Restorative Practices

 

Restorative Practices is about building, maintaining and repairing relationships.  It allows us to repair harm when we do things that impact others.  The Utah Legislature has recently passed several pieces of legislation recognizing the effectiveness of restorative practices in the context of schools and the juvenile court system. 

Watch our Community Conversation on Reimagining Justice: Using restorative justice practices to enhance safety and compassion in our schools, community, and courts.


In 2019, Mountain Mediations Center signed a statewide community compact in an effort to promote a consistent understanding of restorative justice throughout the state. Read the Community Compact.



 

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Restorative Practices in the Community


Living and working in a community is about relationships--between individuals, neighbors, civic organizations, law enforcement, small businesses, landlords/tenants, and academic institutions.  We need to work together to create a thriving and positive community.  Restorative practice approaches can be used proactively to build strong, positive relationships and prevent conflict and harmful behavior.  This is often done using a basic restorative practice, the Circle. A Circle is a highly structured intentional space deigned to build relationships by promoting community.  MMC has a cadre of experienced Circle facilitators that can develop and lead Circles to strengthen relationships and build community within these groups- prior to conflict and harmful behavior occurring.


Restorative Justice in the Justice System


After a harm has occurred, Mountain Mediation Center can bring together victims, offenders and affected community members to talk about what happened. Rather than simply punishing the offender, the restorative justice process brings together the victim, offender and affected community to talk about what happened, who was impacted and how to move forward. This often results in a greater sense of accountability and awareness on the part of the offender. 


Restorative Practices in Schools


Mountain Mediation Center is committed to assisting local schools in implementing restorative practices.  Restorative practices are used proactively to build relationships and a sense of community within classrooms before any harm has occurred. Students will learn the importance of accountability and empathy as well as effective communication skills.  Since conflict is inevitable, students also learn conflict resolution skills and how to repair harm once it has occurred.  Replacing the traditional punitive form of discipline with restorative practices in schools can help promote self-esteem and collaborative problem-solving among students. Research has shown that the implementation of restorative practices in schools is effective in interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, a national trend where minority students are funneled out of public schools into the juvenile justice system at disproportionate rates, resulting in lower graduation rates for this group.

 
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