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How key elements of a Restorative Justice Peacemaking Circle create more than conversation.

Aug 14, 2013

From the article by Kris Miner on Restorative Justice and Circles:

Circles are so simple, yet so complex.  I’ve been told I make it look easy, that ease comes from a deep committment to honor the process and the key elements of Restorative Justice Circles.  Here are a few of the elements and how utilizing them impacts the process, creating a deeper container a richer experience, and has people quickly moving to a place of emotional safety.

The opening/closing.  I have a 3 inch 3 ring binder bursting with poems, readings and even an obituary.  When you introduce this element you are sharing how Circle is different from our every day conversation, that sets a tone.  The reading also provides one voice. The one reading, is the one speaking, at that time.  

...Commitment to the Values.  Crucial.  Absolutely crucial.  This sets the agenda and the tone for how we are going to relate to each other.  Doing the values round as the first round, sets a tone, and the commitment to those values, sets and ground that the Center of the Circle, has a capital C.  

...Passing the Talking Piece Around the Circle....Equality, sitting equal distance from the Center, equal opportunity with the talking piece.  These physical actions influence our emotions, Spirit and thoughts.

...Keeper as model to responses.  I often go first, to show or demonstrate and to set the tone. 

...Relationship Building.  You can’t NOT be in relationship, and relationships are bi-lateral.  Kindness builds a relationship. 

 

Read the full article.

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