Restorative Justice is a spectrum of formal and informal practices that address conflict by seeking to repair and prevent harm. Whereas punitive justice focuses on who is at fault and imposing consequences or punishment, Restorative Justice addresses the impact of harm by giving voice to those affected, including victims and other community stakeholders. It helps to restore and repair relationships by asking and addressing:
What was the impact?
How can we repair the harm?
What can be done to prevent this from happening again?
Restorative approaches have been used successfully in the criminal justice system, schools, and communities around the world. Some of the benefits of a restorative approach include:
Reduced recidivism. Studies show Restorative Justice has a high success rate in reducing unproductive, repeat behaviors.
Increased community safety. As harm is repaired and recidivism declines, communities are safer.
More efficient use of community resources. Restorative Justice saves money by employing creative solutions, implemented at the local level.
Victim empowerment. Victims participate fully in the process, getting answers to their questions and letting offenders know how amends can be made.
Victims needs are acknowledged and addressed. Because their voices are heard, victims experience greater opportunities for healing and satisfaction with the process.
Opportunities for offenders to make amends. Restorative Justice allows for truth-telling and the expression of remorse, benefitting victims and offenders.
Support and resourcing. Restorative Justice attends to the unique needs and concerns of the offender as a member of the larger community, by making use of resources available in that community.
Higher rates of satisfaction and completion. The process is voluntary, resulting in greater investment and buy-in from all participants.
Below are the Restorative Justice Programs, Trainings and Services that RPCP provides:
One hour Zoom Class (FREE!)
RPCP offers a free one-hour video class via Zoom. In this hour we present an introduction to Restorative Justice including basic methodology, history, success stories, and ways to get started using RJ in your life right now. If your organization is considering signing up for an RJ training with RPCP this is a great opportunity to learn how this powerful set of tools can help you work and live better in your community.
Intro to RJ Workshop
This introductory 1-2 hour training is offered in-person for social service providers, teachers, and organizations interested in learning basic theory and practices of Restorative Justice.
2-Day RJ Basic Practitioner Training
This 2-day, in-person training introduces teachers, law enforcement, social service providers and community members to the core principles and practices of Restorative Justice circles. Participants learn the differences between a punitive and restorative approach and why Restorative Justice often produces better outcomes for people who have caused and/or experienced harm. Over the course of the training participants engage in activities, games and role plays which put the theory into practice.
Restorative Practices in Schools
This engaging, interactive 2-day training is for teachers and school staff who are interested in utilizing Restorative Practices in a school setting. Participants learn about the continuum of strategies and practices that create more restorative environments in schools and classrooms - from restorative language and spaces, to restorative conversations, groups and formal circles. Participants will receive an overview of Social-Emotional Learning, trauma, de-escalation techniques, and circle facilitation skills, as well as simple practices and exercises that can be easily integrated into existing curricula and programs.
RPCP staff facilitate Restorative Justice Circles and do mediation for youth, adults, families or working teams. These Circles can be used when there is conflict in schools, organizations or communities to address issues of harm or disruptive behaviors.
Dialogues are a facilitated process designed to build relationships and trust between diverse groups. The groups may not know one another or may hold negative views of one another due to societal conflict and/or imbalances of power.
Educator Student Dialogue
The Educator Student Dialogue is a 3-5 hour facilitated circle with staff and students. Dialogues are held with groups of 8-12 students and an equal number of teachers and staff. During this interactive exercise, teachers and students share from their personal experience in ways that enhance understanding and connection between participants. As a result of the process, challenges and conflicts are often addressed, leading to shifts in perception and greater trust among participants.
Police Youth Dialogue
The Police Youth Dialogue is a 3-5 hour facilitated circle with youth and law enforcement officers. Dialogues are held with groups of 8-12 students and an equal number of officers. During the process, officers and students share from their personal experiences addressing stereotypes, biases and misperceptions.
RPCP and local law enforcement agencies instituted Police Youth Dialogues to address Disproportionate Minority Contact in Gainesville (DMC). Police statistics show that black youth in Gainesville are referred to the Juvenile Justice system at four times the rate of white youth. The Gainesville Police Department has started a multi-year initiative to reduce the DMC utilizing police youth dialogues as a key component. Since 2012, RPCP has facilitated over 100 Police Youth Dialogues with over 3000 participants in Gainesville, Port St. Lucie, Tallahassee, the Philippines and Ukraine.
Social Emotional Learning Curriculum
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is an essential set of life skills fundamental to peacebuilding. Also known as social-emotional intelligence, these competencies include: identifying and managing one’s own emotions, understanding others’ emotions and feeling empathy for them, communicating that empathy effectively, embracing conflict as a constructive, rather than destructive experience, and making ethical, responsible decisions.
RPCP has designed a 10 to 16 session curriculum on SEL that has been utilized with youth and adults. It has been taught in schools, at Marion Correctional Institution in Ocala, Florida, and used as a diversion program within Florida Dept. of Juvenile Justice.
Community Peacebuilder Immersion Training
The Community Peacebuilder Immersion Training is a 9-day program providing the knowledge, skills, and support for operationalizing peacebuilding practices in your life, work and community. The program is held in a beautiful retreat space in a natural setting in near Gainesville, Florida. Learn More…