It is truly amazing that in just 40 years, restorative justice has evolved from a criminal justice focus (victims and offenders) to a process that has the capacity to consistently provide positive outcomes in all domains of human interaction. The diversity of restorative models and practices in vastly different settings is breathtaking. Close examination of this constantly expanding restorative “umbrella,” however, reveals an interesting picture.
There is little doubt that the extraordinary interest shown in restorative processes is because many believe that existing practices are not working. What, however, remains uncertain is “what is not working?” and importantly “why restorative practice works.” A simple exercise of applying a “logical” practice analysis on most restorative programs or models reveals some serious practice limitations, questionable assumptions and little (practice) rigor. Most restorative practitioners, when challenged, struggle to articulate their practice rationale.
This session is an opportunity for you to reflect on your own practice and to explore ways to enhance its potential. It will be argued that an explicit practice framework and common language is key to making this happen. A number of case studies will be shared to illustrate how restorative practice was successfully integrated into a diverse range of practices.