Restorative Conference


 Restorative Practices Tier 3 Restorative Justice Conference 

The restorative practice model is divided into three tiers or levels:

The restorative practice model is divided into three levels:

 Tier 1 -focuses on building and maintaining relationships and effective communication

 Tier 2 -focuses on low level conflicts and challenges and repairing and maintaining healthy relationships

 Tier 3- focuses on the most serious incidents when harm has been done and/or rules have been broken. “Conflict Circles” or “Restorative Conferences” requires pre-conferencing with each participant, creating an agreement, and monitoring agreements after conferences.

This model is an excellent tool for the classroom teacher or other professionals to build connectedness and cooperation within the classroom.  When harm has been done or rules broken the restorative process teachers conflict resolution skills, accountability and gives voice to all those involved while ensuring relationships are repaired

Key Method

Understanding and applying the Level 3 model helps the school employee to improve communication skills, resolve conflicts in a positive way, and to use restorative conference circles to repair the harm that has occurred and make the transition back to the classroom a positive experience for all parties (students, parents, and staff).

Method Components

In order for the educator to effectively apply the Level 3 model, he/she must:

 Identify the steps necessary to complete a pre-conference,

effectively facilitate a pre-conference with students to resolve conflict and repair the harm and,

effectively facilitate a full conference to help students, parents, and staff identify the problem, develop strategies to solve the problem, and to implement those strategies.

Suggested Preparation

Using the pre-conference checklist, complete the process with a student.

 Pre-conference Checklist

Remember to bring these items to the pre-conference:

A copy of the ground rules

Paper and pen for note-taking

This sheet (if it will be useful for you)


What to do During the Pre-conference

Introduction
Introduce yourself and break the ice.

Confidentiality
Describe the facilitator’s role and reassure the person(s) causing the harm or the person(s) who were harmed that the pre-conference is confidential.

Purpose
Describe the purpose of the conference and emphasize the potential benefits of the RJ process.

Listen
Listen to the person(s)’s who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who was harmed account of the incident.

Ground Rules
Share the ground rules for the conference and inquire whether the person(s) who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who were harmed has any rules he/she would like included.

Describe Process
Describe the conference process in chronological order.

Support person/group
Explain the importance of support persons and determine who the person(s) who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who were harmed would like to have as support.

Question
Discuss any questions the person(s) who caused the harm or that the person(s) who was harmed may ask of him/her.

Reparation & Restitution
Discuss reparation and restitution and examine the ways in which the person(s) who caused the harm or that the person(s) who was harmed may be interested in repairing the harm.

Goodwill gesture
Ask the person(s) who caused the harm to bring a snack to the conference and explain the purpose of this gesture.

Questions
Ask whether the person(s) who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who were harmed has questions and whether there is anything he/she does not want to share at the conference.

Agreement
Have the person sign the confidentiality form.

Using the Restorative Conference script, bring together everyone immediately affected to determine what should be done to repair the harm.

Restorative Conference

Facilitator’s Script

Introduction

Welcome, everyone. Thanks for attending. As you know, my name is ________, and I will be facilitating this Restorative Conference. Before we begin I would like to introduce my co-facilitator.

Would the other people present please introduce themselves? I have spoken to most of the people present before today and understand that all present are here voluntarily. If that is not correct please tell me now.

As a Community Conference Facilitator, my duties are to:

•Identify the source of harm in a system of relationships.

•Bring people in that system together.

•Ask people to share their stories, focused on their feelings and

emotions.

•Oversee an agreement to repair past harms and minimize future harm.

•Oversee the process so that everyone can participate in a mutually

respectful way.

This is a difficult matter for everyone, so it’s important to deal with it together. The conference will focus on activities related to (briefly outline the wrongdoing). We want to explore how people have been affected and see whether we can begin to repair the harm and ensure it’s not repeated. I ask only one thing of each of you who has taken the trouble to attend today, and that is that you stay until the end.

I have prepared a set of ground rules to guide our dialogue tonight. Please review these ground rules and tell me if there are any you would like to change or any additional ground rules you would like to add.

Ground Rules:

We respect the dignity of each person and are concerned about the welfare of each other.

Everyone speaks; everyone listens.  We listen to understand and respond with empathy (sensitivity)

Everyone communicates honestly.  We share openly our thoughts, emotions, feelings and reasons.

Differences are expected and accepted.

We each take responsibility for our own participation in this dialogue.

We ask for help, seek feedback on our ideas to gain information and ideas, and encourage the involvement of everyone.

We maintain a climate of open-mindedness and genuineness.  We support one another while holding each other responsible for our actions.

We honor confidentiality be keeping all comments made in this room in the room.

We avoid criticism, pretense, insincerity, and condescending attitudes.

 Restorative conferences are based on the democratic process. Conditions of a Deliberative Democratic Process include:

•Participation – Everyone gets to attend and gets to speak.

•Political equality – All opinions are considered.

•Deliberation – All ideas are talked through.

•Non-tyranny –No one dominates.

The conference itself includes these elements:

•Those whose actions caused harm, tell their story.

•Those most directly harmed talk about how they were affected.

•Other participants talk about how they were affected.

•Those whose actions caused harm to have an opportunity to apologize.

•Those most directly harmed suggest what might be done to make things better.

•Everyone contributes to a mutually acceptable agreement which they

all then sign.

Telling the story and exploring the impact

(To key players)

•Could you start the conference by telling us what happened to

create this situation that brings us here today.

Helpful prompts:

•Going back to the beginning, what happened?

•What did you think about this situation?

•How did you feel about this situation?

•What have you thought about it since?

•Who do you think has been affected by what’s happened?

•How do you think they were affected?

•(Let’s find out).

To people most affected:

•What did you think when you became aware of this situation?

•What have you thought about it since?

•How have you been affected?

•How has your family reacted to this situation?

To others present:

•Can you remember your first thoughts when you heard about this situation?

•How do you feel about what has happened?

To those who caused the harm:

•It must be difficult for you to hear this?

•What did you think when you first heard these complaints about your activities?

•How do you feel about it?

•What has happened since?

•Before we move on, is there anything you want to say to the people present tonight? 

Agreement and conference conclusion

•(To harmed) What would you like to see come out of this conference?

•(To those causing the harm) Does that seem fair?

•Who will be responsible for supervising this aspect of the agreement?

Let me ask the co-facilitator to summarize what we have agreed. We will then record on the board and easel the terms of our agreement and sign that paper at the end. I will record in writing the agreement that has been reached here. That document will be sent to each of you. The conference will be formally closed subject to completion of this agreement. Is there anything anyone wants to say? (If not) This has been a difficult time for everyone, but the agreement you have reached should go a long way towards making this a better place to work. Thanks again to all of you for taking part.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=NjWFUidiZ1E 

Watch the above clip on “The Conference”.  Record evidence of those pieces that repair the harm and the steps taken to find solutions to the problem.

Suggestive Review

Discuss and compare your results from the conference video with other colleagues.

 

 

Supporting Research

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/media/publications/crjp_impact_restorative_justice_conferencing_63_studies_may_2002.pdf

https://www.mmuperu.co.uk/assets/uploads/files/BJCJ_vol1_no2.pdf#page=23

 

 

Resources

http://restorativeschoolstoolkit.org/practices/restorative-conferencing

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA323659474&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=10864385&p=AONE&sw=w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Submission Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

Part 1 Overview question (200 word limit to your response)

Activity Description:  What steps do you presently use to restore a student or students who have caused harm to a person or persons that have resulted in a suspension from school?   After observing the previous video on “the conference”, what behaviors are similar and/or what behaviors would you change as it applies to your procedure for restoring students who have been suspended from school?

Passing: Activity description is clear with sufficient detail to illustrate that the teacher was effective in understanding the skills needed for conducting a pre-conference and conference to restore students who have been suspended from school

Activity Evaluation: What strategies did you learn about conducting a pre-conference and a conference that you can apply to the restoration of a student or students who have been suspended from school?  Compare these new strategies with actual experiences you have had with your students and colleagues.

Passing: The activity description is clear with sufficient detail to illustrate that the teacher was effective in applying the basic principles for conducting a pre-conference and a conference for the restoration of students who have been suspended from school.

 

Part 2.  Evidence / artifacts

After watching the video on “the conference”, please submit a video (no longer than 10 min.) of you effectively facilitating a pre-conference with students who are re-entering school after being suspended from school. (You will find the Pre-Conference Checklist attached to this document).

  Please submit another video (no longer than 10 min.) of you effectively facilitating a restorative conference with students who are re-entering school after being suspended.  (You will find the script attached to this document).

Pass

Teachers demonstrate learning by: Effectively facilitating a pre-conference by incorporating 12 of the 12 steps to completing this process.

(12 steps – Introduction, Confidentiality, Purpose, Listen, Ground Rules, Describe Process, Support person/group, Questions, Reparation & Restitution, Goodwill gesture, Questions, Agreement)

The teacher demonstrates learning by: Effectively facilitating a conference using all the steps included in the conference script.

Almost

The teacher demonstrates learning by: Facilitating a pre-conference by incorporating at least 10 of the 12 steps to completing this process.

Teachers demonstrate learning by: Facilitating a conference using most of the steps included in the conference script.

Not Yet

 Teachers demonstrate learning by: Facilitating a pre-conference by incorporating at least 8 of the 12 steps to completing this process.

 Teachers demonstrate learning by: Facilitating a conference using a few of the steps included in the conference script.




Part 3. Teacher Reflection             



Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

How did “the conference” video impact your relationship with students and colleagues and what changes do you plan to make as it applies to the process for students who are reentering school following a suspension? 

How will the conference model improve the restoration process for students in the future?  Give at least two examples.