Concepts of RJ
- If you build community then you will need less conflict resolution
- Ideally, communities have been built in circles
- Building community- larger than self, facilitate don’t dictate
- They look like kids but have the life problems of adults
- Call people in, don’t call people out
- 50% relationship building, 25% planning/unity, 25% purpose
RESTORATIVE PRACTICES - Staff talked about a strategy known as “restorative justice” or “restorative practices” that builds relationships through better understanding, empathy, and compassion with others.
The strategy has different “tiers” of responses to injustice. Tier 1 involves teachers communicating better with students by putting “restorative” principles into practice. Taking place out of the classroom, Tier 2 responds to offenses between those at schools by creating a safe forum where victims can be heard by their offenders and others.
“In my experience, the person who caused the harm didn’t realize the harm they’d caused,” said Student Services Director Alyson Crafton. A Tier 2 forum (called a “Harm Circle”) is neither scripted nor chaotic, she said, and it gives students a chance to learn from mistakes and grow. “What we’re looking for is (a) long-term change that is intrinsic so they will do the right thing even when no one is looking. We want them to internalize the harm they may have done to someone else.”
In Tier 3, Re-entry Circles are for those who’ve been jailed or expelled and they focus on identifying who will support them and what they will do to try to change their path.