Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Programs

Feature Article

Theme (First trimester): Racial and Social Justice

Working Title: Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Programs

Writer: By first request to Editor-in-Chief E. J. Tivona (See contact information below.)

Word Count: 700-800

Deadline:September 1, 2016

Assignment Details

In some Chicago schools, educators apply justice principles that focus on healing and defusing conflicts — where both sides aim to work through their problems. These restorative practices in schools prioritize repairing harm done to relationships over the need for assigning blame and dispensing punishment. Based in indigenous wisdom, Restorative Practices increase accountability, and student and teacher satisfaction. The restorative approach is based on the belief that the people best placed to resolve a conflict or problem are the people directly involved, and that imposed solutions are less effective, less educative and possibly less likely to be honored. Skills-based training help develop both restorative skills and appropriate attitudes. Several high schools in Chicago have made a difference in a few short years by using restorative practices to reduce violence while lowering suspension and expulsion rates.

Article:

This Peace Correspondent feature will highlight achievements of restorative practices in specific Chicago schools. Describe the programs and how they have served to reduce violence and conflict in the school environment. What are the benefits of these programs over other strategies? How can these benefits be extended? Who are the champions for these approaches and why? How can these be adapted to other school districts?

Interviews:

Sara Balgoyenm Executive Director
2001 N. Mattis PO BOX 8101; Champaign, IL 61826
ph: 217.778.3351
email: sarab@ibarj.org

Kathryn Rayford, Director of Training and Program Development
ph: 708-612-4945
khrayford@sbcglobal.net

Visuals: Secure permission from Roske to use visuals off the website and facebook.

 Please contact me with any questions or concerns: editor@writingforpeace.org.

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