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Recent News, Articles & Videos

UK Ministry of Justice allocates 29 million pounds for restorative justice

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Justice

According to a number of reports in the UK, including this one from the Belfast Telegraph: At least £29 million will be made available over the next three years for restorative justice – the process of bringing those whose lives have been ruined by crime or conflict together with those responsible for the harm. A recent study by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) linked the conferencing process with a 14% cut in re-offending, while 85% of victims who took part said they were satisfied with the experience. … For the remaining six months of the current financial year, £5 million has been provided for restorative justice, of which £3.85 million will be distributed to PCCs. A further £10 million is earmarked for 2014-15 and at least...

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IIRP President Ted Wachtel to co-teach first fully online “gateway” course

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Featured, IIRP Graduate School

“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...

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Building strong school communities with restorative practices in San Francisco

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Schools

Jan Chien, of San Francisco local public radio KALW, reports on restorative practices at Harvey Milk Elementary School: In addition to the whole-school circle in the morning, each class has its own daily community circle. Every classroom has a carpeted area where students and teachers sit on the floor to share their thoughts or feelings. In Marisa Martinez’s 3rd grade class, students pass a small stuffed panda around the circle, to mark who has the floor. Today they’re talking about people or animals that have passed on. A boy in a hooded sweatshirt says, “One person who I would like to celebrate is my grandmother – my mom’s mom. She passed away last year, and I want to celebrate her. She was really nice to me.” Another boy says he wants...

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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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