm done to people and relationships rather than on punishing offenders. Originating in the 1970s as mediation between victims and offenders, in the 1990s restorative justice broadened to include communities of care as well, with victims’ and offenders’ families and friends participating in collaborative processes called “conferences” and “circles.” This new focus on healing and the related empowerment of those affected by a crime seems to have


  • By Paul McCold, Ted Wachtel

    Ponencia presentada en el XIII Congreso Mundial sobre Criminología,
    del 10 al 15 de agosto de 2003, en Rîo de Janeiro.

    English   Español   Português

    La justicia restaurativa es una nueva manera de considerar a la justicia penal la cual se concentra en reparar el daño causado a las personas y a las relaciones más que en castigar a los delincuentes. La justicia restaurativa surgió en la década de los años 70 como una forma de mediación entre víctimas y delincuentes y en la década de los años 90 amplió su alcance para incluir también a las comunidades de apoyo, con la participación de familiares y amigos de las víctimas y los delincuentes en


  • By Paul McCold, Ted Wachtel

    Trabalho apresentado no XIII Congresso Mundial de Criminologia,
    10-15 Agosto de 2003, Rio de Janeiro.

    English   Español   Português


    A justiça restaurativa é uma nova maneira de abordar a justiça penal, que enfoca a reparação dos danos causados às pessoas e relacionamentos, ao invés de punir os transgressores. Tendo se originado nos anos 70 como uma mediação entre vítimas e transgressores, nos anos 90 a justiça restaurativa foi ampliada para incluir comunidades de assistência, com as famílias e amigos das vítimas e transgressores participando de processos colaborativos denominados “conferências” e “círculos”. Este novo enfoque na resolução de conflitos


  • By Laura Mirsky

    On August 8-10, 2002, 300-plus people from all parts of the globe came together to change the world. That was my impression of the Third International IIRP (International Institute for Restorative Practices) Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    As a reporter for the Delaware Valley News, which covers Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Hunterdon County, New Jersey, I wrote an article in the spring of 2002 about a documentary film being shot about the IIRP’s restorative practices techniques, in use in a Bucks County school district. IIRP president Ted Wachtel saw the article and asked me to visit one of IIRP’s Community Service Foundation (CSF) schools in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where they also utilize restorative practices to record my impressions. Wachtel then asked me to