What Are Restorative Practices?
Restorative justice comes to us from indigenous people who understand the essential value of all life. In indigenous communities, no person is considered expendable; in fact, the very survival of the tribe depends on everyone’s contribution. Consequently, if human relationships become frayed, there needs to be a way to restore people back to right relationship. We thank the Maori of New Zealand for providing the basis of our restorative practices and showing us how to restore harmony within our communities.
Restorative justice generally refers to a process where the people most directly involved in wrongdoing or conflict come together in a guided circle-talking process to determine what harm has been done and what needs to be done to repair that harm to the greatest extent possible.
Restorative practice is an umbrella term that is used to refer to a wide range of processes that bring people together to resolve matters of wrongdoing or conflict, for community building or healing. All restorative processes are guided by principles and values and always have a focus on restoring healthy relationships. The principles and values that guide the work of the ReSolutionaries are the 5 Rs: Relationship, Respect, Responsibility, Repair, and Reintegration.
How are Restorative Practices Being Applied?
Restorative practice has become a world-wide movement. When addressing crime, it is called Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is the best-known term and most widely practiced restorative process in use. However, the restorative way is also applied in child welfare situations, referred to as Family Group Decision-Making. In schools, it may be called Restorative Discipline. Indeed, Restorative Practices take numerous forms and are applied in myriad forums. At the heart are the guiding principles of repairing harm and restoring relationships.