Here are some very interesting news and current trends from webpages and publications that I think are useful for our work:

Spring 2013

Three new important RJ books for your library:

...... ......

Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications (2013) Edited by Katherine S. van Wormer and Lorenn Walker

Safe and Peaceful Schools; Addressing Conflict and Eliminating Violencde (2012) By John Winslade and Michael Williams.

Social Work and Restoraitive Justice: Skills for Dialogue, Peacemaking, and Reconciliation (2011) Edited by Elizabeth Beck, Nancy P. Kropt, and Pamela Blume Leonard.

Chapter 5 in Social Work and RJ is about practicing RJ in schools and pointed me to an article published in Children and Schools by Mark Cameron of Southern Connecticut Sate University Department of Social Work with Sandra Sheppard from State University of New York that discusses the ways in which school discipline is a direct contributor to students' academic and psychological difficulty. The articul offers a harsh crtic of disciplinary practices in schools that can be linked to PTSD, depression, anxiety, aggressive behavior, failiing grades and school dropout. Even worse news when we look at what happens disproportionately to children of color and SpEd kids. The article really presents big ethical questions to school social workers who are bound to serve the marginalzed on their campuses. The author's conclude that we must realize " that common disciplinary practices can be harmful to children and that they(we) must address this problem to effectively help those who may be negatively affected". The article is here at C&S v28 n1.

Fall 2012

For great up to date RJ info I'd suggest subscribing to RJ Online PFI's Centre for Justice and Reconcilliation and eForum News from International Institute for Restorative Practices whose president Ted Wachtel began Real Justice (my first FGC training in 1997).

Overuse of school suspensions and expulsions are finally being examined by our legislators. On September 21, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1729 that will bring important new changes to Ed Code to include alternatives to suspension and expulsion, Ed Code Section 48900.5 now lists "participation in a restorative justice program" as other means of correction. Also in September Oakland Unified School District entered into a voluntary resolution with the U.S. Dept of Ed Office of Civil Rights for their overuse of suspensions and expulsion of young African Americans. This OCR resolution also calls for their continued use of restorative practices in school that RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth) has been instrumental in putting into effect over the past five+ years.

More on school discipline and other new laws can be found at Fix School Discipline. I also just found the Restorative Schools Vision Project in Sacramento who is holding some great trainings.

Following posts from pre-blog days (maybe 2005?)

Preventing Violence and Related Health-Risking Social Behaviors in Adolescents National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement available free at

Below is Youth Today's review: “Scare tactics” aimed at preventing violent behavior among adolescents do not work and may make the problem worse, according to a new research-based consensus document put together by a panel at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The panel convened Oct. 13-15 to review scientific research on youth violence prevention.

It concluded that “get tough” programs such as detention centers and boot camps create environments where more experienced delinquent adolescents teach the less experienced how to be delinquent. In addition, a research review by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that putting juveniles in the adult judicial system is counterproductive, because it is more likely to result in kids learning to be more violent than it is to deter them.

The draft statement concludes: “Ineffective programs may not harm the participants directly (although some do) but they may have an important toxic effect nonetheless; namely the ‘opportunity cost’ of funds misspent on an unsuitable program that might have been spent on an effective one.”

Winter 2004

"Be serious, be passionate, wake up!" Susan Sontang 1933-2004
Wake up at Common Dreams or Alternet

And I must insist that you read George Lakoff's Moral Polictics and buy his don't think of an elephant for all of your friends. These are probably the most important instructional books for all of us that believe that "helping, not harming" is our moral code as restorative justice practitioners. From the back cover: "In Moral Politics, the first full-scale application of cognitive science to politics, George Lakoff analyzes the unconscious worldviews of liberals and conservatives, explaining why they are at odds over so many seemingly unrelated issues- like taxes, abortion, regulation, and social programs. The differences, Lakoff argues, are not mere matters of partinsanship, but arise from radically different conceptions of morality and ideal family life- meaning that family and morality are at the heart of American politics, in ways that are far from obvious." Put way to simply but as an example of what you will learn about is Lakoff's definitions of the conservative's and the liberal's priorities: Conservative's highest priorities as a STRICT FATHER= Promoting Strict Father morality in general. Promoting self-discipline, individual responsibility, and self-reliance. The liberal's highest priorities as a NURTURANT PARENT= Empathetic behavior and promoting fairness. Helping those who cannot help themselves. You will be amazed on how well these definitions work to bring light to these different worldviews. Plus the 25 pages of reference at the end of Moral Politics is worth the $. More at Rockridge Institute.

The American Correctional Association never ceases to surprise me, in this December's Corrections Today Magazine there are four major articles on restorative justice and a great comentary by Daniel Van Ness of Prison Fellowship International entitled Patterns of Thinking. Van Ness calls for correction officials to use deBono's model of creativity along to re-think corrections in America. His comentary introduces this issue of CT by stating "People in other countries, confronting problems similar to ours in the United States, are responding with approaches we may never have though of." Prison Felowship International's link at PFM.

Also it sounds like Martha Stewart is following PFM's founder Chuck Colsen's awakening and starting to advocate for prison reform. See her personal letter on her personal web page at Martha
And if you haven't yet subscribed, a great list serve is Ted Wachtell and Paul McCold's International Institute for Restorative Practices, the link to subscribe to the eforum is eforum

Summer 2004

Restorative Justice reaches Oprah! The April 2004 "O", The Oprah Magazine ran " After Violence, the Possibility of Healing" by Jan Godwin about surviving family member of a murder, Jan Brown's VOMD work in Texas, and other rj cases. The article was followed up by an Oprah Show presentation on October 25, 2004 with Ellen Halbert (TX) and Marlene Parslow (WI) and Sunny Schwartz JD with the San Francisco Sheriff's Office Reslove to Stop the Violence Project which I was able to visit at SF Jail #7 last year. A fantastic show!

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announces the availability of the "Targeted Community Action Planning Toolkit." This step-by-step tutorial provides community planners with tools and resources to assist them in implementing and sustaining efforts related to OJJDP's Targeted Community Action Planning (TCAP) program. By offering a strategy that focuses on results rather than process, TCAP helps communities identify and respond to their most critical juvenile justice and delinquency prevention needs. This toolkit is the nuts and bolts of the Title V training that I have been doing for DSG.
The "Toolkit" guides community planners through a process that includes mobilization, assessment, planning, and implementation. It includes worksheets and other tools designed to help community planners collect data, analyze information regarding resources, develop responses targeted to critical issues, and implement action plans that impact the community's most pressing problems.
The Toolkit is available and can be downloaded as a pdf here: Targeted Community Action Planning Toolkit

I feel I need to plug  Mathew Miller's,  The 2%  Solution: Fixing America's Problems in Ways Liberals and  Conservatives Can Love.   Miller is an NPR comentatory for Morning Edition.  Here's what Bill Bradley says about the book, " ...challenges us to get serious about social justice by confronting the reality of America, not the unreality of most political cmpaigns.  This critical book ask us to open our minds far enough to see real remedies exist for some of this country's toughest problems."  Miller shows how we can solve our problems with  health insurance, social security and education by using 2% of our gross domestic product. Simple straight forward read.

Turning Wheel, The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism, Fall issue on Freedom and Confinement features an article by Montana's Sue Kronenburger titled "Unlikely Friends".  She has done a great job sharing our experiences at the Montana State Prison.  Turning Wheel can be purchased through the Buddhist Peace Fellowship at  Also BPF is running up to date info on the peace movement on their site.

Summer 2003
If you don't think you have enough to read this summer, try signing up for the Fed's Weekly Accessions listserv at WAL or take a look at this weeks list at Amazing research stuff from all over the world.

Community Network for Youth Development's Youth Development Guide This is a great tool to help figure out if your after-school youth program is effectively engaging youth, and a great background to the youth development thinkers.

Spring 2003
The Listening Project Report is now available.  Taking Victims and Their Advocates Seriously: A Listening Project by Harry Mica, Mary Achilles, Ellen Halbert, Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, and Howard Zehr. Excerpt with link to full text.
It is a major step at bringing victims and their advocates into the development of restoraive justice practices.  This is a must read for all rj folks past, present and future. The Listening Project was specifically designed to confront the significant deficiencies of restorative justice practice pertaining to victim participation and impacts for victims, their advocates and victime services generally. A core project objective was to collaboratively propose an action plan to create more responsive restorative justice programs and benificial outcomes for victims.

Winter  2002-03
An important resource  that I just caught on Bill Moyers NOW show recently was an interview with the director of the Center for Public Integrity. It a place for us to keep an ethical eye on our Federal leadership.  This publication is an example of what kind of information can be found there and how we need to keep ourselves informed. See Patriot Act II. Another important watch dog is Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting at FAIR.

You have probably seen this PBS Frontline piece when in came out in July 2002 but I think now it has even more to tell us about peacekeeping and reconciliation Shattered Dreams of Peace: The Road from Oslo. "In the summer of 2000, negotiators were on the brink of a Mideast peace agreement that could end 100 years of conflict. Two years later, violence rages. What went wrong?"

Here is a new way to survey your community's resiliency resources developed by Bonnie Bernard,MSW, of WestEd for the California Department of Education's Healthy Kids Campaign. Check out the Resilience and Youth Development Survey Module and see how you can survey kids to find their view your community's protective factors and assests.

Community Programs to Promote Youth Development Commitee on Community-Level Programs for Youth. Jacquelynne Eccles and Jennifer Appleton Gootman, Editors. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Washington,D.C.: National Academy Press 2001. This is a great report on features that research has shown important for developing capable young people. Available now on line at Also see summary at this page: What Researcher's Say

Brave New You: 12 Dynamic Strategies for Saying What You Want & Being Who Your Are Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, 2001. By Mary Valentis, Ph.D & John Valentis, Ph.D. Great new woman's book that I saw in my partner's Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture magazine this month. This little book outlines some steps and actions women can take to return to the uninhibited girl you once were, take new steps to trust your judgement, value your instincts, and present to the world a brave, one and only, you. Ok for guys too.

Corrections TodayFebruary 2002 by the American Correctional Association, great article by Anne Seymour and Trudy Gregory in the Juvenile Justice News section: Restorative Justice for Young Offenders and Their Victims

Youth Today: The Newspaper on Youth Work This is a tremendous national connection for all of us that work with kids, the paper comes out about 1 a month and is only $14.97 a year. Check them out at

Winter 2002
Justice Research and Statistics Association have just announced a new resource: TheJuvenile Justice Evauation Center Online They have information and examples of performance measures, frequently used evaluation designs and internet resources listed here. Find evaluation tools for many juvenile programs like Aftercare/Reentry, Alternatives to Secure Confinement, BARJ, Disproportionate Minority Confinement, Family Strenthening, Gang Prevention, Gun Violence, Life Skills, Mentoring, School-based Programs, Substance Abuse Prevention/Intervention and more.

Fort Collins, Colorado has their Risk Assessment 2001 online and downloadable in pdf. Build A Generation: Reducing Youth Problem Behaviors through Prevention BAG is Colorado adaptation on the Communities that Care model and a great example of the information that can be gathered and then presented on risk and protective factors in your community.

Winter 2001
OVC Handbook for Coping After Terrorism: A Guide to Healing and Recovery September 2001, NCJ 1900249. Excellent and brief guide to help understand our reactions to acts of terrorism or mass violence.

Fall 2001
Robert Aitken on Restorative Justice in Hawai'i in Turning Wheel: The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism

August 2001
Attention BARJ Trainers, two new curiculums have been completed and available to qualified trainers:

 Facilitating Restorative Group Conferences curriculum is now available for
 download from the Minnesota Department of Corrections website: Thanks, again,
 for those who made the curriculum possible: NIC and the Minnesota DOC for their support, Instructional
 Designer Phyllis Bebko, the Design Team: Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, Stephanie Haider, David Hines,
 Diego Hunt, Alice Lynch, Nancy Riestenberg, Anne Rogers, Susan Stacey, and to the Reviewer/Contributors:
 Mike Dooley, Gena Gerard, and Carolyn McLeod!  We hope qualified trainers will use the curriculum
 carefully, with a strong emphasis on victim sensitivity and restorative justice principles.

Restorative Justice: Principles, Practices and Implementation is now available.  It can be accessed and downloaded in PDF format from Nation Institute of Correction's web site. Go right to the curriculum by clicking below on NIC Curriculum. This will be an introduction page.  Click on the graphic at the right side of the page.
You will go to a table page from which you can open any section in the Facilitator or Participant Guide.

August 2001
Restorative Justice Conferences as an Early Response to Young Offenders by Edmund F. McGarrell
As we know early offenders pose special challenges, but restorative justice offers unique benefits, as the Indianapolis Restorative
Justice Conferencing Experiment is demonstrating. Not only does RJ hold youth accountable for their actions, it also affords
them an opportunity to repair the harm they have caused- involving their families and victims in the process.
Download the OJJDP Bulletin NCJ 187769

July 21, 2001
Los Angeles Times story by Robin Shulman Crime Prevention Program Fails to Meet Challenge Read online from LA Times
Article starts off criticizing RJ program in Ventura County, CA but this sounds like a huge ($4.5 million) that only uses RJ as one small component of a larger program, but we will know more when Rand Corp issues their report in September (

Summer 2001
Restorative Community Justice: Reparing Harm and Transforming Communities
Edited by Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff available through this web site for $35 plus shipping or directly from Anderson Publishing 800-582-7295.

 Anderson has also released VanNess & Strong Restoring  Justice 2nd. Edition  $31.95

July 2001
Alberta Youth Court Interlocutory Judgement of the Honourable L.T.L.Cook-Stanhope on a juvenile offender not allowed to participate in Community Conference because his co-offender had not yet pled guilty
see the Calgary Community Conferencing web page at
Calgary Community Conferencing

Summer 2001
Perspectives, the Journal of the American Probation and Parole Association
The End of Probation: and the Begining of Community Corrections
by Dennis Maloney, Gordon Bazemore ans Joe Hudson