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Recent News, Articles & Videos

Restorative practices outcomes: One of the few things everyone agrees on

Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Schools

Ross Brenneman at EdWeek’s “Rules for Engagement” blog reports on a recent pole, the “Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup annual national survey,” that shows few Americans have heard of “Common Core Standards,” which have been adopted by all but four states, and even fewer understand what they are. However, according to Brenneman, “There was huge support for the idea that schools should address social-emotional skills. Over 50 percent of respondents displayed strong agreement with the following statements: Today’s schools should teach critical-thinking skills. Today’s schools should teach communication skills. Today’s schools should teach students how to set meaningful goals....

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“Peace Building”: Architecture and design as a restorative practice

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Justice

This piece caught my attention for a number of reasons, not least because it comes from such a surprising and fresh direction. In a recent article titled “Restorative Justice: An Interview with Deanna VanBuren,” ArchDaily, a trade publication for architects and designers, notes that the group Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) “is campaigning to have the [American Institute of Architects] forbid its members from designing prisons” as a form of protest against the punitive U.S. penal system. But the editors are pleased to have discovered the work of Deanna VanBuren of FOURM Design Studio, who says she is looking at “the question of how architects might actually change the...

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IIRP President Ted Wachtel to keynote at Spalding University

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Featured

The Kentucky Center for Restorative Justice and the Children’s Law Center present Restorative Practices: A Statewide Symposium at Spalding University on Thursday, October 10th, 2013, from 9 am to  5 pm. The theme of the symposium is “Teaching Leaders to Implement Restorative Practices for Youth.” IIRP President Ted Wachtel will present a keynote address on themes from his new book, Dreaming of a New Reality: How restorative practices reduce crime and violence, improve relationships and strengthen civil society. Sujatha Baliga, director of the Restorative Justice Project for the National Council for Crime & Delinquency will also be featured. For more information call 502-873-4314 or register...

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Book review: Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice by Theo Gavrielides

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Book Review, Justice

The following book review appeared at RJ4All, a web site offering free restorative justice resources. The original review may be found here (free member login required). Theo Gavrielides, Editor (2012), Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice, De Sitter Publications, Canada Reviewed by: Judah Oudshoorn, Professor of Community & Criminal Justice, Conestoga College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada If policymakers have the objective of bettering justice responses for young people, then Theo Gavrielides‟ (2012) edited volume, Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice is a must read. It makes an important contribution to youth justice. 1) It bridges a growing divide between...

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Newark, New Jersey, schools and police launch restorative practices project

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Schools

In a press release titled “Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance Policies,” Newark Public Schools (NPS) and Newark Police Department (NPD) announce the launch of a “Historic Initiative with the International Institute for Restorative Practices to End the School to Prison Pipeline.” The article says: Staff members from NPS joined forces with NPD to shift school discipline policies from zero tolerance to youth development. The training was facilitated by the world renowned International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP). The initiative was spearheaded by NPD Police Director Samuel A. DeMaio and NPS Superintendent Cami Anderson. More than 150 participants, including all Newark high school principals and NPD...

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Guest blog: Don’t be distracted by the serious school incidents

Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Schools

Ivan Webb, a retired principal and teacher from Tasmania, Australia, tweets about restorative practices (@IvanWebb). He collects his weekly updates in a weekly online newspaper format, called Restorative Schools (embedded below). In last week’s edition, he posted a short sidebar editorial in which he argues that while restorative practices are effective for responding to serious incidents, people should not stop there but consider the reasons for adopting a more proactive approach, “to be restorative for all students all the time.” Restorative Practices can be vital in responding to serious incidents in schools. The outcomes that are often achieved by using restorative practices can be life-changing for those involved  –...

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Audio: Restorative justice circles in a therapeutic boarding school setting

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Schools

Here’s a radio program about a therapeutic boarding school located in northern Idaho for at-risk teens where restorative justice circles are becoming more and more embedded for responding to problems and helping teens work through conflict. The host is Lon Woodbury and the interview is with Lisa Hester, director of student life at Boulder Creek Academy in northern Idaho. The player will popup in a new window at LA Talk...

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Strengthening faith communities through restorative practices

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Faith Communities

Update: Seminary students are eligible for a $550 discount on this event. To register call 1-610-807-9221. “If restorative practices were more widely known, and its structures and processes more widely put into place, churches would be far better equipped to deal with conflict, harm, or trauma in a healthy manner.” -Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, Professor of Pastoral Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey To this end, the IIRP is offering a 4-day retreat at Kirkridge Retreat Center in eastern Pennsylvania, September 23-26, 2013, titled “Strengthening Faith Communities Through Restorative Practices.” The event will be co-facilitated by Bruce Schenk, director of IIRP Canada, and Anne Martin,...

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Video: “Fixing juvie justice” on PBS

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in Justice

This month the Public Broadcast System in the United States is showing a documentary film titled Fixing Juvie Justice. The film provides a critique of the revolving door of youth justice, and its criminalizing effect on many youth who originally commit very minor crimes. Then it turns to an examination of restorative justice as an alternative model, and discusses some of the roots of conferencing in New Zealand. Dr. Lauren Abramson, founder and executive director of the Community Conferencing Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is quoted throughout the video. She was a student of Sylvan Tomkins, whose theory of affect has been very useful for helping to...

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Offender on the impact of a restorative justice meeting

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Justice

I was struck by the sincerity of this post by an anonymous offender who opts for a restorative justice meeting with the person he victimized: I wanted to tell people what restorative justice means to me, as someone who has been through the whole process. In prison, I made so many steps to change and I thought that there was something not there, something that was missing. That’s when I heard about restorative justice. I thought about how my victim felt and so I got involved with it. I wasn’t expecting to get as much out of it as I got out of it. When I got out of jail and met my victim, it was a really big shock. I would never put anybody through that again. I can say that because I have been through restorative justice and I know how it...

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