What Restorative Justice Initiative is doing to bring together people working in restorative justice in different arenas is truly amazing. People are learning from each other, updating ideas, and finding ways to make restorative justice work in complex real life situations in New York.
In my role as a law professor, I teach students about ways to resolve conflict and achieve justice that are healing rather than adversarial and punitive, exposing them to compassionate alternatives to traditional legal practice. Students are excited to learn about the healing potential of restorative practices and the empirical evidence demonstrating that such practices reduce recidivism among those who may have engaged in transgressions against their communities. The Restorative Justice Initiative is an indispensable resource enabling me to share with my students placement opportunities, trainings, and conferences, that may offer them pathways to using their legal talents to engage in this vital work. There is nothing else like it in New York.
Expanding non-adversarial ways to resolve wrong-doing that includes perpetrator, victim, and community—is essential if our country is to move in the direction of peace. RJI does a wonderful job of pulling together many New York City area organizations that are working toward this goal.
The Restorative Justice Initiative is essential in helping New York City build and grow a network of stakeholders from the government, nonprofit and private sectors interested in advancing restorative principles, practices and policies in our criminal , education and social service systems.
Because of RJI, I found out about the AmeriCorps Community Mediation Corps Program, which I had never heard of before. I had been interested in doing mediation, and now as a Mediation Specialist with AmeriCorps, I will be gaining experience in both school and reentry mediation.
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