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    Restorative Justice is a range of processes that advocates that the people most effective at finding a solution to a problem are the people who are most directly impacted by the problem, creating opportunities, for those involved in a conflict to work together to understand, clarify and resolve the incident and work together towards repairing the harm caused.

    The Centre for Restorative Justice was formed in 1997 as a response to community concern about the over-use of incarceration in South Australia and because victims of crime at that stage were not able to engage appropriately in the functions of the criminal justice system.

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    Much more than a response to harm, restorative justice nurtures relational, interconnected school cultures. The wisdom embedded within its principles and practices is being welcomed at a time when exclusionary discipline and zero tolerance policies are recognized as perpetuating student apathy, disproportionality, and the school-to-prison pipeline.

    Relying on the wisdom of early proponents of restorative justice, the daily experiences of educators, and the authors’ extensive experience as classroom teachers and researchers, this Little Book guides the growth of restorative justice in education (RJE) into the future.

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    'Some advocate for training SROs to be more restorative; however, SROs have shown that training on how to interact with students as mentors does not change their racist policing behaviors. Before Minneapolis Public Schools terminated their contract with the MPD, they had been unsuccessfully trying to transform the role of their SROs from “enforcer” to “mentor” and still police officers were disproportionately “interacted with” black students. (Minneapolis Star Tribune) In 2016, the Police Accountability Task Force released a report that found systemic and institutionalized racism in all areas of the Chicago Police Department. The task force concluded that “CPD’s own data and other information strongly suggests that CPD’s response to the violence is not sufficiently imbued with Constitutional policing tactics and is also comparatively void of actual procedural and restorative justice in the day-to-day encounters between the police and citizens.”'

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    In early March, just before the impacts of COVID-19 really started to be felt in Victoria, the CIJ was thrilled to launch the PIPA Project report. This report highlighted the way in which the current one-size-fits-all response to family violence may be doing more harm than good when it comes to adol...

     

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    In early March, just before the impacts of COVID-19 really started to be felt in Victoria, the CIJ was thrilled to launch the PIPA Project report. This report highlighted the way in which the current one-size-fits-all response to family violence may be doing more harm than good when it comes to adol...

     

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    'Melissa Ugarte is an expert in Restorative Practices—I had been using the term “restorative justice” and she rightly reminded me that Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices are often used interchangeably but are actually quite different. Restorative Justice takes place in the criminal justice system in response to a crime. Restorative Practice is used in schools for climate and culture enhancement. The distinction is an important one.'

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    'Restorative justice is an internationally recognised evidence-based response to criminal behaviour. It views a criminal offence as more than an act of breaking the law and examines: the impact on society the harm caused to the victim, family relationships and the community. The restorative justice process requires effort and participation from the child, which differs from traditional justice responses.'

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    'In a Catholic response to crime, the first step is to see as persons both those who commit the crime and those hurt by it, each with a unique value, and to see the crime as a sign of broken relationships leading to a lack of due respect and a lack of connection to society on the part of the perpetrator. The challenge is to encourage the persons who offend to grow in respect so that they accept their accountability to the people offended and to representatives of the community. This is called restorative justice. Programs of restorative justice, most notably in the justice system in Sweden and in New Zealand Maori communities, work to build reconciliation based on truth and on being accountable to one another.'

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    'Keeping Them Connected: Restorative Justice in Schools in Australia and New Zealand – what progress? The traditional response of schools to school discipline is based on the retributive approach which has long characterised the criminal justice system. Research now indicates that this approach generally fails to satisfy the victim, the offender and the community. In the context of criminal offending, attention is increasingly being paid to the application of restorative practices. In New Zealand the restorative justice model has been operating since 1989 for youth offending and is now being implemented in the context of adult offending also. The Australian states and territories are following to varying degrees. Restorative practices move the focus from punishing the offender to requiring them to take responsibility for their actions. Because of this focus they are not seen as a ‘soft option’, and there are many indications of their success. Many schools are now applying this model to school discipline. A variety of different practices are being employed to keep young people in school and connected with the education process, while still not compromising school safety. This article explores the incorporation of restorative practices as alternative and proactive responses to behavioural problems within some Australian and New Zealand schools. The focus here is on particular restorative practices with the acknowledgement that there is a much wider picture which involves changes in school cultures to embrace, in a practical manner, principles of citizenship and democracy. This concept is the subject of significant research which is discussed by the author in a previous article.

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    'The latest episode of the radio program On The Media is an interesting (and admittedly unscientific) experiment in using techniques of "restorative justice" in response to internet trolling and harassment. On The Media has been doing an interesting series of episodes on the concepts of "restorative justice," highlighting that focusing just on punishing those who engage in bad behavior often leads to more of their bad behavior, rather than an improvement going forward. There are a variety of programs these days, that seek to come up with more proactive approaches to dealing with criminal behavior that is driven by circumstances, and it's likely there will be many more as well. For the experiment, OTM producer Micah Loewinger teamed up with researcher Lindsay Blackwell, to see if they could use restorative justice techniques to deal with internet fights that resulted in someone being banned from a particular platform. They specifically chose a potentially controversial subreddit, and tried to get fighting parties to come together to discuss things. They did three such cases -- and arguably one was a pretty clear success, one was a pretty clear failure, and one was... somewhere in the middle.'

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    'Restorative justice is an internationally recognised evidence-based response to criminal behaviour. It views a criminal offence as more than an act of breaking the law and examines the impact on society; the harm caused to the victim, family relationships and the community. We are using restorative justice processes to reduce an overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the justice system by diverting children from court to restorative justice conferences.'

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    'Restorative justice philosophy holds victim involvement as central to a just response to harm and crime. Yet, research demonstrates that restorative justice practices too often fall short of their promise to victims. What do we know about how victims experience restorative justice services? What needs remain unaddressed? And how can leaders and practitioners in restorative justice be guided by the research in designing programs and delivering services that best meet victims’ needs? Join us in this upcoming free webinar to gain fresh perspectives on these questions.'

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