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Recent News, Articles & Videos

Video: Restorative practices in faith communities: Panel from 16th World Conference

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Canada, Faith Communities, Video

This video includes the entire plenary session from day three of the IIRP’s 16th World Conference on the topic of restorative practices in faith communities. Bruce Schenk, director of IIRP Canada, moderated the panel. The panelists included: Mark Vander Vennen (minute 15:00), executive director of the Shalem Mental Health Network, IIRP-certified facilitator and trainer and a proponent of restorative justice since 1982. Anne Martin (minute 21:50), director of Restorative Practice Services at Shalem Mental Heath Network in Hamilton, ON, Canada, whose work includes developing Shalem’s restorative practices network and providing RP services for schools and faith communities through FaithCARE (Faith Communities Affirming Restorative...

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Guest blog/book review: Forging Justice: The goods on a good story

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Justice, Schools

Anne Martin, director of restorative practices for Shalem Mental Health Network in Ontario, Canada, recently reviewed Margaret Murray’s new mystery, Forging Justice. Police Detective Claire Cassidy, the protagonist of Margaret Murray’s recently published novel Forging Justice: A Restorative Justice Mystery, is ready to quit her job. When it appears that Pee Wee Lebovitch has reoffended, this time killing an elderly woman, and three teenage girls have brutally attacked a storeowner leaving him in a coma, Claire has had it. She feels she cannot help keep the city safe. Her twelve years on the police force in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania feel like a waste of time. Is it time to turn in her badge? While investigating the attack on the...

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IIRP presents restorative practices at summits on school-to-prison pipeline across New York State

Posted by on Nov 13, 2013 in Schools

The International Institute for Restorative Practices has been invited to present plenaries and breakout sessions at a series of summits across New York State to share how restorative practices can be used in schools to help end the school-to-prison pipeline and transform disciplinary policies that disproportionately impact minority youth. The New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, chaired by Former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, has been working on issues regarding exclusionary school discipline and its connection to the justice system for the last few years. With funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the commission is currently hosting a series of regional summits from October, 2013 through April 2014....

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Video: Restorative practices in schools: Panel from 16th World Conference

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Schools, Video

This video includes the entire plenary session from day two of the IIRP’s 16th World Conference on the topic of restorative practices in schools. Dr. John Bailie, IIRP assistant professor and director of continuing education, moderated the panel. The panelists have all overseen restorative practices whole-school change in their respective schools and districts. In order of presentation, they are: Mike Calderone, Principal, Harding Middle School, Philadelphia, PA, USA (minute 8:00) Joseph Roy, Superintendent, Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, PA, USA (minute 16:45) Harrison Bailey, Principal, Liberty High School, Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, PA, USA (minute 28:00) Mike LaPorta, Principal, Freedom High School,...

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Two art exhibits, from victims & offenders, help Brattleboro Community Justice Center celebrate 10 years

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Justice

Brattleboro Community Justice Center (Vermont, USA) presented two exhibits at the city’s monthly art gallery walk to commemorate its 10th anniversary and to recognize restorative justice week, which is celebrated from November 17 to 24 in Canada and other places. Deborah Lee Luskin, for The Commons Online, explains the first exhibit this way: “Saving a Place at the Table” serves to honor and remember Vermonters who have been victims of violent crime. The exhibit features table-place settings for those killed by criminal violence and those whose lives have been significantly changed by that violence. These place settings are meant to give a sense of the life that was lost and to mark that person’s absence from the family table. Each...

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Graphic novelist Art Spiegelman features Si Lewen’s “Parade” at Sydney Opera House

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in Si Lewen

Artist Si Lewen – who celebrates his 95th birthday today – donated his catalog of paintings and rights to his books to the IIRP to support the organization’s mission “to restore and build community in an increasingly disconnected world.” Last month renowned graphic novelist Art Spiegelman featured Lewen’s The Parade in a special talk and performance given at Sydney (Australia) Opera House. The Parade: A Story in 55 Drawings, tells the saga of never-ending war as witnessed by Lewen, who watched the armistice parades after World War I morph into the death marches of World War II. Spiegelman is the author of many books including Maus, a two-volume portrayal of his father’s experience during the Holocaust for which he was...

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Restorative justice program gearing up in Solano County, California

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Justice

The Solano County Bar Association (California), headed by Julie Hilt, executive director, is working to implement a restorative justice program for at-risk youth in the county, and also develop partnerships for building community with schools and others. “We’re going to start with kids in diversion from the courts,” said Hilt. Later she hopes to apply for grants so the program can be developed to include adults in the criminal justice system and the jails. The process of starting the program has involved building relationships and support with all the stakeholders one person at a time. “I started with the probation chief, who happens to teach restorative justice at an online university,” Hilt said. “I met with all the police chiefs in the...

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Video: Restorative practices in criminal justice: Panel from 16th World Conference

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Justice, Video

This video includes the entire plenary session from day one of the IIRP’s 16th World Conference on the topic of restorative practices in the criminal justice system. Dr. Craig Adamson, IIRP Assistant Professor and Director of Community Service Foundation / Buxmont Academy, moderated the panel. The panelists were, in order of presentation: Vidia Negrea (minute 8:00), director of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, which is implementing restorative practices in various fields. Recently she developed a collaboration with a prison that led to the successful application of family group decision making/family group conferencing to support the prisoner reintegration and re-entry process. Lisa Bedinger (minute 18:30), coordinator for...

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University of Florida using restorative practices on campus

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Higher Education

Brianna Donet of WUFT, National Public Radio from the University of Florida, reports, “Restorative justice is gaining popularity among college campuses, including at the University of Florida.” The report continues: Restorative justice practices are providing new avenues for describing justice and addressing law violations, Chris Loschiavo, Assistant Dean of Students, and Director of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, said. These practices focus on the needs of the victims, the offenders and the community, instead of simply working to punish the offender, he said. “It’s a different philosophical look at crimes and violations of rules, with the focus being on the community and repair of harm to the community,” Loschiavo...

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New Zealand tannery requests restorative justice after injuring workers

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Justice

In Wanganui, New Zealand, a city striving to become a restorative city, a company that “failed to ensure its employees’ safety after a toxic leak,” according to the court reporter for the Wanganui Chronicle, has pled guilty in court and is now requesting a restorative justice conference between the company and the injured workers. The report states: “The leak on November 2 last year saw 21 workers exposed to hydrogen sulphide after a mix-up of chemicals. Two workers were in hospital for a week. … The section 6 charge carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and judges may, at their discretion, also order emotional harm reparations to be paid. “Tasman Tanning has requested a restorative justice conference with...

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