Improving Life, Knowledge & Understanding
Goodman Mediation & Resolutions
Restorative Justice is an alternative to using punishment to manage misbehavior. Punishment-based approaches are the tradition most of us are familiar with, because they are the basis of our criminal justice system, guided by the idea that punishment, if fair and proportionate, is the best response to crime.
Restorative practices in schools are based on restorative justice principles instead of punishment. They aim first to build classroom communities that are supported by clear agreements, authentic communication, and specific tools to bring issues and conflicts forward in a helpful way. They provide specific pathways to repair harms by bringing together those who are affected by misbehavior in a dialogue to address concerns, achieve understanding, understanding different perspectives and come to agreement about setting things right. In addition to serving the cause of fairness and justice, restorative approaches make safer schools and contribute to social and emotional learning.
Restorative Practices build community and can help set things right when the integrity of the community is challenged by harmful behaviors. When people come together for restorative interactions they sit in circles. Circle dialogue is a fundamental element of restorative dialogue. Classroom circles support the two main goals of restorative practices: building community; and responding to harms through dialogue that sets things right.
Peer mediators, students are eligible to conduct mediations, facilitate circles at their schools and volunteer at participating youth court programs. As the Youth Program Coordinator with UDR and partnership with Horizonte, Airen provides ongoing training to help our peer mediators practice and refine their skills and assists with training staff in restorative practices.
If you would like help setting up restorative practices in your school, please contact Airen Goodman or Joshua Bell us to discuss what options are available. We strongly believe in the practices of restorative justice in schools to benefit the whole school community, strengthen relationships, supporting students and their families, while giving back to the community. We are happy to be a resource for you in building a restorative model that fits within your school's values.
Airen Goodman, Mediator & Youth Program Coordinator, UDR
Goodman Mediation & Resolution Services, LLC
Joshua Bell, Horizonte Principal Salt Lake City School District