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Keeping it real restorative justice: 5 criteria for a solid program

June 14, 2010

2. Build a solid base, don’t ride magic carpets. Build a program around restorative justice.  Do restorative justice, promote restorative justice, BE restorative in your words and speech.  Funding can be a magic carpet.  It takes you on a short journey.  Funding dries up, programs dry up…. If you stop doing victim-offender conferences because of no funding, but start doing peer court because the funding is there, you’ve hopped on a magic carpet.

3. Restorative value – connectedness. If you build a program and it does well, it helps mine.  If you water down what you are doing and call it restorative justice and you’ve stopped working to engage victims, your loss is my loss. 

4. Get the right people around you…. Work on making sure you have restorative staff, restorative board members that people around you understand and hold passion for real restorative justice.

5. Give a damn. If that sounds harsh, it was meant to be a little angry.  CARE about this stuff! …I just read a restorative justice apology letter, and it was void of any mention of an “ah-ha” or a community member.  It was a person telling what they had done.  If you simply focus on the outcome (apology letter) and not the experience (transformation/understanding) then you haven’t really reached real restorative justice.

Read the whole entry.


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