• A new program is bringing restorative practices to schools. Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont) — which operate day-treatment schools, foster homes and supervision programs for at-risk youth in eastern Pennsylvania, USA, and are model programs of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School — recently launched the Restorative Services program. Developed in response to a growing need on the part of public schools to deal with at-risk students on site, the Restorative Services program was introduced in fall 2009.

    In the past, young people with behavioral, emotional and substance-abuse issues have been placed by school districts or local courts in alternative schools and community-based programs. But school districts in Pennsylvania, like those in many areas of the U.S. and other countries as well, have been under pressure


  • St Edmund’s Community Foundation School, for children 3 to 11 years old (174 pupils), in North Lynn, Norfolk, UK, received restorative practices training in April 2010 from IIRP trainers Kim Smith (Restorative Practices Development Manager, Criminal Justice Services, Norfolk Constabulary) and Alan Stockdale (Behaviour Intervention, William Howard School, Brampton Carlisle, Cumbria). St Edmund’s headteacher Lisa Cook and some staff visited Collingwood Primary School, in Hull, UK, to see restorative practices in action. The training and visit made a huge difference at St Edmund’s. Below Cook tells of the school’s transformation. (To read about Collingwood Primary and restorative practices, see:

  • From Chicago, Illinois, USA, a police officer looking for effective alternatives to school suspension and the court system for delinquent young people

    From New York City, USA, a high school social worker researching restorative practices as a way to build school community and improve student behavior

    From San Francisco, California, USA, the director of a new prison dorm for war veterans hoping to learn restorative solutions for inmates

    From São Paolo, Brazil, a community trainer working in the most violent urban neighborhoods refining her knowledge of restorative techniques

    From Canberra, ACT, Australia, an education graduate student seeking ways to engage pupils

    From Twin Falls, Idaho, USA, a juvenile corrections district liaison hoping to learn how to spread restorative practices statewide

    From Louisville, Kentucky, USA, a teachers’ union representative checking out restorative practices on behalf of his school


  • 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


  • Both Mexico and New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, are experiencing high incidences of crime and violence. To find new ways to deal with this issue, participants from both locations recently attended special four-day immersion events at the IIRP’s Bethlehem campus. An April 26-29 event involved 30 criminal and juvenile justice officials from 10 states in Mexico; a May 11-14 immersion included 15 educators and youth-justice professionals from New Orleans.

    Tabasco State Attorney General’s Office: Manasés Sylvan Olan, Deputy Attorney General For Legal Processes; Rafael Miguel González Lastra, Attorney General; Mario Alberto Dueñas Zentella, Director of


  • Hungarian high school students participate in a restorative exercise, forming a “boat” and “rowing” into the future, with their teacher at the center.In April 2010 Vidia Negrea, director of Community Service Foundation (CSF) Hungary, provided an introductory training in facilitating restorative conferences for four different youth group homes in Budapest. This is just the latest development in her work spreading restorative practices in Hungary, which also includes major efforts in schools and prisons.

    Psychologist Negrea came to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, in 2000 to learn about restorative practices and has never looked back. (See: ...

  • Deanna L. Webb earned a Master of Restorative Practices and Education in June 2009 at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School, through the one-year FastTrack program. She is an eighth-grade special education teacher at a middle school in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA.

    When I graduated from college with a degree in special education, I was prepared to offer students specially designed instruction, program modifications and a variety of teaching techniques to match their individual learning styles, as well as tools and techniques they could use to be successful with academics. What I was not prepared for, however, was the need to fill in the blanks in their lives that were not a part of the typical academic school environment. This became


  • 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:

  • Kate Shapero, in front of the IIRP Graduate School, Bethlehem, Pa., campus

    Kate Shapero is pursuing her Master of Restorative Practices and Education at the IIRP Graduate School. She is a facilitator at the Penn Literacy Network at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and is a curriculum consultant and substitute teacher (formerly a full-time science teacher) at Project Learn School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The following are her reflections on the restorative conference facilitator’s


  • 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


  • West Philadelphia High School has undergone a transformation. It has been on Pennsylvania’s “Persistently Dangerous Schools” list for six years, but the implementation of restorative practices and strong leadership, headed by principal Saliyah Cruz, have made a huge difference. The culture and climate of the school have improved significantly, violent and serious incidents have plummeted, and rates of discipline procedures such as suspensions and expulsions have decreased dramatically.


    Marie-Isabelle Pautz is a One-Year FastTrack Master’s Degree candidate in Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP). For her YC/ED 510, Professional Learning Group (PLG) Seminar: Restorative Project, she is implementing restorative practices in a preschool. Before attending the IIRP, Marie-Isabelle worked with Turning Point Partners in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, introducing restorative practices to schools, youth court and juvenile detention centers. She also facilitated restorative conferences in schools and codirected a homeless shelter in Rochester, New York, USA. The following are excerpts from her IIRP PLG report.

    I am a part-time assistant teacher at a preschool in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. I’m instituting restorative practices with our 13-pupil class  of four-year-olds. “Restorative” means participation by everyone affected by decisions, widening the


  • Hull, UK, led by the Hull Centre for Restorative Practices (HCRP) and the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), is endeavoring to become a “restorative city.” The goal is for everyone who works with children and youth in Hull, one of England’s most economically and socially deprived cities, to employ restorative practices.

    Nigel Richardson, Hull’s director of Children and Young People’s Services, is leading the restorative initiative. Hull- — population 250,000, with 57,000 children — had a thriving fishing industry that disappeared several generations ago, and the city failed to regenerate itself economically, said Richardson, resulting in “low aspirations and self-esteem, and a high proportion of people living below the poverty line.” Hull invested heavily to rebuild housing, the city center and secondary schools. But, said Richardson, “There’s no point in


  • Terry O'Connell talks with students about restorative practices.During the 1980s and ’90s in Northern Ireland, a number of integrated schools were established that students from both Protestant and Roman Catholic families could attend together. The “integrated education” movement was a response to what are known as “The Troubles,” the continuing conflicts, frequently violent, between British rule and Irish nationalists, and to a school system segregated along religious lines.

    Integrated College Dungannon (ICD), established in 1995, is one of 19 integrated secondary schools in the country. The school has recently embarked on a journey to integrate restorative


  • Youth participate in a restorative circle at Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, in Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.

    It’s no accident that Colorado is the first U.S. state to mandate that judges advise adjudicated youth of the possibility of participating in restorative justice (RJ) conferences or other programs if they become involved in the criminal justice system. (See Part 1 of this article to learn more about Colorado House Bill 08-1117, which legislated this mandate.) For more than 10 years, Colorado communities, schools, nonprofits, RJ


  • Click here to view the original findings for 1999-2001.

    Click here to view the the second study, with findings for 2001-2003

    This paper reports on the latest (third) phase of an ongoing study, in progress since 1999, which highlights decreases in offending among 3,928 youth discharged from Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy's (CSF Buxmont's) restorative programs. The results of all three studies show a dramatic decline in offending rates, achieved through the systematic use of restorative practices, which diminishes only modestly over time.

    CSF Buxmont


  • By Brenda Lange

    Matt sat quietly in the small conference room, recounting a recent experience that was a watershed in his young life. Matt has attended the Community Service Foundation/Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont) school, in Trevose, Pennsylvania, USA, since October 2006, where emphasis on community problem-solving and support was key to his handling of this very challenging situation and his subsequent personal growth.

    Dave provides support for his friend and fellow-CSF Buxmont student, Matt.“I’ve been



    Ping Yi Secondary School students participate in a restorative circle.Ping Yi Secondary School students participate in a restorative circle.In 2005, Ping Yi Secondary School in Singapore was chosen by the Ministry of Education as one of four pilot schools to receive training and begin using restorative practices (RP). The school is now entering its fourth year of the pilot and is working to train teachers and administrators to use RP reactively in cases of discipline, but also proactively to create a restorative school culture.

    Singapore is a prosperous industrial nation and


  • The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is publishing a four-year study confirming that school-based social and emotional learning programs that help students build positive relationships, develop empathy, and resolve conflicts respectfully and cooperatively also have a positive effect on academic performance.

    [The goals and philosophy of restorative practices are, of course, consistent with those of programs promoting social and emotional learning. These findings should therefore buoy the confidence of those working in schools to enhance social and emotional learning by means of restorative practices.]

    The study showed that students who participate in school-based programs that focus on social and emotional learning, compared to students who do not, improve significantly in terms of social and emotional skills; attitudes about themselves,


  • West Beach Public School pupils and teacher Rosemary Griffin participate in SW Metro District’s Restorative Directions Day, engaging in a circle process.Two Australian educators are making an important difference in the emotional and academic vitality of the schools in their regions. Lyn Doppler has been principal of the award-winning Rozelle Public School in Sydney, New South Wales, since 2002. Lesley Oliver is manager of Student Inclusion and Wellbeing for the government of South Australia’s Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS), representing the South West (SW) Metro District of