Restorative practices 2009 margaret mcgarrigle 087 7752554 margaret mcgarrigle@gmail com
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Restorative Practices 2009 Margaret McGarrigle 087 7752554 Restorative Justice is…….

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Restorative Practices 2009 Margaret McGarrigle 087 7752554 margaret.mcgarrigle@gmail

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Restorative Practices2009Margaret McGarrigle087

Restorative Justice is……

  • …..a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offence and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible

    Howard Zehr, 2003

  • Short-term discipline

    • To stop inappropriate behaviour while explaining what is appropriate

  • Long-term discipline

    • To help young people take responsibilityfor their own behaviour

    • To teach self-discipline – when people’s lives and behaviour are too regulated by others, they feel no need to control themselves.

  • Our Task …


    Think of Self

    Think of Others

    Recognise the extent of the harm caused

    Minimise harm

    Become the Victim

    They become accountable

    Blame Others

    Accept Responsibility

    Excluded from process


    Included in process


    Fundamental Unifying Hypothesis

    of Restorative Practices

    Human beings are happier, more productive and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.

    How can you practice consistently in this domain?

    Social Discipline Window









    Power Struggles











    Burnt Out

    Given Up




    Giving In

    Blurred Boundaries





    Central Idea of Fair Process

    Individuals are most likely to trust and cooperate freely with systems — whether they themselves win or lose by those systems — when fair process is observed.

    Kim & Mauborgne, Harvard Business Review, July-August 1997


    • Expectations- everyone knows what is expected.

    • Engagement - involve individuals in decisions/ listen to views.

    • Explanation - clarify how decisions are reached.

    The free expression of emotion inherent in restorative practices not only restores, but also proactively builds new relationships and social capital.

    Social capital

    Social capital is defined as the connections among individuals and the trust, mutual understanding, shared values and behaviors that bind us together and make cooperative action possible.

    Putnam, 2001; Cohen & Prusak, 2001

    A continuum of responses


    Formal School Group Conference

    Circle or classroom conference

    Small impromptu conference

    Restorative ‘chat’ / Circle Time




    To Offender

    • What happened?

    • What were you thinking at the time?

    • What have you thought about since?

    • Who has been affected?

    • In what way?

    • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

    To harmed;

    • What did you think when you realised what happened?

    • What impact has this had on you and others?

    • What has been the hardest thing for you?

    • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

    School Group Conference

    • Offenders tell what they did

    • Everyone talks about what impact this has had on them

    • The group reaches a shared understanding of the harm that has been done

    • The group negotiates an agreement about how to repair the damage and minimise further harm.

    Donegal/Galway reports;

    • High degree of satisfaction after restorative interventions

    • Significant decrease

      • in number of detentions

      • In visits to Principals Office

      • In suspensions in some schools

  • Improved staff –student relationships (reported from staff and students)

  • Impact on behaviour management – both individual and class.

  • Positive response from parents

  • More calm, less stressed communication

  • Culture Change

    • Culture – result of messages that are received about what is really valued.

    • Behaviour is aligned to these messages in order to fit in.

    • Changing culture = a systematic and planned change to these messages whose sources are behaviour, symbols and systems.

      Margaret Thorsborne

      Peta Blood

    Young People on Restorative Practice ….

    • It’s civilised ….you don’t have to shout….you can listen to each other.

    • Everyone was able to understand what has happened and I was able to make up for what I did.

    • Its Fair – staff have to do it if they are in the wrong.

    • I got a chance to say what I wanted to say and people had to listen

    • xxxxx was able to forgive me and we have a really good relationship now.

    We each are governed by our relationships with others .

    “Relationships are at the core”!!!

    • Relationships are guided by mutual respect and understanding

    • Where we have relationships within an environment, whether living environment or working environment, this creates a community.

    • Damage mutually impacts on relationships / community.

    Building a Restorative Community- Core Elements

    • Explicit Framework

    • Fair Process

    • Working “With”

    • Awareness of where the young person is at – “compass of shame”

    • Awareness of where self is at!

    • Use of Restorative language

    • Respect, Responsibility, Reparation, Restore.

    Hazards in the lives of youth at risk;

    • Destructive relationships - distrust the world

    • Climates of futility - labels, negativity

    • Learned irresponsibility - training for obedience rather than independence

    • Loss of purpose - no sense of value to others

    The reclaiming environment involves;

    • Relating to the reluctant

    • Brain Friendly Learning

    • Discipline for Responsibility

    • The courage to care.

    Features of a reclaiming environment;

    • BELONGING in a supportive environment rather than lost in bureaucracy

    • Realizing MASTERY rather than enduring inflexible systems for the convenience of the adults

    • INDEPENDENCE - Young people determining their own future in the context of a society needing to control harmful behavior.

    • GENEROSITY -Young people as care-givers, not just helpless recipients overly dependent of the care of adults.

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