Restorative Justice

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  • Restorative Justice is an approach to dealing with conflicts that is not punitive but emphasizes accountability and reconciliation of the offender with the larger community.

At the core, restorative practices are about 

building and restoring relationships.

 

  • The underlying principle is that relationships are important, and when an incident occurs, the focus is on the harm caused to the relationship and the subsequent repairing of that harm; rather than; what rule has been broken and therefore what consequences will be imposed.

 

What are Restorative Practices?

 

  • Restorative Practices involves the building of positive relationships and establishing a supportive environment that is fair, consistent, and democratic.

  • It involves interventions when harm has happened, such as mediations, as well as practices that help to prevent harm and conflict. This is done by creating a sense of belonging, safety, and social responsibility within the school community.

 

A Restorative approach to conflict and wrongdoing consists of asking key questions:

 

  • What happened, and what were you thinking at the time?

  • What have you thought about since?

  • Who has been affected by what happened and how?

  • What about this has been the hardest for you?

  • What needs to be done to make it right?

 

Benefits to Restorative Practices in the School Setting

 

  • A safer, more caring environment. 

  • A more effective teaching and learning environment.

  • A greater commitment by everyone to taking the time to listen to one another. 

  • A reduction in bullying and other interpersonal conflicts. 

  • A greater awareness around the importance of connectedness among young people. 

  • Addresses the need to belong and feel valued by peers and significant adults. 

  • Greater emphasis on responses to inappropriate behavior that seek to reconnect, and not further disconnect the youth.

  • Reductions in suspensions and expulsions. 

  • A greater confidence in the staff team to deal with challenging situations.