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Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices are a set of skills, attitudes, values, processes and protocols that strengthen relationships, build community, and provide for a means to restore relationship when harm has occurred. Wherever people are working or learning together, Restorative Practices can be applied to promote a positive climate, enhance relationships, build social capital, improve communication, and facilitate collaborative problem solving. Restorative Practices are valuable in many settings such as schools, youth programs, social services, parenting classes, criminal justice, community health, higher education, and other organizations. As these beliefs, values, and skills are adopted and become embedded in a community, these practices becomes part of the culture of the community.

Dr. Short provides training in Restorative Practices through the International Institute for Restorative Practices. These workshops utilize materials provided by the IIRP, and participants can earn Continuing Education Units or graduate credit through the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

These training events are sequential, as they build on skills and knowledge gained through the program. Introduction to Restorative Practices and Using Circles Effectively are typically presented in a two-day format, but can be held individually. Facilitating Restorative Conferences  requires two sequential days for completion of the training.

Introduction to Restorative Practice — 1 day

Participants learn the theoretical framework for understanding why Restorative Practices are important, how they work, and the skills necessary to implement the practices. You will learn strategies you can use every day to build community in your setting, how to set high expectations while being supportive, practice how to provide direct feedback and how to ask questions that foster accountability. You will also learn the most effective methods to resolve common conflicts.

Using Circles Effectively — 1 day

This second training in the Basic Restorative Practices series teaches participants to facilitate restorative circles through hands-on practice participating in and facilitating restorative circles. Circles are central to creating a positive learning environment by developing relationships, building community and providing opportunities for problem solving, resolving conflicts and responding when harm occurs. At the close of the day, participants are prepared to return home ready to initiate circles in their settings.

Facilitating Restorative Conferences — 2 days

In this two day training participants learn how to effectively respond to incidents of conflict, wrongdoing or harm and become prepared to facilitate a formal, scripted circle process to address such issues as racial incidents, bullying, vandalism and other serious infractions.
Participants learn all the steps required to conduct a restorative justice conference, from determining the readiness of victims, offenders, their families and friends to participate, to running the formal meeting itself.

The skills gained in this training include monitoring your own reactions in stressful situations, listening with empathy and creating shared understanding among conflicting parties. These skills are applicable for all staff in better addressing conflict, even if they will not be responsible for facilitating a formal restorative justice conference.


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