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Hopkins, Belinda and Caldeira, Bruno (2008). Public support for RJ: Creating a restorative society by starting young Restorative practices in schools Report of the fifth conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, Building restorative justice in Europe: cooperation between the public, policy makers, practitioners and researchers, Verona.

There is a tendency to associate the phrase ‘restorative justice’ with judicial systems (alternative or complementary) and with reactive processes when harm has been caused by offending behavior. However there is far more to restorative justice than this, and the phrase ‘restorative approaches and practices’ hints at the potential of what is, for some, a radically new way of conceptualizing community and conflict. One of the main goals, for those who work in this field, is to inform public perception of both community and conflict and to enhance people’s confidence and competence in building community and addressing conflict. Therefore we believe the work with children in schools is a good road to follow. Implementing restorative approaches/practices in schools can be a way for children to learn and internalize new concepts of community and of justice, based on restorative principles. In that way we will have in the future adults who are familiar with restorative ideas and thus more emotionally literate, more committed to community and, in case harm and conflict arise, they would be more willing to explore restoration rather than retribution and revenge. (excerpt)


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