An Open Conversation: Challenges Facing Restorative Practitioners Embedded in Highly Adversarial Criminal Justice Domains

An ideal world: Resources adequate to get everyone’s lives back on track after human and natural harms, effectively rebuilding well-being and survival fitness characteristic of Tomkins’ blueprint for healthy individuals, families, communities and organizations. In criminal justice: Separate, equally funded tracks back to wholeness for those harmed, responsible for harm and their communities of care, as in Susan Herman’s parallel justice framework; processing trauma intensively enough to extinguish it; fair, responsive and incremental regulation of behavior, restrained in its immense capacity to compound harm; and restorative practitioners committed to constructing powerful processes for both those harmed and responsible for harm, independent of interest in ever-crossing paths again.

In the real world, restorative practitioners have strong associations with, and/or are fiscally dependent on entities anchored in highly adversarial defense and prosecution practices. There is great potential for overt or implicit bias influencing our daily practices. This is an opportunity for participants to share practical ways we have successfully negotiated this challenging terrain and apply lessons learned to where we have been less successful. Questions for exploration: What does real practice integrity look like under-fire?  What’s a reverse Miranda agreement?  Who’s outside the circle now, and how can we bring them in?  What important questions did we miss, so far?

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Downloads Justice Materials Share (50 min)
Location: Moravian Date: October 26, 2015 Time: 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm John Cutro Terry O’Connell Constance M. Ives-Fenton