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The Youth Restoration Project builds relationships and community, one productive interaction at a time.
YRP is a Rhode-Island based consulting group working with schools, social-service agencies, state and local authorities and neighborhood organizations to teach and implement restorative practices. Our goal is to build a stronger social infrastructure to support young people. To that end, we believe all members of the community need to be engaged in a continuous process of setting group norms, defining common goals and resolving conflicts.
YRP got its start redesigning school disciplinary systems to a restorative model from one of punishment, coercion, and “zero tolerance”. Restorative practices foster an attitude of cooperation rather than combat and allow all members of the community to feel they can be heard while holding each other accountable for creating a safe and respectful social environment. To build this kind of self-managing community, YRP engages social service providers, public agencies, and the juvenile justice system in addition to schools and families.
YRP Leaders meet with the party interested in adapting a restorative approach to develop a relationship and assess the impact the approach will have on their environment.
YRP holds a series of training sessions, to give an introductory overview with as many staff as possible -- security officers, teachers, counselors, administrators, support staff, after-school program staff, etc. of the restorative mindset, its history, techniques, successes and how to overcome potential challenges, should they arise.
YRP works closely with key staff members to design an implementation strategy which ideally prepares the school to implement a proactive, community-building process school-wide.
YRP assists, through its in-place Implementation Facilitators, in practicing restorative conversation techniques throughout the school environment to change its culture. Subsequent status sessions are done entirely through circle interaction, to demonstrate the use of Restorative Practices while adjusting to further improve implementation.
Cases also reflect the number of Conferences had that reached restorative action.
All used to build the restorative culture throughout the schools where YRP/NIJ programs are implemented.
Times where conflict resolution was reached at the lowest level deflecting from Conferences or more harsh punitive measures.
Not that we always go to every corner of the earth, but we definitely enjoy some “Car-aoke” going from school to school.