From the Restorative Response Program
The seven days after my arrest, I would consider probably the worst week of my life. I was just about to start my third year of schooling and suddenly my whole future had this massive record i didn’t think id have any way of overcoming. I was terrified and lost and honestly had no idea where to even turn to. Restorative justice found and contacted me, and this group of volunteers decided to dedicate their time in giving me a second chance. Not only did I get the opportunity to make up with those I directly affected. Restorative justice also allowed me to give back to the community in a way that directly related to my schooling and hopeful future. Honestly my life is arguably so much better after this entire experience not only career wise but in teaching me how to approach every situation with everyone one else's interests in mind. If you get this opportunity, you'd be crazy not to follow through!
I had the unique opportunity to work with Restorative Justice when a young boy threatened the safety of the people in my business through a prank call. The people at Restorative Justice provided me with a way to resolve the conflict and bring about some closure with it. They supported me and the boy and his family through the whole process. We participated in a meeting arbitrated by Restorative Justice. The volunteers there were so kind and caring for all parties involved. Their facilitation of the events and the final result had both parties happily settled. I am very thankful for Restorative Justice as if they were not there to facilitate this process I would not have felt closure on an incident that was disturbing to my business and staff. I also saw how it benefited the boy who was in the wrong be able to learn from him mistake and grow from it which is truly the best case scenario. All of this was possible because of Restorative Justice and its amazing volunteers. Thank you.
I have always enjoyed the art of graffiti .I found it very interesting and it intrigued me. I started to follow Graffiti artists on the internet, buying books on it and practicing drawing for hours in my bedroom. It led me to get involved with others that also found this as amazing as I did.Sadly instead of keeping it on paper and as an art I was involved in defacing a building …..which I deeply regret. I paid the price to correct my ways and thanks to Restorative Justice who gave me a chance to not have a criminal record. I had a mentor that trusted me and believed in me. We would meet up for coffee and talk. He made me feel at ease and we became friends.I now hold down a full-time job, I have a girlfriend and a wonderful family who supported me every inch of the way. I was very lucky and I never want to let anyone down again. I hope you enjoy my paintings as much as I did donating them to this program.
Sadly, instead of keeping it [graffiti] on paper and as an art, I was involved in defacing a building, which I deeply regret...Thanks to Restorative Justice who gave me a chance to not have a criminal record. I had a mentor that trusted me and believed in me. We would meet up for coffee and talk. He made me feel at ease and we became friends. I now hold down a full-time job, and I have a girlfriend and a wonderful family who supported me every inch of the way.
From the Classroom Conversation Circles
I learned about other’s feelings, that everyone matters and people have different opinions.
We expressed ourselves and talked freely without the feeling of judgment.
I learned how to get out of my comfort zone and be honest with my feelings.
I like that we can talk openly expressing our feelings and play games and that lets off a lot of stress.
I have students who have been previously disengaged, participating more than ever.
I really enjoyed and was pleasantly surprised by the insights my students had surrounding some of the topics.
It is so amazing, I wish it were in every class, it creates a special environment, I hope it can become a standard in all schools.