|Virginia Center for Restorative Justice||
Restorative Justice Practices
Circles: In the circle process, participants come together to tell their stories. A talking piece is passed around the circle, much like the peace pipe that was used in ancient, native cultures. When holding the talking piece it is your turn to talk and others will offer respect by actively listening. Healing takes place when participants actively listen to one another and tell their stories.
Victim - Offender Conferencing: The victim offender conference offers a way to hold the offender responsibile. The actual conference gives the victim the opportunity to have questions surrounding the harmful event answered. He may get the answer to the queston, "Why me?" He will also explain what he thinks the offender can do to make things right. The offender gets to explain what he was thinking at the time the harm occurred. Members of both the victim and the offender's communities may participate in the conference.
Family Group Conference: This restorative justice practice is one of the most promising. It is used as a decision-making process in child welfare, school discipline and criminal justice procedures. Juvenile offenders who participate in this process learn how to accept responsibility for the harm they created. They also learn how to re-enter their community without experiencing guilt, shame and social stigma. Family members and community supporters of both the victim and the offender come together in order to offer their combined resources for peace building and reconciliation. Communities (home, school, church) become stronger when they participate in determining how they want to reconcile the wrong done by the wrongdoers.