Source: (2002) Paper presented at "Dreaming of a New Reality," the Third International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, August 8-10, 2002, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This presentation provides a practical insight into how restorative practices can be effectively integrated into existing systems. Its focus will be on the importance of building a sound relational framework within which, restorative practices, capable of meeting the needs of those involved - accountability, collegiate/individual responsibility and stronger professional relationships - can be located. This is an explicit approach, one that provides a clear rationale for why restorative practices work. Whilst the presentation will briefly explore the limitations of existing practices, it will emphasise the importance of the informal use of restorative practices - in supervision, management and counselling - as a critical part of any successful formal system. It also recognises that sanctions and punishment are a legitimate part of any system, however, it can shown that restorative practices can create a context in which sanctions/punishment are more likely to be accepted, because they do well at satisfying the elements of fair process. It does not advocate replacing existing disciplinary or complaint systems, but rather, highlighting how restorative practices have the potential to make these system more responsive to the needs of those involved. Author's Abstract