IIRP Graduate 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 Zipin received the Master of Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling.

  • Here's a news link to the 1st Singapore Restorative Conference. According to the story, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli kicked off the conference by recommending the use of  restorative justice "to divert delinquent youth away from the court justice system." The article continues:

    Mr Masagos, who also chairs the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR), said restorative justice, which balances deterrence with rehabilitation, is effective in reintegrating youth-at-risk back into society.

    He added that restorative techniques focus on repairing harm and restoring relationships instead of assigning blame and dispensing punishment.

  • Dignity in Schoolsposted this piece by Derek Slaughter, a high school student from Baltimore, Maryland who is involved in a national student movement to draft a Student's Bill of Rights. This strikes me as a significant move by youth to establish their own rights. I found some information about this movement here. Slaughter here argues for explicit mention of the "right to restorative justice" in this prospective "bill of rights."

    Justice for All

    By Derek Slaughter

    Throughout my educational career, I have heard my peers say that things aren’t fair or that they have been unjustly punished in schools. Administration being overzealous to implement extreme disciplinary action is a common theme in schools throughout the country, which I have observed in my travels. For this reason the National Student Bill of Rights movement believes in installing restorative justice systems in communities and schools.

  • 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, Stephanie Mitchell, Yvonne Platts, Amarfi Ramirez-Acevedo, Michele Courtney Reinert, Eileen K. Richards, Alyssa Schmoyer and Josephine Torres-Boykins received the Master of Science in Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling.

  • During the past year, two new Assistant Professors, Dr. Craig Adamson and Dr. John Bailie, have both been named to the IIRP faculty.

    Craig Adamson, Executive Director of Community Service Foundation and Buxmont AcademySince 1995, Craig Adamson has worked in IIRP's model programs, Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont) in both counseling and administrative positions. Craig continues to serve as Executive Director of these organizations, whose services include day treatment/alternative education, in-home and community-based counseling, foster care and conferencing programs for at-risk youth and their families in eastern Pennsylvania. Craig's dedication to introducing restorative programming in community-based settings, empowering families, keeping youth connected to their families and providing quality restorative services to families and youth is central to his work at CSF Buxmont.

    In addition to his experience and knowledge in administration and providing direct services to youth, Craig is also developing new online courses for the IIRP graduate school and bringing in leading edge thinkers from around the world. This spring he taught a course titled "Restorative Justice: Global Perspectives,"and this summer he will be teaching "Restorative Justice in Communities."

  • LSCIDuring the summer term, IIRP is offering two new courses in a fully online format, "Restorative Justice in Communities" and "Restorative Practices in Life Space Crisis Intervention." Both classes are 600 level classes, however they only require Basic Restorative Practices (RP 500) as a prerequisite.

    Assistant professor Dr. Craig Adamson will be teaching RP 622, Restorative Justice in Communities. Craig says that this course looks into what's happening at the local level regarding restorative justice and restorative practices.

    The textbook for this course is Dan Van Ness and Karen Heetdersk Stong's Restoring Justice, Fourth Edition: An Introduction to Restorative Justice, a broad overview of the theory and practice of restorative justice. Students also examine the most current research to get a sense of how restorative justice is developing around the world and the current state of practice.

  • Grad_School_Class_2013 Congratulations to the IIRP's 2013 graduating class!The sixth class of master’s degree recipients graduated Saturday, June 22, in a joyous ceremony, at the Hotel Bethlehem, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with their proud friends and family members cheering them on.

    After IIRP president and founder Ted Wachtel presented the diplomas, the closing ceremony took place. In a tradition unique to the IIRP, instead of a commencement speaker, there was a brief demonstration of the restorative practice known as a circle. In a circle, each person is able to speak without interruption, allowing every voice to be heard. In this circle, nine graduates passed a “talking piece” (in this case, a microphone) and each one answered the question: “What is the most the significant thing to you about restorative practices?”

    Here are just a few highlights of their responses:Ted_IIRP_2103_commencementIIRP President Ted Wachtel

    Cheryl Reider, a parochial school teacher from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said that prior to the program she had found herself “avoiding students who were challenging, whose behaviors were out of control.” The IIRP, she said, “has given me the tools to treat my students with respect but also to help them make positive change.” Now, she said, “I see students really experiencing what it means to take responsibility for their actions, to contribute to their own education in new ways.”

    Diane Edgecomb, a child-protection attorney, guardian ad litem and mediator from Saco, Maine, said she had learned at the IIRP that the children and adults she works with have difficulty forming relationships because of past abuses, and that restorative practices gives them a second chance to learn how to be relational. She added, “It’s important that we look at the whole person, and indeed, we give back some of that whole person to them. We work with them to do that, not for them, and not to them.”

    Kim Vindler, a school counselor from Haverford, Pennsylvania, said she had learned strategies that help her to build and maintain healthier relationships in all areas of her life, making her “not only a restorative practitioner, but a better person and a more effective professional.” She concluded, “My goal now is to give back to others and give them the opportunity to learn about restorative practices. I hope to join them in changing the world.”

    Twenty men and women earned their degrees:

    Commencement_CircleGraduate Joyce Dawley speaks during the commencement circle

    Master of Science in Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling: Elizabeth Ann Bertolet, Diane M. Edgecomb, Roberts E. Heiselmoyer, Lakeisha Atiya Horne, Karena Marie Malko, Sean Philip Plunkett, Naki Patricia Pratt, Cheryl Lynne Reider, Jason Michael Sauler, Dawn B. Schantz, Denise Marie Walsh, Sheila K. Weinhardt, and Ayane Yabui

    Master of Science in Restorative Practices: Margaret Mary Murray, Jessica L Sine, and Michelle Jarrouj-Weaver

  • A youth recognized for displaying all 15 character traits as part of the Evidenced Based Aggression Replacement Training Program (photo from the Tennessee Department of Children Services Web Site)A youth recognized for displaying all 15 character traits as part of the Evidenced Based Aggression Replacement Training Program (photo from the Tennessee Department of Children Services Web Site)Aggression Replacement Training® is a new IIRP event which explores how to reduce violence and youth aggression for those working in education, criminal justice, social services and youth counseling. The Aggression Replacement Training process involves engaging and empowering aggressive youth to take responsibility for their behavior and learn healthier ways of interacting with others.

    Dr. Craig Adamson, Assistant Professor at the IIRP Graduate School and Executive Director of Community Service Foundation/Buxmont Academy, IIRP's demonstration projects for at-risk youth, said that Aggression Replacement Training is an evidence-based restorative practice that has demonstrated success over the past two years with youth in the CSF Buxmont programs. "What I like about Aggression Replacement Training," said Craig, "is that it's very restorative. It's engaging and empowering. Aggression Replacement Training talks about how youth relate to all the stakeholders in their lives and how to engage appropriately with one another. It also looks at what happens with shame, how you can identify your own feelings in the moment, and it is very explicit with kids."

  • Ted&NicolaTed Wachtel and Nicola Preston will co-teach the IIRP's new fully online "gateway" course, "Restorative Practices: The Promise and the Challenge"Restorative Practices: The Promise and the Challenge,” a new graduate course from the International Institute for Restorative Practices, will be offered for the first time during the Spring 2014 term. This elective course (RP 506) is the first IIRP offering that will be completely online with no pre-requisites.

    IIRP Founder and President Ted Wachtel, who will co-teach the class, said, “I’m excited about the opportunity to produce a really fun, interactive course that engages people in thinking and talking about restorative practices from anywhere in the world. For all of our other beginning courses people have to attend something. There are so many people that have contacted us that want to take a course but aren’t in a position to travel."

  • 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.

  • StaceyMiller4Dr. Stacey Miller, Director of Residential Life at the University of Vermont (UVM) since 2003, receives a lot of calls from people across the country inquiring about how they can bring restorative practices to their campuses. “I can feel the momentum swinging. It’s going to tip,” she says.

    Miller was elected this month to serve on the IIRP Board of Trustees. Her enthusiasm for restorative practices has made her an effective leader of implementation efforts in her department and across campus. Now she will bring that leadership to the Board of the IIRP. “I am honored to have even been asked,” Miller says. “I am really humbled by the opportunity to participate and be a Board member.”

  • IIRP President and Founder Ted Wachtel IIRP President and Founder Ted WachtelTed Wachtel, President and Founder of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), has announced his intention to retire from the presidency in June 2015, at the end of the IIRP Graduate School’s academic year. Ted will continue to pursue the sort of visionary restorative projects that have been his hallmark, which the IIRP will support and report on.

    Passionate about the power of restorative practices — giving people a voice and a choice in things that matter to them — to build social capital and improve civil society, Ted envisioned and founded the IIRP and shepherded its expansion across the globe — in education, justice, social services and other fields. Ted was also the driving force behind the establishment of the IIRP as an accredited graduate school and the recognition of restorative practices as a field worthy of study at the graduate level.

  • 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.

  • 2014 IIRP GraduatesThe International Institute for Restorative Practices' 2014 Graduating Class The IIRP Graduate School Class of 2014 is taking what they’ve learned out into the world and making it a better place.

    At the Seventh Commencement of the International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate School, on October 26, 2014, seven new recipients of the Master of Science in Restorative Practices were excited to share how their IIRP education has transformed their work with students, children and youth, and in their communities.

    The graduates received their degrees from IIRP President and Founder Ted Wachtel, in a traditional ceremony. Then, instead of a commencement speaker, in what has become an IIRP Graduate School tradition, the graduates modeled an essential principle of restorative practices: giving everyone a voice. They all shared their experience of IIRP education and their passion for restorative practices, in a “talking circle.”

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMiguel Tello, Representative for IIRP Latinoamérica, has been elected to the IIRP Board of Trustees.

    “I am delighted to be able to serve on the Board,” says Tello. “I have great respect and admiration for the IIRP and its efforts to make our world a more restorative place.”

    Originally from Mexico, Tello now lives and works in San Jose, Costa Rica. He first got involved with the IIRP when he contacted IIRP founder Ted Wachtel for permission to translate Wachtel’s article “Restorative Justice in Everyday Life” into Spanish to use at a Prison Fellowship International conference. Tello then took IIRP trainings and became an IIRP trainer.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • John W. Bailie, Ph.D., Inauguration Speech as Second President
    of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School,
    October 23, 2015, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania


    (r-l) Dr. John Bailie, 2nd IIRP President, William Ballantine, IIRP Board of Trustees Chair and IIRP Founder Ted Wachtel.(r-l) Dr. John Bailie, 2nd IIRP President, William Ballantine, IIRP Board of Trustees Chair, and IIRP Founder Ted Wachtel.

    Many years ago, speaking as one of the first graduates of the IIRP graduate program, I stated that every generation of humanity faces a few clear and undeniable challenges. One central challenge for this generation is a crisis of community and relationships. More than any other time in history, we will live, communicate and relate to an incredible diversity of people. Global physical mobility, as well as social unrest and international conflict, make this a certainty for many decades to come. These realities challenge old social formations, ideas and norms.