Restorative Justice Applications in Our Community and Yours

Presented by David Deal & Bill Casey

Even in the ADR community, the term restorative justice (RJ) is not a "household word". However, RJ is taking root in many of harm situations distinct from the crimes where it has most often been applied in the U.S. During the last several years, the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS) has provided RJ services to the Fairfax County Public Schools, the nation’s 11th largest school district, and it is beginning to find comparable interest in the local juvenile court and in the community at large. Bill Casey and Dave Deal, both mediators/RJ facilitators, and co-coordinators of NVMS' RJ program, will contrast mediation with RJ and present lessons learned about how RJ serves communities' needs to repair harm and restore relationships that result from juvenile offenses or crimes in school settings and in the community--including such behaviors as fighting, bullying, stealing, and vandalism. What is the motivation for schools or the court to turn to RJ instead of standard disciplinary or judicial measures? What are the costs and benefits to such an alternative? What impediments continue to thwart broader acceptance and implementation? Tune in to hear more about how restorative justice is a flexible model that can be implemented in your community.

Presenter Bios:
Dave and Bill are long term residents of Northern Virginia, certified mediators and trained and practicing restorative justice facilitators. They are affiliated with the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS). They coordinate two NVMS restorative justice projects in Fairfax County: a fast-evolving and growing program now in its 5th year applying RJ principles to discipline matters in the County’s public schools, and a newer project working with probation officers applying the same principles to juvenile offenders. Dave and Bill also regularly offer “Introduction to RJ” presentations to interested community and government groups.
 
Dave Deal is a lawyer-mediator who until 2006 worked in the federal environmental and natural resources area. Dave is a trained, certified and practicing mediator. and, aside from his restorative justice work in Virginia, mediates diverse matters for the Washington, DC Superior Court and Police Department. He is the co-chair of the NVMS Restorative Justice Project group, has taken RJ classes at Eastern Mennonite University, and has presented “lessons learned” papers at many RJ conferences. Dave’s website is www.dealwork.com.

 

Bill Casey worked in management and human resources for a federal agency until 2004. Bill is a certified and practicing mediator primarily with regard to workplace disputes at federal agencies. He is the co-chair and a facilitator with the NVMS Restorative Justice Project group and has facilitated RJ conferences in Prince William County regarding juvenile crimes.

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This webinar has been very popular and sold out of its original tickets. I opened up space for 25 more tickets to join in. If you happen to miss the live event, do know that it will be archived and available for viewing in this forum. you will also be able to continue the discussion here as well.

Thanks! Bryan

Hi all! My name is MJ Scheer and I will be facilitating tonight's webinar. I wanted to provide some links on restorative justice for you to peruse either before or after the webinar. They may be helpful as resources for your own practice. 

Organizations:

Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS). 4041 University Drive, Suite 101, Fairfax, VA, 22030. 703-865-7272. Local non-profit organization offering a variety of conflict resolution services, including restorative justice in local courts, public schools and community training. 

Restorative Justice Online. Offers a world view of restorative justice news; this includes a searchable online RJ library of over 9,000 items. 

International Institute for Restorative Practices. Includes a searchable online collection of resources. 

Restorative Justice Now. Holds a 3-day national conference every 2 years, attended by opinion leaders in the restorative justice area and offering an eclectic program including faith-based programs, indigenous practices, and current research; fourth conference scheduled for June 2013 in Toledo. 

United Nations. Outspoken supporter of social justice with special focus on restorative justice applied at national level (e.g., South Africa, Rwanda); produces valuable resources such as the "Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes."

Individuals

Howard Zehr, Professor, Eastern Mennonite University; deemed grandfather of restorative justice in United States, author of The Little Book of Restorative Justice (2002), seminal restorative justice work and one of many related titles in the Little Book series. 

Mark Umbreit, Professor, School of Social Work and founding Director of Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, University of Minnesota; author of many highly regarded studies, articles, and books, e.g., Restorative Justice Dialogue: An Essential Guide for Research and Practice (2010). 

Kay Pranis, Restorative Justice Planner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections; regarded as preeminent practitioner and trainer of peacemaking circles, an ancient and widely-used restorative practice.

Clifford Dorne, Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan; author of Restorative Justice in the United States: An Introduction (2008). 

Education & Recent Publications

Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Its Center for Justice and Peacebuilding offers a Master of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation and sponsors an annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute offering a variety of week-long peacebuilding courses with an international flavor. 

Tikkun Magazine. Magazine devoted to peacebuilding efforts; Winter 2012 issue features twelve article Special Section on Restorative Justice addressing various aspects of restorative justice: court, prison, school and community applications, emerging issues, and underlying principles. 

Other useful resources:

Restorative Justice Best Practice Standards by Vickie Shoap (NVMS) and Dave Deal (NVMS). 

School-Based Restorative Justice: Lessons Learned by Dave Deal. 

Thank you for the resources MJ! We have a good crowd for the webinar this evening and I believe it will provide for a wonderful discussion. This forum will also be the home for any future discussion that takes place. See you soon!

Where will the PowerPoint slides be posted? Also, thanks again for a great, engaging session. I definitely learned a lot and I am looking forward to getting more involved in RJ practices!

Some questions for Bill and Dave to follow up on: 

"If (when) you do intakes for RJ services, do you also use a 2 person (co) model during the intake?" 

"Do you really consider a co-facilitator model essential? I wasn't trained to co-facilitate and I had a 95% success rate."

"Is the co-facilitatator model used to train new facilitators? Is it to match facilitators to parties?"

"What have been some of the most interesting "repair harm" decisions that victim-offenders have reached?" 

"How do you advertise your program in the community, with schools, and parents?" 

"You spoke earlier of training police and probation officers. How is that going? Are facilitators selected by their current position or their expertise in facilitating RJ? This seems like it takes specific training that would benefit from practice with trained facilitator." 

"Aside from the Fairfax County situation, how do you identify ideal conflicts for RJ? Is there a best practices criteria list for identification? Clearly there are limitations as it requires time, consistent engagement, and in some cases financial resources. 2. How do you find the process of buy-in when not court-mandated?" 

"I coordinate a RJ Peer Court and currently receive police reports before they go to the juvenile justice services to get cases. However, I hope to get cases through schools (before they reach the criminal level) and wonder if and how any of you may have had success receiving school harms for Teen Court services."

"Can you give some more specifics regarding RJ facilitator training within the Northern VA area? What do the VA courts require to facilitate cases?" 

Bill and Dave will address these questions soon.

You can get access to the Restorative Justice webinar slides here (no audio).

You can look at the slides here

Candace Andrews-Powley said:

Where will the PowerPoint slides be posted? Also, thanks again for a great, engaging session. I definitely learned a lot and I am looking forward to getting more involved in RJ practices!

I just uploaded the archive of this wonderful webinar to the forum above. Simply click play on video box, sit back, and enjoy. I also invite you to share any comments or questions in this discussion forum.

I was impressed with the webinar content, the facilitators, both Dave and Bill.  I found their insights, experience, and wisdom in this area very helpful. I frequently work with juveniles here in Graham, NC in Alamance County Dispute Settlement & Youth Services program. I am one of their mediators and of course a volunteer and it is helpful to get students to recognize the trigger point that typically is where a fight begins to formulate some different strategies in resolving their differences, exercising self control, and thoughtful considerations that leads to an outcome not involving violence.  So, I thank you very much for all of the wisdom, information and knowledge shared in the webinar.

Co-facilitator model: We find it very helpful, particularly for multiple part RJ conferences or circles as well as for developing the experience levels of newer facilitators.  However, it is not essential.

Harm Repair examples: Students cleaning bathrooms with the janitorial staff after conferencing about some nasty trashing of other students' lockers and equipment.  Juveniles cleaning the graffiti they painted on a public railroad site and then participating in a public service video the railroad developed to warn the community about the dangers of trespassing on railroad property. 

Training police and probation officers:  So far we've trained probation officers and expect to do the same with police.  Each organization selects their members whom they believe have the interest and capability to integrate RJ principles or processes into their current protocols or to facilitate conferences.  We provided the Probation Officers with some education and significant experiential opportunity to learn the RJ conference model.  When they actually facilitate a conference, we serve as mentor/co-facilitators until they feel comfortable to work on their own.

Cases Ripe for RJ:  The RJ process seems to fit whenever 2 or more parties can acknowledge that a harm has occurred in which they had a part (contributor, receiver or both).  If they are also interested in addressing it in a safe, respectful, facilitated process in which the aim is to acknowledge each party's sense of harm, consequences, needs and obligations, people seem ready to utilize the RJ process.  However, it must remain voluntary on all parties throughout.  NVMS is a community non-profit that offers its services at extremely reasonable rates that vary by need.  Cost is usually not an impediment but time might be.  With at least a pre-conference per party (30-60) minutes and a joint conference (60-120 minutes, or more), scheduled over at least two days (to allow the parties time to reflect upon their understandings from pre-conferences, people have to be willing to invest some time into the process.  For court-referred cases, the offenders usually see a real benefit in an alternative to the court proceeding, but victims don't always want to stay involved.  Surrogates can sometimes work in the latter instance.

Teen Court Services: We haven't had any experiences with Teen Courts, but we're finding that as police and court officials increasingly desire alternatives to more formal court proceedings that eat up a large amount of time over actions, though while criminal, pale by comparison to the more serious matters that they face.  We expect to see more referrals from these sources as they become more familiar with alternatives like RJ.

Court certification: VA has no requirement nor opportunity, as yet, for RJ certification--as it does for mediation.  It would not surprise us if such a certification requirement develops in the years ahead.


MJ Scheer said:

Some questions for Bill and Dave to follow up on: 

"If (when) you do intakes for RJ services, do you also use a 2 person (co) model during the intake?" 

"Do you really consider a co-facilitator model essential? I wasn't trained to co-facilitate and I had a 95% success rate."

"Is the co-facilitatator model used to train new facilitators? Is it to match facilitators to parties?"

"What have been some of the most interesting "repair harm" decisions that victim-offenders have reached?" 

"How do you advertise your program in the community, with schools, and parents?" 

"You spoke earlier of training police and probation officers. How is that going? Are facilitators selected by their current position or their expertise in facilitating RJ? This seems like it takes specific training that would benefit from practice with trained facilitator." 

"Aside from the Fairfax County situation, how do you identify ideal conflicts for RJ? Is there a best practices criteria list for identification? Clearly there are limitations as it requires time, consistent engagement, and in some cases financial resources. 2. How do you find the process of buy-in when not court-mandated?" 

"I coordinate a RJ Peer Court and currently receive police reports before they go to the juvenile justice services to get cases. However, I hope to get cases through schools (before they reach the criminal level) and wonder if and how any of you may have had success receiving school harms for Teen Court services."

"Can you give some more specifics regarding RJ facilitator training within the Northern VA area? What do the VA courts require to facilitate cases?" 

Bill and Dave will address these questions soon.

Great job bringing restorative justice to the mainstream dispute resolution practices. I think it is something that could work very well in my country Kenya but has not been embraced yet.
Please tell me where i can go for short courses to become a certified mediator/ RJ facilitator like you. I hope to use the skills to bring RJ to the justice system in Kenya.

Thank you

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