What do we want a justice system to accomplish?

The modern judicial system and restorative justice (RJ) both aim to support public peace and safety. But their methods have radically different outcomes. For a quick orientation, check out YRP’s side-by-side comparison. For a deeper understanding of distinctions, let’s start with a brief look at the beginnings of modern RJ. Originating in tribal circles, RJ hasContinue reading “What do we want a justice system to accomplish?”

Juvenile Justice and Restorative Conferencing

On The Law Matters with Municipal Judge David Bazar and Deb Morais, Julia discusses YRP’s Restorative Conferencing program in Rhode Island schools, and how this approach could bring new resources to the State’s juvenile justice system. We all agree that the focus of the justice system should be on “rehabilitation”, especially for young offenders. But that meansContinue reading “Juvenile Justice and Restorative Conferencing”

Chronically Misbehaving Kids Suffer Mental and Social Disease

Published by EducationNews.org — Sometimes these students get a chance to  shake off the ‘bad kid’ self-image.  Too often not. Naturally, Faina Davis, a lawyer and head of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), would have a happy-ish story about what happens when troubled kids connect with adults who practice Restorative Justice.  Far more often, kidsContinue reading “Chronically Misbehaving Kids Suffer Mental and Social Disease”

College Campus Discipline That Works

Published by EducationNews.org — Revenge may be satisfying, but it rarely leads to positive change. Here’s a clear, real-life illustration of the use of Restorative Justice (RJ).  Skidmore professor David Karp tells the story of how the college handled two virtually identical incidents before and after the implementation of a RJ campus discipline system.  Karp literallyContinue reading “College Campus Discipline That Works”

At Last! A Review of Research on Restorative Justice In Schools

Published by EducationNews.org — Early studies of RJ programs in the US show their impact in reducing suspensions and harmful behavior. Local Restorative Practices/Restorative Justice (RP/RJ) initiatives have been starving for research on America’s efforts to implement programs.  The large body of evidence showing the ineffectiveness of punishment doesn’t seem to make an adequately compelling argument for supporting Restoration.  AndContinue reading “At Last! A Review of Research on Restorative Justice In Schools”

Communities Create Their Own Safety; Police Only Help

Published by EducationNews.org — We can fall into the habit of thinking the responsibility for certain problems belongs to someone else. David Karp, who directs Skidmore College’s Project on Restorative Justice, tells this story:  Some time ago, a student, whom we’ll call Sarah, came to class one day visibly upset.  She’d been “harmed,” in the language ofContinue reading “Communities Create Their Own Safety; Police Only Help”

Drugs, Drop-outs and Restorative Justice Conferencing

Published by EducationNews.org — When a student knows what she wants, it’s a lot easier to help her get through trouble. The lovely Roxanna, as we’ll call her, sighed heavily as she joined a circle that included a school administrator, two conference facilitators and her very pissed-off dad.  The teacher who had promised to make it couldContinue reading “Drugs, Drop-outs and Restorative Justice Conferencing”

Dominic Barter: Respect Means to Look Again

Published by EducationNews.org — We live in a super-aggressive world.  Those who want peace must be able to walk towards the conflict. I have hated the word “respect.”  What does it mean?  It grates constantly as it’s overused in political discourse, the media, discipline conversations and among co-workers.  Especially annoying are those posters in school hallways demandingContinue reading “Dominic Barter: Respect Means to Look Again”

Can Schools Teach What Kids Don’t Learn At Home?

Published by EducationNews.org — Kids are often switching between two different value systems — the middle-class values of school and whatever their culture is at home. Back in the early 1990s, Margaret Thorsborne was among the original group of Australians exploring restorative justice and its applications.  Eminent criminologist John Braithwaite was among them.  At thisContinue reading “Can Schools Teach What Kids Don’t Learn At Home?”

How Dominic Barter Developed Restorative Justice in Brazil

Published by EducationNews.org — “How do you sit with people in their pain, without producing solutions, without brainstorming?” Decades ago, Dominic Barter fell for a beautiful Brazilian.  He’s English; they met in Europe.  Alas, in time she had to return home. They could only afford one phone call a month.  But after about 6 months, theyContinue reading “How Dominic Barter Developed Restorative Justice in Brazil”