Restoring Community

Restorative practices, which evolved from restorative justice, is a new field of study that has the potential to positively influence human behavior and strengthen civil society around the world. Restorative practices builds healthy communities, increases social capital, reduces the impact of crime, decreases antisocial behavior, repairs harm and restores relationships.

As an emerging social science, restorative practices integrates developments from a variety of disciplines and fields, including education, psychology, social work, criminology, sociology, organizational development and leadership. 

Restorative practices has the potential and has begun to influence several areas of need globally. Research, investigation and inquiry are driving theory development and practice enhancement. Some notable areas of influence are:

  • U.S. school-to-prison pipeline
  • European refugee and transcontinental migration conflict
  • Radicalization of youth
  • Community policing and use of force

The field of restorative practices is undergoing an evolution in theory development and practice innovation. The IIRP Graduate School is helping to steward the development of this emerging social science and leading innovative civil society projects around the world.

The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.

Defining Restorative will help you understand the development of the basic framework that led to the creation of the world's first graduate school wholly dedicated to this new field.