• Les Davey, CEO IIRP Europe Les Davey, CEO IIRP EuropeWith nearly 20 years experience in the UK and Ireland plus affiliates and associates throughout Europe, IIRP Europe (formerly IIRP UK & Ireland) is poised to increase offerings across the continent for training, graduate education and research into restorative practices.

    IIRP Europe CEO Les Davey said, "Working with our colleague Vidia Negrea in Hungary (IIRP Europe, Director for Central Europe), we are looking to bring together existing associates of the IIRP in Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, plus new colleagues we’re starting to develop relationships with elsewhere in Europe, in such a way that people can go to one source to find out what restorative practices is about and what’s available in their area."

  • A Restorative Justice MysteryForging justice: A restorative justice mystery. Margaret Murray. Pipersville, PA: Piper's Press, 2013. 231 pp.

    ISBN-13:  978-1-934355-26-8

    Police detective Claire Cassidy was disillusioned after twelve years pursuing young people - often the same ones repeatedly - in the decaying steel town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The story mainly follows the case of one teenage girl gang who rob a convenience store. Using her usual police methods, things don't go well, until she meets the vice-principal of the girl's school. He is trying to introduce restorative practices there, although his principal believes in zero tolerance. The policewoman is also sceptical, but the v-p perseveres (he has a remarkable amount of time to devote to this single case!) and a restorative meeting is held. He does a bit of explaining, and doubts the effectiveness of punishment (p. 54, 56), although the offender's mother accepts it (p. 205); but the tone is not didactic, and the dialogue, including the meeting itself, sounds realistic to an English reader. The victim is still angry, and there is no instant reconciliation. Given the sub-title, we know that it will work out, but there are some credible doubts and setbacks along the way, and some unanswered questions at the end. The story held my attention in a way that a case history would not have done; I recommend it as a good read, with a realistic introduction to restorative practice as a bonus.


    Martin Wright is a restorative justice author and practitioner. He is a recipient of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) Award for his contributions to restorative justice over many years.

    Margaret Murray's Forging Restorative Justice can be purchased in the IIRP Bookstore. For the UK and Europe, use IIRP Europe's Bookstore.

  • In this short video segment, Les Davey, chief executive of IIRP Europe, discusses work his organization has done in Ireland with victims of sexual abuse by clergy. Sexual abuse cases require careful handling, but they can be powerful experiences, especially for victims. In this video Davey describes one example of the positive effects a conference had for a victim of abuse, who was finally able to sleep well after the restorative meeting. Davey has recently been approached to run a restorative conference for a child in England who was abused in her home at a young age by an ex-boyfriend of her mother.

    Watch the short video, "Restorative responses to sexual abuse by clergy," at youtube.


  • Nicola Preston wears many hats, but they all involve restorative practices. She's a lecturer at the IIRP teaching online courses and a special education needs coordinator for a UK primary (elementary) school. She says that restorative practices have even made a big impact in her personal and family life.

  • Director for Central and Eastern Europe, IIRP EuropeWhen they use restorative practices, professionals suddenly get back their self-esteem,” says Vidia Negrea, director of Community Service Foundation of Hungary (CSF Hungary), in Budapest. “They see how worthy their work can be.”

    Negrea was appointed this month by the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Board of Trustees as its newest member.

    “I think of the IIRP as a restorative institution,” says Negrea. “The whole IIRP is a model of thinking and living in a restorative way. Even when the crises within politics and government make me very depressed, when I practice and people feel the effects of restorative practices, they start to regain their trust in themselves and the world.”

  • hybrid educationIn keeping with the restorative ethos of including all stakeholders in decision-making, the IIRP Graduate School sent a survey to prospective students worldwide to learn the best ways to deliver its course content. The overwhelming response was that students wanted to learn restorative practices, but they wanted more online and low-residency options so they could continue to live and work at home while they studied. Nationally, too, the trend in higher education throughout across the U.S. is toward more online and hybrid education. As the IIRP has developed opportunities for students to study restorative practices at the graduate level wherever they happen to live, a world-wide network of restorative learners and practitioners is being fostered.

    Fully online courses, including introductory courses like RP 506, Restorative Practices: The Promise and the Challenge, allow students to connect with others around the world on their own time schedule. IIRP students who have taken the course talk about the advantages of working with diverse participants from different fields and places as far afield as the Netherlands, Canada, the Caribbean, South Africa, the U.S., Australia and Peru.

  • Papers, slides and handouts from many of the breakout sessions held during the IIRP's 17th World Conference, held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, October 27 - 29, 2014, have now been posted on the International Institute for Restorative Practices' web site.

    You may also watch the complete plenary sessions from the conference below.

  • Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 10.10.22 AMOne in Four, a Dublin, Ireland-based organization that works to support adult victims of childhood sexual abuse, as well as sexual offenders and their respective families, aspires to make the world a place where all children are safe from sexual violence. Sadly, though, research shows that currently one-in-four people in Ireland experience sexual violence at some time during their lives.

    The organization, which since 2002 has offered advocacy and psychotherapeutic services to survivors of sexual violence, has, since 2012, sought professional development from IIRP Europe so it can offer restorative services for clients and provide a new level of support and structure for staff.

  • Eigen Kracht Centrale, Dutch for "Our Power," is an NGO operating throughout the Netherlands that provides independent coordinators for organizing Family Group Conferences (FGCs). The FGC is a process that provides a structure to bring together extended family, close friends, and sometimes appropriate members of the community, to help a family or individual develop a plan to care for a child, secure housing, find work, confront addiction, obtain medical assistance or address other crucial issues that might affect children or youth in a family, rather than a judge, social worker or other professional making a plan for them. FGCs are also being used around the world in schools, prisons, communities and other contexts.

    The following video trailer sets the stage for an Eigen Kracht FGC that was held in a small community that was struggling with a variety of issues that were negatively affecting the quality of life in the village.

  • A Family Satisfied with FGDM, from the Famly Voices VideoA family satisfied with their FGDM, the North American term for a Family Group Conference, from the Family Voices videoIn spring 2014, the Dutch parliament approved an amendment to the country’s Law on Child Welfare that gives every citizen of the Netherlands, as of January 1, 2015, the right to make their own plan first when social services has been called upon to intervene in the care of a child or adolescent.

    Rob Van Pagée, founder of the Dutch NGO Eigen Kracht Centrale, heralds the law as an important step in the development of what he calls the “new welfare state,” in which decisions that most affect people’s lives can be made by them and their communities of support.

    “Citizens now have a right to first make a ‘family group plan,’” says Van Pagée.

  • restorative practitioners

    The following is a guest post by Ian D. Marder, Ph.D. student, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK and founder, Community of Restorative Researchers.


    This article argues in favor of the establishment of a national organization in the United Kingdom which represents and is run collectively by volunteer restorative practitioners. Such an organization is now necessary given the widespread use of volunteers in restorative practices delivery in this jurisdiction. The organization would help to enable both best practice and resources to be shared by encouraging communication and collaboration between the wide array of organizations and individuals involved in the delivery of restorative practices in a voluntary capacity.

  • Dr. Borbála Fellegi, PhD., director of Foresee Research Group, introduces her work exploring the benefits and challenges of conflict resolution processes in a Hungarian village. She will present on her research at the IIRP Europe Conference, "From Dream to Reality: Dawning of the New Social Science" in Budapest, Hungary, June 10-12, 2015. Learn more.

  • BorbalaFellegi_photoThe IIRP welcomes Borbála Fellegi, Ph.D., who will join the IIRP faculty in July 2015 as lecturer. A resident of Budapest, Hungary, Borbála is a researcher, mediator, conference and peacemaking-circle facilitator, as well as a trainer and lecturer in restorative justice, restorative practices and mediation. She has published widely.

    Currently, Borbála provides training and lectures at five universities. Her numerous publications include articles and book chapters, as well as the book Towards Restoration and Peace, a comprehensive study of restorative justice implementation in Hungary.

  • The following is a guest post by Anne Martin, Director of Restorative Practices, Shalem Mental Health Network, Ontario, Canada.


    Thousands of dollars disappear from a congregation’s safe. The Council’s executive informs the police. A police investigation discovers the pastor stole the money. He’s arrested. FaithCARE facilitates restorative conversations for church members to talk about the impact of the situation on them and others. The conversations form the basis of a victim impact statement.

  • 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.

  • During the IIRP Europe 2015 Conference in Budapest, Hungary, Romanian social worker Izabella Kasza discussed her work with a displaced Roma population in the city of Cluj. The group of 300 families lives and works in poor conditions near the city's landfill.

  • San Francisco ArchdioceseParticipants in the San Francisco Archdiocese Restorative Justice Ministry's homicide survivors assistance and support retreat (Photo by Christina Gray/Catholic San Francisco)

    The Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco Restorative Justice Ministry recently hosted a retreat for nearly 40 survivors of homicide and representatives of organizations that support them. The retreat included Restorative Responses to Adversity and Trauma, a professional development event conducted by the International Institute for Restorative Practices. The event gave participants a deeper understanding of their own trauma and loss as well as skills to help themselves and others cope with similar experiences.

    “The most amazing thing was getting people to the leadership moment, where they can actually begin to see their healing on a higher and deeper level, as well as some restoration as a step in their healing process,” affirms Julio Escobar, director of the Restorative Justice Ministry. “We wanted to introduce the concept of restorative justice and restorative practices from an accredited organization like the IIRP,” he explains.

  • CoRRListen to the first episode of Restorative Conversations, a new podcast by the Community of Restorative Researchers (CoRR).

    Ian Marder, founder of CoRR, interviews Dr. John Bailie and Ted Wachtel, the current and former presidents of the International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate School during their recent visit to Kortrik, Belgium.

    Topics covered during the discussion include Bailie and Wachtel's backgrounds, the work of the IIRP in training and implementing restorative practice in schools, universities and criminal justice, and the future of restorative practice as a social movement and a new social science.

  • 2015 International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduating ClassThe IIRP Graduate School Class of 2015 is finding inspired new ways to take their passion for restorative practices out into the world, employing explicit elements of the practices to develop new ideas in their fields, workplaces and communities.

    Their capstone projects, which they presented in a final paper and oral presentation, explored:

  • Vidia Negrea (4th from right) and others who met during the 19th IIRP World Conference to discuss ways to address the refugee crisis in Europe.Vidia Negrea (4th from right) and others who met during the 19th IIRP World Conference to discuss ways to address the refugee crisis in Europe

    IIRP Europe representative Vidia Negrea, who lives in Hungary, is determined to address the refugee crisis facing her country and the continent. Thousands of refugees have been arriving in Hungary daily, fleeing devastation in the Middle East. The response in Hungary and has been to build fences.

    A refugee herself who found a warm welcome when she fled Romania for Hungary 25 years ago, Vidia has been especially dismayed by the refugees crisis.