Welcome to the launch of our new blog.
We invite guest writers to take us into the details of their Restorative worlds. Or you can tip us off to a personal or professional story; we’ll interview you and write it up.
The point of these writings will be to give guided tours of the landscape of Restorative Justice Practices (RJP). It’s vast. Not unlike our biological ecosystem. Restoration cultivates an interpersonal ecosystem that includes cultural traditions, human habits, relationships of all kinds, rules and norms governing behavior, and so on. No one could cover it all, and it is constantly evolving. We’ll visit specific situations where the approach is being used, and we’ll occasionally note where RJP is abused. At other times, we’ll climb up a tall hill where we can see broad issues affecting the field as a whole.
We’re hoping to reach a wide variety of people, from the merely curious to veteran practitioners. In super-brief, Restorative Justice is about healing those involved in wrong-doing, especially the victims, instead of relying on punishing the wrong-doer, as if punishment itself resolves conflict. Restorative Practices are the umbrella that includes the Justice protocols, but uses its principles to deal with issues beyond crime and misbehavior, in order to build relationships and maintain our communities. If this is new territory to you, the RJP 101 on our website or our Curated Library will get you started.
We invite RJP savants and elders, friends and anyone else to circle up with us for good, healthy debates. Strong feelings are encouraged; aggression is not. Personally, I’m sick of adversarial battles.
The Youth Restoration Project builds relationships and community, one creative interaction at a time.
YRP is a Rhode-Island based training and consulting group working with organizations to help them build interpersonal cultures where all people feel heard – where young and older, bosses and employees collaborate effectively, trust each other and their community, and have confidence they can handle conflict constructively.
YRP got its start working on school culture, shifting disciplinary systems to a restorative, healing model rather than rely on punishment, coercion, and “zero tolerance”. YRP has also worked with organizations as diverse as Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families, social service agencies, arts groups and small businesses. Restorative practices are skills and concepts universally applicable to interpersonal relationships at work, home and play. They nurture cooperative rather than adversarial approaches. to accountability, as the key to creating pleasant, safe and respectful environments.
To shift the culture of our families, schools, organizations and communities toward a more peaceful and caring interpersonal environment that ensures all voices are heard. We do this by teaching restorative practices that focus on simple techniques to address conflict and harmful behavior, avoiding endless cycles of anger and retribution.
Training in Restorative Justice Practices
- In-depth certificate training in three to five half-day sessions, sponsored in conjunction with The Sargent Center.
- On-site training tailored to the specific needs of your organization, school or community.
- Working with groups on implementing Restorative Practices, from training the leadership team to strategic planning, developing systems and communicating with the larger community.
- Conferencing is a restorative protocol used internationally to get to the root of problems and collaborate on creative solutions that work for all parties. It can help organizations and communities focus on their core values, handle conflicts and forward initiatives efficiently and inclusively.
- We provide facilitators to conference difficult situations, as well as training those interested in developing these skills in their community.
“I’m so happy that I’m hearing a common language being used throughout my class. Students know that’s it’s safe to share feelings.”
— Cory Howland, School Social Worker at Waddington Elementary School, East Providence, shown here with Debra Poplillo, 3rd grade teacher and Principal, Karen Goncalo.
From Tammy Koller, Assistant Principal, Smithfield High School: “I wish, I wish, I wish I’d had this training years ago. It would have made such a difference in my teaching practice as well as in my parenting. I used this with my young adult children and got such amazing results, and I know it will totally benefit my students. I can’t change what I’ve done in my past educational practices, but moving forward my perspective is totally different thanks to this amazing program. Thank you Julia and Victor!”
Dr. Jenny Chan-Remka, Deputy Superintendent in Woonsocket, says of the 13 local educators who took the training last winter, “They got so much out of it! They practice the skills and they get results. Their kids are willing to deal with conflicts in a peaceful way. This training is a game-changer.”