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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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Video: Restorative approaches at Grey Court Comprehensive and St Richard’s Primary Schools

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Schools

There are so many lovely short videos now that demonstrate restorative approaches in schools. This one features the voices of many students as well as staff and administrators at two schools in Greater London. Watch at youtube.

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Aggression Replacement Training: New professional development & graduate course

Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in Featured, IIRP Graduate School

Aggression Replacement Training® (ART®) 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 ART 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 ART 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 ART,”...

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Restorative justice bill introduced in Massachusetts

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Justice

Pierre R. Berastaín, a student at Harvard Divinity School and co-founder of the Massachusetts Restorative Justice Collaborative, writes today on his Huffington Post blog: While restorative justice programs continue to sprout throughout the state, no law has helped promote or endorse any of them. This legislative session, however, State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) has introduced Senate Bill 52, an act promoting restorative justice practices. If it goes into law, the act would not only give legislative recognition and legitimacy to restorative practices, but it would also establish a committee to assess programs in the state as well as make recommendations for future programming. This committee would bring together a range of...

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Retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice discusses RJ in Belgium, advocates more research in U.S.

Posted by on Aug 7, 2013 in Justice

Janine P. Geske, retired Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, recently spent time as a Visiting Professor in Restorative Justice at Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She has written two blog posts for Wisconsin Restorative Justice Coalition inspired by her time abroad. In the first piece, she discusses the framework for national implementation of restorative justice (mostly mediation) processes in Belgium. In the second second, she suggests ways American researchers and advocates could learn from their European colleagues. (Thanks to IIRP’s Wisconsin affiliate, Patrice Vossekuil, for forwarding the link.) I have the privilege of serving as a visiting...

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Video: Restorative justice as form of “teen court” in Eugene, Oregon, schools

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in Justice, Video

In this video Chip Coker, director of the Center for Dialogue and Resolution in Eugene, Oregon, discusses using restorative conferences in schools instead of either punitive discipline procedures or what is called a “teen court” structure. The conference structure Coker describes sounds very much like a Real Justice conference in terms of the questions raised, the involvement of victims and the focus on how to repair the harm. Additionally, this application, where youth in the school are integrally involved in giving feedback and also providing support for a student in a discipline situation, reminds me of what happens in a CSF Buxmont school (the demonstration projects of the IIRP) every day. In these schools, at-risk youth...

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“Stop and frisk” policies increase youth crime, study shows

Posted by on Aug 2, 2013 in Justice

Stop and frisk policing, according to a new study, “stirs up, rather than deters, youth crime,” according to an article in Time magazine. The following, by Nicole Flatow, published by the Center for American Progress, succinctly summarizes that article and the finding of the report: Students who are stopped by police are more likely to later engage in delinquent activity, according to a new study in the journal Crime & Delinquency. Researchers at the University of Missouri at St. Louis followed about 2,600 students participating in gang-prevention programs in seven different cities over the course of seven years. They subjected some students to random police stops, even when they hadn’t done anything wrong, some to stops...

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Teacher from Costa Rica passionate about restorative practices

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Schools

When the teachers at Country Day School, an American private school in Costa Rica, were trained in restorative practices several years ago, Veronika Marenco, a third grade teacher at the time, knew she had found something really useful. She started the school year with circles for her students to get to know one another, and followed it up every day with daily circles to check in and check out, play games, review math concepts and also address problems between students. A few weeks in, when parents were invited to “Back to School Night,” Veronika even arranged the classroom in a circle of chairs and let parents (and a few children who came along) experience a circle to introduce themselves to one another. The parents liked the...

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