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Huikahi Restorative Circles: Group process for self-directed reentry planning and family healing

October 10, 2010

….The interview process for a Huikahi Circle applicant takes about thirty minutes. The facilitator who will be convening and conducting Circle, and who will also prepare the written Circle summary and transition plan that results from the Circle, interviews the applicant.

Currently, not all people who apply and are interviewed for Circles can be provided one. The program is funded with private grants and pro bono efforts, and resources are limited. Priority for providing the Circles goes to people being discharged from prison soonest or who are facing other pressing family problems.

….Even if an incarcerated person only receives an interview as a result of the program there may still be some positive benefit. The interview is a solution-focused interview that engages the incarcerated person in a hopeful dialogue that emphasizes their strengths and ability to create a positive future (Walker, 2008). As illustrated in the opening passage of this paper, when the facilitator said, “It’s great you take responsibility for yourself and you want a Restorative Circle” this language identified a strength of the woman, and complimented her on it. Complimenting people on their positive efforts is a common solution-focused language tool (De Jong & Berg, 2008).

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