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Articles exploring the inclusion of restorative practices in the school environment including statement of good practice.

Intertwined: Community conflict management in the school
from the website of Forsee Research Group: The 27 minute film created within the programme targets secondary school students essentially, with the most important aim of supporting the responsiveness to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with audiovisual tools. The above is realised primarily through the demonstration of the fundamental principles of ADR in educational situations, moreover, the film also cites a non-violent resolution of a specific in-school case, presenting the steps, methods and tools applied in the process. We intend to make the audience think and reflect on their own conflict resolution practices: to re-enforce their positive practices and to face ‘violent’ dispute resolution routines either applied or sustained by them. The film is presented by trained moderator pairs in the frame of a film and discussion workshop, through a pre-defined theme.
How to tell if your community is really doing restorative justice
from the entry by Benjamin Chambers on Reclaiming Futures: What's one of the biggest drivers pushing kids into the juvenile justice system these days? Schools. Schools often suspend or expel youth who misbehave, ostensibly to maintain order. Unfortunately, an analysis of 30 years of data on middle school expulsions and suspensions issued last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the sanctions were unfair and ineffective. So what can be done? For one thing, schools can partner with juvenile courts to reduce the number of unnecessary referrals to juvenile court (follow the link for a great 2010 presentation for the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance given by Judges Steven Teske and Brian Huff on how they accomplished this in their jurisdictions). But restorative justice offers another useful solution. Recent research done on a few schools in the U.S., Britain, and Canada suggests that adopting restorative justice techniques in the classroom can reduce suspensions and expulsions significantly.
How to tell if your community is really doing restorative justice
from the entry by Benjamin Chambers on Reclaiming Futures: What's one of the biggest drivers pushing kids into the juvenile justice system these days? Schools. Schools often suspend or expel youth who misbehave, ostensibly to maintain order. Unfortunately, an analysis of 30 years of data on middle school expulsions and suspensions issued last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the sanctions were unfair and ineffective. So what can be done? For one thing, schools can partner with juvenile courts to reduce the number of unnecessary referrals to juvenile court (follow the link for a great 2010 presentation for the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance given by Judges Steven Teske and Brian Huff on how they accomplished this in their jurisdictions). But restorative justice offers another useful solution. Recent research done on a few schools in the U.S., Britain, and Canada suggests that adopting restorative justice techniques in the classroom can reduce suspensions and expulsions significantly.
Judge Irene Sullivan on learning a lesson in restorative justice from teenagers
from her entry on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange: In mid-May I traveled from my home in Florida to Evanston Township High School, just north of Chicago, to meet with students, school social workers and law enforcement officials. My intention was to talk to them about my nine years of service as a juvenile judge and the stories of the kids in court I wrote about in my book, Raised by the Courts: One Judge’s Insight into Juvenile Justice. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Instead of talking I was listening. Instead of teaching I was learning. Instead of being the center of attention, I was one person in a circle of 12. Instead of sharing my experiences with others, I listened while others shared some very personal and painful experiences with me. Instead of talking about guilt or innocence, crime and punishment, I found myself focused on the word “harm:” identifying the harm, acknowledging the harm and repairing the harm.
Restorative Justice takes on West Oakland schools
from an article by Cassidy Friedman on New America Media: From 2005 to 2009, the city of Oakland backed a restorative justice pilot project at Cole Middle School, in West Oakland, which was already slated to be shut down for low test scores. It was among the first attempts to implement restorative justice circles at a U.S. school. By the final year, standardized test scores had risen by 74 points. The school, which had suffered from a high turnover of teachers, retained all of its faculty. And delinquency plummeted; suspensions fell 87 percent and expulsions dropped to zero.
Letter: Restorative Justice Program a valuable resource
from the letter by Conor B. Stott in Oregon Daily Emerald: Every day at this University I am constantly discovering new opportunities and programs available to us students. Last spring, after an unfortunate incident on campus caused by my friend and me, we had the opportunity to redeem our actions through the Restorative Justice Program at the University. At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about this program, and I am sure most students are currently unaware of what restorative justice is and how it works. The Restorative Justice Program is a group effort between Conflict Resolution Services and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards to resolve students’ infractions against the University in a manner that caters to the needs and wishes of both parties involved.
The restorative approach in Nova Scotia: A partnership of government, communities and schools
from the article by Mary Shafer and Laura Mirsky on IIRP.org: ....There is now a significant interest across Nova Scotia to bring the restorative approach to schools. Said Pat Gorham, director of crime prevention for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, “Our provincial government is trying to find out what the capacity might be for RJ in Nova Scotia, identifying frameworks that might be put into place for schools that want to participate. The work has largely been from the community up. All pilot programs are at the local level, with individual school administrators opting to commit to a restorative approach, supported by regional RJ agencies.” The Tri-County Restorative Justice agency exemplifies this integration; it handles diversion of police-referred youth, and it founded Bringing Restorative Justice into Schools, the first project to develop a program using restorative approaches within schools in Nova Scotia. This program trains students throughout the province as RJ facilitators.
Campbelltown Primary School's justice for all sees grades rise and behaviour improve
from Amy Noonan's article in Adelaide Now: Deputy principal Graeme Shugg said the effect of restorative practices at Campbelltown was immediate. "Teachers reported change within two weeks in their classes," he said. "We empower kids to question and take responsibility for what they've done and repair the harm and allow the victim to have a say. The bottom line is, the people involved in the problem are the best people to solve the problem." Suspensions dropped from 86 in 2003 to just 33 last year. In 2003, students were sent to the principal for discipline 683 times. Last year there were 76 referrals to the office.
Can we create purely non-punitive restorative programs?
from Sylvia Clute's entry on Genuine Justice: One reason to ask this question is because there is a growing body of evidence that shows using punishment in the form of isolation, detention or suspension to address behavioral problems in schools only aggravates other issues, such as bullying, violence, substandard academic performance, the lack of parental involvement, high staff turnover and burnout. Meanwhile, restorative practices are proving to be an effective alternative to punitive measures. They provide an effective means of creating safe, supportive learning environments, often at far less cost than the punitive means, whether the cost is measured in terms of financial outlay, the time expended on discipline issues or the stress level experienced by those in the system. And restorative measures are proving to be an effective means of addressing the school-to-prison pipeline that has become of national concern. But can school or other programs be created that do not eventually resort to punitive measures for those who continue to misbehave? In researching various approaches to restorative school programs, most seem to continue the blend of restorative processes and punitive measures to varying degrees.
RJ
Because we have a system that is known as the 'justice system', I understand that we probably need to differentiate Restorative Justice from mere 'justice'. [...]
The promise of restorative justice: New approaches for criminal justice and beyond
reviewed by Martin Wright It is becoming increasingly clear that the principles of restorative justice can be used, as the editors say, outside the formal criminal justice system, and this book bears witness to that. Half is about criminal justice, and half about other applications in schools and elsewhere. The contributors reflect the book’s origins among a group at Fresno Pacific University in California, but other chapters come from Bulgaria, Canada, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
Reintroduction of the Restorative Justice in Schools Act
from Tom Cavanagh's blog: Become an supporter of the Restorative Justice in Schools Act. Below is the letter Congressman Steve Cohen sent to his colleagues asking for support for the bill. Dear Colleague, We encourage you to cosponsor legislation that promotes providing school personnel (teachers and counselors) with essential training that has the potential to reduce youth incarceration.
RJ and autism
Coincidentally that came up in a workshop I was doing on Monday on RP. My answer had a few components (after I thought deeply) For [...]
RJ and autism
As it is many years since my RJ training and use of it, I can't provide an answer on potential modifications off the top of [...]
RJ and Autism
Nigel, Thank you for your great explanation of the issues involved in working with someone with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. I understand the issues about not [...]
Incompatability of RJ with autism
People with Autistic Spectrum Disorders score very low on tests of empathy quotients. Due to problems with 'Theory of Mind' and weak 'Central Coherence' they [...]
Autism and RJ
Nigel, Thank you for your note. I'm not aware of research in this area. Would you mind elaborating on why RJ and Autistic Spectrum Disorders [...]
Incompatability of RJ with autism
Nowhere in your website or in any literature about RJ is there mention of the fact that it cannot be used with persons with an [...]
RJ
Glad to see this being done. I still wish there were more initiatives to use RJ principles with adult offenders, and in the criminal justice [...]
Restorative Services: Bringing a Framework for Improved School Culture to Public Schools
From the article by Lynn Welden in the Restorative Practices E-Forum for 21 September 2010: A new program is bringing restorative practices to schools. Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont) — which operate day-treatment schools, foster homes and supervision programs for at-risk youth in eastern Pennsylvania, USA, and are model programs of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School — recently launched the Restorative Services program. Developed in response to a growing need on the part of public schools to deal with at-risk students on site, the Restorative Services program was introduced in fall 2009. In the past, young people with behavioral, emotional and substance-abuse issues have been placed by school districts or local courts in alternative schools and community-based programs. But school districts in Pennsylvania, like those in many areas of the U.S. and other countries as well, have been under pressure lately to work with troubled students within their schools instead of sending them away.

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