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Step 6: Prepare a Draft Plan

Compile your work from the first five steps. This is your draft plan. Look it over and ask yourself whether it is feasible, and how willing you are to implement the plan. Show it to others, particularly to those you would like to involve in the action steps, and get their suggestions and comments.

As you are revising the draft, consider the following from Kay Pranis' paper:

  • Avoid becoming identified with a particular political label. Find community allies on both ends of the political spectrum. Restorative justice is consistent with fiscal restraint, the call for a reduced role for government and an emphasis on personal accountability. Those are themes that many political conservatives respond to. On the other hand restorative justice's reduced emphasis on physical punishment and calls for community accountability are consistent with traditional liberal values. Seek out respected leaders from different points of view to be key supporters of restorative justice.
  • Listen to those who disagree. The entire community is concerned about community safety so everyone deserves to be respectfully heard. Listen carefully so that you can understand the objections. Develop an explanation responding to the objection to use when speaking to other groups. Acknowledge the need to have dialog and exploration on critical issues. Learn from the objections raised. Restorative justice is a model in formation and should be responsive to valid objections. Probe beneath surface objections to identify underlying issues. Sometimes these are more readily solved than initially may appear.
  • Put victims first. If the people raising objections are victims' groups or advocates, do all of the above repeatedly. Make a point of offering to visit them to hear their concerns. In order to be sure you understand them, ask them to listen as you restate their concerns in your own words. Ask a sympathetic victim supporter to help you understand the issues being raised. Seek victim ideas for any proposed change. Learn about victims' issues and the experience of victimization. Listen to victim stories. Use victim stories in your public speaking. In making written and spoken presentations, list items related to victims before those related to offenders.
  • Balance focus with flexibility. Be clear and consistent about the values and vision but remember that there are multiple ways to achieve the vision. Be prepared to modify your approach if it is not working and other more promising avenues appear. Success may depend more on how you respond to opportunity than on detailed long range action plans.
  • Monitor your own assumptions and stereotypes. Promoting a new paradigm requires breaking out of your own paradigms in many ways. Unexpected sources of support and opportunities may be missed if you don't become aware of your own assumptions about others and consciously put those aside.

When you have settled on a plan, send us a copy. We would be happy to make suggestions.

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