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Resources for implementing resources at the community/neighbourhood level.

Community Mediation and Community Development In Scotland
Over 3000 community conflicts in Scotland are resolved through Community Mediation each year. The NGO Sacro has developed a series of manuals for developing a Community Mediation service. The final manual addresses the role of community mediation in fostering community development. In this article, Ian McDonough, mediation adviser for Sacro, provides an overview of the manual with a link to the full-text.
Pranis, Kay. How to build community support for restorative justice
A restorative response to crime is a community-building response. It is necessary to build a broad base of support for restorative justice principles and practices. Because restorative justice is grounded in community involvement it is not possible to implement a comprehensive restorative system with community ownership and support. A comprehensive restorative response to crime engages the community as a resource for reconciliation of victims and offenders as a resource for monitoring and enforcing community standards of behavior. The restorative justice framework calls for the inclusion of all stakeholders, especially victims and community members, in designing and implementing local justice practices. It is an empowerment model that must clearly be grounded in grass-roots commitment at the local level. (excerpt)
Mackey, V. Restorative Justice: Toward Nonviolence
This discussion paper calls upon churches to work toward a restorative criminal justice system. This revised version includes the result of an April 1989 "think tank" on nonviolent alternatives sponsored by the Presbyterian Criminal Justice Committee. Chapters discuss discernment on God's will for justice, withholding support for the violence of punishment, developing a restorative vision, yardsticks for measuring justice, building models of nonviolent responses, and the role of the church. Chapter includes discussion questions and Biblical references. The appendix includes a policy statement by the 200th General Assembly Presbyterian Church, and personal essays and materials for leading restorative justice workshops.
Magnani, L. Re-defining Justice: Crime and Punishment in the Faith Community: A Discussion and Study Guide
This discussion and study guide on restorative justice is intended as an education tool on the issue for faith communities. The report is divided into four sections: what is justice, race and the criminal justice system, women in the criminal justice system, and capital punishment.
Scholtz, Henk Marquart. Community justice in the Netherlands.
Discussing community justice in the Netherlands, Scholtz first outlines geographical statistics for the Netherlands and modern crime trends and their consequences. In view of increasing crime and its effects, the government initiated a "justice in the community" scheme. This consists of developing local or community structures to work in concert with police and other agencies in support of community safety and resolution of crime and other conflicts. Scholtz highlights the work of two community justice offices in the Netherlands to illustrate this scheme.
Joint Methodist-Presbyterian Public Questions Committee. Restorative Justice: A discussion Paper for use by People in Methodist, Presbyterian, and Co-Operative Venture Parishes
This paper is intended to provide members of various churches with a framework for understanding and discussing restorative justice as an alternative to the current criminal justice system. Beginning with the premise that the current system is not working well, the paper then covers several key issues in criminal justice and restorative justice. These include the Biblical background to thinking about wrongdoing and response to wrongdoing, crime and punishment, the criminal justice situation in New Zealand, restorative justice principles and practices, and the prospects for change in New Zealand.
Schenk, Bruce. Restorative justice conferencing with hosts: Faith groups providing sanctuary for people endeavouring to make things right
Bruce Schenk begins this paper with an observation that restorative justice is a grassroots initiative stemming from a community’s desire to make things right for those affected by wrongdoing. In this sense, restorative justice, to be most effective, should be grounded in the very community where the offense occurred. The “hostingâ€? model of restorative justice conferencing draws on the concept of providing sanctuary, a place of refuge and peacefulness. This model provides a way for faith communities to care for people as they wrestle with the effects of offending behavior. Schenk describes this by discussing the rationale for faith communities being a host site, by outlining pre- and post-conference activities, and by identifying aspects of the selection and training of hosts.
O'Brien, Sandra and Bazemore, Gordon. Introduction to the Symposium: Communities, Organizations, and Restorative Justice Reform.
Restorative justice provides important insights and groundbreaking efforts to transform and localize intervention in response to problems of crime, harm and conflict. The contributions to this special issue focus on restorative justice as a way of addressing crime and crime-related concerns to the greatest extent possible within community organizational contexts (i.e., workplaces, schools, universities, and residential programs for delinquents). The authors demonstrate how restorative practices have implications for community building and organizational reform based generally on a learning theory of cultural change. (authors' abstract)
Restorative community policing in the UK: Dorset, Cheshire and Norfolk constables point the way
From the article by Joshua Wachtel: Police in roughly 50 percent of counties in England and Wales employ some form of restorative justice (RJ). Constables in districts including Dorset (southwest), Cheshire and Lancashire (northwest), Hull (northeast) and Norfolk (east) are actively making restorative practices (RP) their first line of defense — at officers’ discretion — for dealing with neighborhood disputes, first-time and low-level youth offenders, youth crime in schools, and some adult cases.
Schatz, Mona. Vital Voice for Restorative Justice: The Community Members
"This chapter introduces some of the ideas and perceptions of community members who participate in a restorative justice conferencing process in a Colorado community. Some of the information presented emerged from a case study done by the author and graduate social work student (Jaeckel, 2005)." (Abstract)
Barge, Matthew and Root, Oren and Bobb, Merrick J. and Buchner, Brian. Evaluation of a Pilot Community Policing Program: The Pasadena Police-Community Mediation and Dialog Program.
This report presents the methodology and findings of the evaluation of a pilot community policing program in Pasadena, CA that combines mediation with community dialog in addressing citizen complaints against police officers and in strengthening police-community relationships. The evaluation found that mediation and dialog, as practiced in Pasadena, have great promise for building greater mutual understanding and trust between the police and community members; however, it is not reasonable or practical to pursue replacing the traditional investigation-and-adjudication model for handling complaints against police with the mediation-and-dialog model. Mediation is limited primarily to complaints that allege officer rudeness, disrespect, or minor instances of excessive force. This report advises that criteria for selecting cases for mediation should be carefully devised and not be too broad. Further, outreach and education efforts within the agency and community regarding the nature and purposes of the mediation-and-dialog model are critical to program success. Further, mediation should be used to do more than resolve individual complaints against the police. In conjunction with the mediation program, Pasadena has organized public forums that address issues of broader community concern, some of which are related to issues underlying specific complaints. If a complaint is suitable for mediation, a sergeant contacts the involved officer and union representative in proposing mediation in lieu of a formal internal affairs investigation. If the officer chooses mediation, the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Dispute Resolution Service, Inc. receives the complaint referral, which in turn contacts the complainant and offers mediation. The use of trained outside mediators helps ensure that both officers and community members view the mediation process as unbiased. Although the goal of mediation is for the parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, either party can terminate the mediation at any time for referral to a standard investigation. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Editor. Video Review: Building Our Community: A Film about Restorative Practices.
Building Our Community is a 15-minute video highlighting the use of restorative practices in Collingwood Primary school located in Hull, UK. Teachers, students, administrators and parents discuss the impact on the school environment and individual students of using circles and conferences.
Taraschi, Shruti Gola. Fostering a Restorative Worldview and Building Community.
There are many occasions in my work when I am moved toward the feeling that I am doing something very simple. Almost too simple and not any more deserving of the lines within this reading space than anyone else who does what I do. I am someone who brings people together. And together we create a space that allows each of us to listen, be heard, and perhaps be understood. We solve conflicts and are often moved to create collective solutions that are often as unique as we each are as individuals. Some experience this space as sacred or profoundly meaningful. Others experience it as an innovative way to build consensus, mutual understanding, and uncover solutions that are able to last. But no matter what individual experiences might be, there is an experience common to all restorative processes. And that is the experience of human beings connecting with sincerity.
Claes, Bart and De Loose, Martin. Are media a proper answer to the problem of non-participating actor (the community) in mediation/RJ?
One critique of victim-offender mediation is the fact that the broader community, who is certainly an important stakeholder, is not involved, is not participating in the process like the victim and the offender and their relevant thirds, can’t express their feelings, formulate their grieves and questions etc. We know all that the community has a need to express their feelings, has a lot of questions… (cf. Belgian cases like the murder of Joe Van Holsbeek where 80.000 people came on the street to express their sympathy, to say no against senseless violence…). Although you can give this critic also on the present criminal justice system where the prosecutor represents the community, we want to explore in the workshop the question of it’s possible that the broader community participate in victim-offender mediation. Perhaps it can. Together with the media we can maybe involve the broader community in victim-offender mediation and make a communication between the offender, the victim and the broader community possible... (excerpt)
Cross, John and Woodbridge, Simon and Poland, Fiona and Killet, Anne and Boswell, Gwyneth. Rehabilitation and restorative justice: Building Community Connection through the SPROCKET Research
This workshop examines an example of a research-policy-practice collaboration designed to embed informed policies within a community context. The presenting team will include the researchers, the policy leader and local practitioners... BDC [Broadland District Council] commissioned the SPROCKET research team to make available information about the nature of local offending and also the range of local responses to it. Their research was designed both to provide a full range of insights into offender, communitybased and service-provider responses to offending and to begin to engage with some of those responses... The Stairway policy programme engaged specific SPROCKET findings to generate a range of activities and policies relevant to supporting more restorative justice initiatives with local community institutions in Broadland. This workshop will explore how action-oriented collaboration between researchers, policymakers and community can provide a useful way to stimulate dialogue to develop locally-relevant ideas and actions around restorative justice. Making such connections can be vital for re-integrating and rehabilitating offenders and for building more positive community relations. (excerpt)
Perry, John G. Repairing Communities Through Restorative Justice
Restorative justice goes beyond traditional law enforcement and corrections, attempting to repair community-wide injuries that result from crimes being committed. This book discusses various restorative justice alternatives in response to crime. In the introductory chapter, the editor of this work describes the crime problem in America, the role of community in relation to crime, and nature of restorative justice as reciprocity. The next chapter of this work presents the moral and philosophical foundations of the restorative justice alternative, highlighting mediation and nonviolence conflict resolutions, community justice in non-European cultures, Biblical justice, and the roots of retribution. The following chapter defines what is meant by “community,â€? details community policing, and describes the role of the community and local governments in restorative justice and policing. Linking crime prevention to restorative justice is the focus of the next chapter. After detailing the reasons for the high failure rate of many crime prevention programs, this chapter concludes that restorative justice might be able to improve crime prevention programs. The next chapter compares four restorative conferencing models designed by the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. Victim-offender mediation, community reparative boards, family group conferencing, and circle sentencing are described in detail and compared and contrasted in order to evaluate their successes. In the next chapter, the use of community conferencing to transform conflict is discussed, focusing on ways to turn conflict into cooperation. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Referece Service,
Clarke, Alan. The Heirs of Alcumus
According to Alan Clarke, research evidence indicates that a breakdown in supportive relationships is one of the chief reasons some young people drift into crime. In response a variety of innovative intervention programs have emerged to use adult mentors to provide practical and emotional support for young people at risk. The term "mentor" has its roots in Greek mythology. Mentor was the name of the trusted son of Alcumus in Homer's "Odyssey;" Mentor was chosen by Odysseus to be guardian, teacher, and adviser to his son Telemachus. After explaining this background, Clarke turns to mentoring in modern-day England, with highlights of the Dalston Youth Project's innovative combination of a mentoring scheme and a structured, community-based educational program.
Park, Augustine S. J.. Community-based restorative transitional justice in Sierra Leone.
Community-based restorative transitional justice is an important feature of peace consolidation, maximizing access to justice and facilitating reconciliation. Examining post-conflict Sierra Leone as a case study, the author draws on existing justice practices in Sierra Leone as examples of restorative responses to war criminality. Specifically, the traditional reintegration of former male and female combatants and the emergence of a new project, 'Fambul Tok' are detailed. The author discusses and compares the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to point to gaps in transitional justice that call for community-based restorative strategies.
Wengert, Michaela. Trusting the Community to Get it Right -- Resolving Serious Offences Outside the Traditional Justice System. Youth Justice Conferencing in New South Wales, Australia.
While ‘seriousness’, ‘degree of violence’ and ‘harm to the victim’ are criteria for assessing whether a matter is appropriate for YJC, the Act requires that less serious matters be finalised by formal caution. Conferences are intended for serious and repeat offenders, and appropriate matters may include assaults occasioning injury, property offences where the monetary value of damage is tens, or hundreds, of thousands of dollars, or other offences where the victim has suffered significant physical or material harm. (excerpt)
McDonald, John M and Moore, David B. Community Conferencing as Conflict Transformation
"This essay is a contribution toward the theory and practice of transformative justice and conflict transformation. It is based on the authors' experience as principals of Transformative Justice Australia. In this capacity, they have applied a theory of conflict transformation in the state and national justice systems of several countries, in a wide range of workplaces, and in other communities bound by faith, geography, or some common not-for-profit goal. As Transformative Justice Australia sees it, conferencing remains the major reactive intervention based on a theory of transformative justice and conflict transformation. This chapter focuses on applications of conferencing in justice systems where the process is used as an alternative or as an adjunct to the use of court and corrections." (excerpt)

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