Restorative Justice

Introduction to Restorative Justice, Community Conference
Participants:  Most of my RJ trainings are designed to be presented to a mixed group of community members.

Past Offerings:   I started a multi-stakeholder domestic violence task force in 1989 in Gainesville, Florida.  It became a model for community cooperation.  Later I became involved in restorative justice and led stakeholder conferences for communities implementing restorative justice programs.

I’ve taught Basic RJ in college/university classes, law school, and with community groups. Recently, I also presented at the 2015 national restorative justice conference, the third bi-annual RJ conference I have attended.

Time:  Creating an RJ training is part consulting, part training.  Each program is tailored to the needs of the community.

Content:   Restorative Justice seeks to heal the harm of crime, for all the stakeholders. It is a philosophical perspective as well as a social justice movement.

Restorative Justice brings a community together to approach crime from a restorative perspective. The Community Conference is an organizing meeting of interested members of the community.  Legal professionals, community leaders, social workers, teachers, and others gather to explore the questions:  What is restorative justice?  What can it provide for our community?  Who are the stakeholders?  How does a community align their prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, social workers, victim advocates, and other stakeholders and create a way to work together?

Other Restorative Justice Topics

  • Escaping the Drama Triangle (Victim-Offender-Rescuer)

The Drama Triangle is a common dysfunctional dynamic which is often exacerbated by the intervention of the legal system.   This segment is particularly impactful as we explore what it means to be a victim, how it feels to be a perpetrator, and why we are inclined to want to rescue, even when it perpetuates an already dysfunctional situation. Learning about the dynamic and how to break the cycle assists everyone in the process, even if only one person changes.

  • Circlekeeping

A peacemaking circle is an alternative conflict resolution process based on restorative principles that has its origins in ancient tribal conflict resolution rituals.  I am a trained and experience circlekeeper who has led hundreds of circles.  I often teach in circle, allowing and encouraging the active participation of everyone in the room.

  • Should Lawyers Encourage Their Clients to Apologize?

            The hows and whys of apologies and how to be effective in using an apology to shift impasse in conflict.