Prof. Jennifer Llewelyn heads new international RJ Lab

Canada / Academic

Bio: Professor of Law, Yogis and Keddy Chair in Human Rights Law and Donald R. Sobey Chair in Restorative Justice at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia Canada. Director of the Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab and the International Learning Community for a Restorative Approach. Research and work focused in areas of relational theory and a restorative approach, human rights, peacebuilding, truth and reconciliation, justice transformation and restorative communities.

Topic: The vision, approach, and plans for the newly established Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab (RRIELab) at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. The reference to “Lab” signals the goal and commitment to hold time, space, and build the connections needed to create, share and mobilize knowledge for action. The presentation will explore the potential and implications of this “change lab” grounded in the principles of a restorative approach for the growth and development of the field. The RRIELab will foster and support connections among researchers, practitioners, policymakers and educators locally, nationally and internationally to translate knowledge into action and to learn from innovation and action. The RRIELab will host and be supported by the Restorative Approach International Learning Community (ILC) – an international collaboration among those supporting the vision and implementation of restorative communities, cities and states.


Dr Lindsey Pointer: games for teaching RJ

United States / Adult justice, Schools, Youth justice, Academic

Dr. Lindsey Pointer is an internationally recognized expert in restorative practices education and implementation. She has a PhD in Restorative Justice from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where she designed and implemented the Restorative University initiative. She is a former Fulbright Fellow and Rotary Global Grant recipient and has completed extensive research on restorative justice best practices. Author of The Little Book of Restorative Teaching Tools. She is passionate about building more connected and caring communities. She currently lives in Colorado.

Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, this presentation will share games and activities for teaching restorative practices. Games and activities provide a way for learners to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. These games can be used in facilitator or community trainings, with youth in schools, or in the classroom to develop and encourage skills and principles related to restorative practices. In addition to being fun and decreasing resistance to new ideas, game-based learning allows a safe environment to test out new skills, make mistakes, or create a microcosm of a larger social issue. Teaching in a restorative way also redistributes power and truly honors learners’ voices, experiences and perspectives. This presentation will introduce participants to games and activities to take back to their organizations, classrooms, or trainings.

Rethinking Justice the Restorative way in India

India / Adult justice and prisons / Sexual offences / Legal and judicial

Bio: A Doctorate in Psychology and a qualified lawyer and human rights advocate. Presently Deputy Director at Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, India. Associated with training,policy making related to prisons and custodial justice, and gender justice issues. A member of the Global Advisory Council of Restorative Justice International. Personal and professional interest in reforming the criminal justice system in India, through the development of human rights and socially just practices combined with restorative justice.

Topic: Rethinking Justice the Restorative way in India The limitations and shortcomings of conventional criminal justice has led to a re-look and reassessment of the relationships between offenders, victims and the State in criminal cases in various jurisdictions across the world. This has sparked a growing interest in restorative justice. The author argues that a focus on mere retribution by the state against the offender further escalates the cycle of violence. There is a need to reshape the Indian criminal justice system into a more open, fair and victim-oriented system. Currently, Restorative justice is almost non- existent in the system. The presentation will discuss the various possibilities of initiating Restorative Justice at various stages of criminal justice system within the present legal framework. Suggestions for legal changes will also be given. The scope of restorative practices within the prison setting will also be explored.

A framework for environmental restorative justice – Dr Brunilda Pali

Belgium / Environmental justice

Dr. Brunilda Pali is a senior researcher at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium. She is currently also Secretary of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ). Her areas of interest are gender, critical social theory, restorative justice, cultural and critical criminology, environmental justice, and arts. Her research website is

Topic: Environmental restorative justice: A justice framework for preventing, stopping and repairing environmental harms

The challenges of developing meaningful responses to environmental harm that stop damaging the earth and its inhabitants (human and other-than human), that repair and heal the devastating harms already made, and build different systems that respect ecosystems and the rights of future generations, have never been greater. Restorative justice presents a great opportunity to bridge the ineffectiveness of existing environmental responses and the pressing need to stop existing harmful practices, repair harms made and prevent future environmental damage. In this presentation, I focus on the theoretical and conceptual alignments that are necessary to make in setting the agenda of environmental restorative justice. In addition, I illustrate with some past, present, or emerging worldwide initiatives on the field the possibilities and limits of the restorative engagement with environmental justice issues.

Dr Sandra Pavelka: beyond retributive systems in the US.

USA / Legal and judicial

Biography: Dr. Sandra Pavelka serves as Professor and Founding Director of the Institute for Youth and Justice Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr. Pavelka previously served as Project Administrator of the Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Project, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US DOJ. She provides consultation, training and technical assistance with legislators, justice system and educational stakeholders, and victim advocates in the development and implementation of restorative justice principles, practices, legislation, policies and evaluation.

Topic: Lawmakers and justice system administrators seek to clarify the aims of justice management and policy, while exploring possibilities for the future of the justice system beyond individual treatment/rehabilitation and retributive justice. Legislators and justice system administrators have reformed their juvenile justice agenda from punitive actions to a means that provides responses to crime and wrongful occurrences by developing and implementing restorative legislation and policies. Restorative justice seeks to balance the needs of the victim, offender and community by repairing the harm caused by wrongdoing and delinquent acts. Dr. Pavelka will present her research that found a majority of states in the US have incorporated restorative justice in statute or code that include general provisions and intent, practices, funding and evaluation. The state of Colorado, which notably implements systemic reform by integrating restorative justice principles and practices in law and policy, is examined as a model state.

Adam Voigt: A roadmap for school culture.

Australia / Schools

Bio: I’m a former School Principal who has spent the last 8 years as the CEO of Real Schools. I partner with schools to build strong, relational and sustainable cultures through Restorative Practices. I speak widely in the media and am the Education Expert for Channel 10’s ‘The Project’ and I’m a regular columnist for major newspapers in Australia. In just a few weeks, my book ‘Restoring Teaching’ will be released.

Topic: The Restorative School Culture Description – Almost everyone agrees that the culture of a school is important. And yet, almost nobody can define what culture really is, beyond a feeling or a vibe. It raises a critical question … ‘How do we work on the culture of a school if we’re not sure what it is?’ This presentation provides a roadmap for School Leaders and Teachers who see the potentials and benefits in theirs being a truly restorative one. Presented by somebody who has led this work in his own schools and in through countless consultative school partnerships, it highlights what works in restorative cultures, what the pitfalls are and what the boundless possibilities are. This presentation is peppered with inspiring stories and case studies from schools who have already completed restorative transformations and are reaping the rewards of working in a connected and supportive community culture.

Fania Davis: what does justice require in this George Floyd moment?

United States / Restorative Justice / RJ World Keynote
BIO: Civil rights trial lawyer for 27 years. Restorative Justice writer, practitioner 17 years. Specializing in intersections of racial justice, indigeneity and restorative justice.

TOPIC: This keynote presentation will address the questions what is new and what does justice require in this George Floyd moment? It will discuss the historical role of U.S. police as enforcers of white supremacy and racial terror. It will explore defunding the police as a fundamentally abolitionist call to the collective imagination to imagine new futures and new ways of ensuring public safety where, finally, black lives will matter. This keynote also discusses calls to move beyond the narrow justice of criminal prosecution – blaming, judging, and punishing individual officers – to engage in a nationwide truth-telling process to recognize, take responsibility for and take collective action to repair history’s pain while engendering transformed social relations and structures. Such processes need to come from the grass roots, reflect shared leadership models, be based on restorative justice values of respect, responsibility, relationality and radical healing.

Laura Mooiman: Integrating Restorative Practices and PBIS

Country: Netherlands / Focus: Schools

An American based in The Netherlands, Laura is an international educational consultant specializing in school culture, safety, and student behavior. Most recently she was the Project Director for the Wellness Program and PBIS at Napa Valley Unified School District for 10 years where all 30 schools in the district achieved the highest school climate scores in the state after implementing Restorative Practices and PBIS.

Laura Mooiman, Netherlands. Topic: Schools

Topic: Integrating Restorative Practices and Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS): How to Create Safe, Positive, and Restorative School Culture That Sustains
Laura will share lessons learned in her 10 years implementing PBIS and Restorative Practices in all 30 Napa Valley schools which required all schools to build restorative systems to build community, address student behavior and to respond to school and community crises including earthquake, multiple student suicides, Napa wildfires, and student protests. PBIS is foundational to creating systems and structures to prevent problem behavior, make students and staff feel safe, and shift staff mindset toward positive approaches to managing student behavior. Without PBIS schools often do not have the capacity to manage all the restoration that would be required in a reactive mode. Restorative Practices provides tools for staff to create community and work meaningfully with students to repair harm.

RJ model for family law pioneered in Mexico

This innovative model of restorative justice arises from the experience obtained from the family restoration processes carried out in the Justice Department in Mexico (Poder Judicial del Estado de México), which is a pioneer in restorative practices in judicial settings, achieving an integrated model from which aims to resolve the legal dispute, but goes further by addressing and attending the offenses and damages that arise in the family environment.

Architect of this initiative, Professor Claudia Villavicencio, will be speaking about this initiative at RJ World and joins us today.

RJ World: Thanks for being with us today Claudia! Tell us about how you saw the possibilities for restorative justice in your department.

Prof. Villavicencio: Thank you! My passion, vocation, and commitment to family restorative justice arose from my daily experience as a facilitator in the Judiciary of the State of Mexico, both in the family and criminal sphere – when I realized the and the harms that are generated in families and the way in which these are projected not only within the family, but also the impact on the social environment.

RJ World: We share that passion! So how did you go about applying the restorative approach?

Prof. Villavicencio: I realized the possibility and the need to implement the spectrum of restorative practices for families to not only resolve the conflict, but also address the damage, when I managed to identify the need for families to go beyond an agreement, to a trial or a sentence. I consider it important to support these families with a restorative approach from beginning to end, which gave me the opportunity to carry out the first ‘circle of sentencing’ in family matters with the valuable participation of families, magistrates and officials of the court, community and multidisciplinary team, for the attention of damages and the solution of the conflict from the root.

Over the years I have come to realize that peace that is built from families transcends people and the social environment, so betting on family restorative justice is an accurate bet in favor of Peace.

Could you give us a quick overview of this family initiative in your justice department.

Prof. Villavicencio: The Family Restorative Justice project seeks to deal with the damage in an integral way, that is, not only in form, but also in substance, reaching the damages, to look for alternatives that allow for their repair.

This involves the multidisciplinary intervention of a team made up of professionals from different social sciences, such as law, psychology, social work, etc., who together with the family facilitator, who directs the restoration process, accompany families on the road to dealing with offenses and repairing damages in the family relationship. Multidisciplinarity allows an integral mapping of the conflict from the experience of different professions, which allows identifying the damages and seeking effective alternatives that allow them to be repaired in an integral way.

Restorative justice, when applied to family law cases, allows addressing the entire spectrum of restorative practices from informal to formal practices, not only reactively, but also preventively, which allows families to strengthen healthy emotional and social ties.

The design of programs with a total, moderately or partially restorative approach, is also part of this integrative approach to heal the damage in family relationships, according to the needs of the participants.

Presentation summary: “The importance of the implementation of restorative justice in family conflicts, for the adequate and necessary care of the damage caused in said environment by the family conflict itself, in accordance with the philosophy, principles and methodologies of the practices restorative. The application of family restorative justice is necessary for those conflicts where the damage causes asymmetric conditions between people and this does not allow them to be addressed from a mediation approach, but under the accompaniment that is possible with family restorative justice with appropriate multidisciplinary intervention.”

RJ World: That’s a very comprehensive approach. How does this work in relation to courts and legal proceedings?

Prof. Villavicencio: In judicial settings where there is already a trial, formal restorative practices have been carried out in the Mexican Judiciary Power (Poder Judicial Mexiquense), such as “circles of restorative sentencing in family matter” (“círculos de sentencia restaurativos en materia familiar”) where with the collaborative approach and democratic restorative justice, judges, magistrates, lawyers, parents, children, community members, and the multidisciplinary team that facilitates and accompanies families, attend to damages, and seek to repair them, and with the agreements that emerged from the Restorative process and of the circle said, the corresponding sentence is issued in family matter, without a doubt having facilitated the first circle of this type, it  encourage my interest in strengthening and building a model.

I hope that in the following years, efforts will be added from the community and institutions to increase restorative programs in family matters, to allow holistic support and the highest value that justice can achieve when it is achieved from the recognition of the another, the reparation of the damage and the integral solution of the conflict in the family scenario.

RJ World: That’s a powerful vision! Thanks for speaking with us today Claudia. We’re looking forward to hearing all about it in August!

Prof. Villavicencio: Thank you.

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