There is a great need for early conflict intervention in our educational system – school code violations, escalating conflict between peers, and delinquent behavior disrupt the school environment and negatively impact our community – and the DRCWM is doing something about it. We recently initiated a pilot program called Restorative Circles at Lee Middle School. (Read a recent Rapid Growth Media story about the pilot program here.)
The school-based restorative justice program provides an early intervention for youth who are beginning to demonstrate problematic/delinquent behavior. This program teaches effective, non-violent ways to handle anger, frustration, and conflict. Restorative practices foster the development of empathy, which creates a more caring and safe environment.
Youth are referred to our program by school staff (administrators, teachers, counselors, and security officers), and students may also self-refer to prevent escalation of a conflict.
Check out this cool video, then scroll down for more info:
Specific services include:
- Pre-conference meetings with all parties (including parents);
- A restorative conference in which all those involved have an opportunity to explain their view of what happened, who was affected or harmed, and how the harm can be repaired;
- Creation of a behavior plan at the end of the conference, which is written and signed;
- Follow up in about 30 days, with follow-up surveys administered at the end of that time;
- Collection and analysis of comprehensive data.
For more information about restorative justice, please contact us.