Restorative Justice: Beyond Boundaries with Charlotte Calkin

In a riveting presentation, Charlotte Calkin, a recognized authority in the field of Restorative Justice (RJ), delved deep into the transformative potential of restorative tools across diverse sectors and international landscapes. With a plethora of accolades and achievements under her belt, including being an accredited practitioner and trainer with the RJC in the UK, the holder of the prestigious Howard League Award for Restorative Approaches, and possessing a Masters from Cambridge University on Restorative Practice in Prisons, Calkin’s insights bore the weight of vast experience and deep commitment.

Calkin’s journey in restorative justice has been far-reaching and impactful. She recounted her experiences facilitating over 300 restorative justice conferences and circles, which included sensitive situations following terrorist attacks. Internationally, she has lent her expertise in various capacities, even being recognized as one of the 50 RJ champions for RJC. Furthermore, her engagements with HRH Princess Anne on restorative justice topics accentuated the importance and recognition of her work.

One of the standout aspects of her presentation was her narration of working with the British Council in Colombia until January 2020. This project, aimed at rehabilitating young offenders, was deeply rooted in restorative principles, underscoring the universal applicability and importance of such approaches. But her reach doesn’t stop at prisons or international territories. In the UK, she actively collaborates with six prisons, a premiership football club, and several institutions across business, health, and education sectors. Her mission? Embedding restorative principles across behaviors, policies, and processes.

Charlotte Calkin spoke passionately about her efforts to combat serious issues such as hate crime and sexual harassment through restorative approaches. Instead of traditional punitive measures, her work provides alternative, holistic ways of managing environments and effecting cultural shifts. The core of her message was clear: Restorative justice is not just a tool for rehabilitation in criminal justice but a comprehensive framework that can redefine cultures across institutions and societies.

Calkin’s presentation was punctuated with transformative stories from her vast repertoire, giving attendees a glimpse into her upcoming book. These stories, sourced from real-life situations, vividly painted the picture of how restorative tools can catalyze profound changes. They served as compelling testaments to the assertion that the broader application of restorative tools can indeed be game-changing.

What resonated most with the attendees was Charlotte’s infectious enthusiasm and unwavering belief in the work she does. Describing her work as ‘exciting’, she shared the joy of training organizations in these innovative approaches and witnessing firsthand the cultural metamorphosis they underwent.

As the presentation came to a close, attendees were left with a profound sense of the vast potential of restorative tools. They were introduced to a world where punitive actions could be replaced with healing, understanding, and restoration. With Charlotte Calkin’s deep insights and inspiring journey as a backdrop, it became evident that the world of Restorative Justice is expansive, with the power to transcend borders, sectors, and traditional beliefs.

In essence, Charlotte Calkin’s presentation was not just about sharing her journey; it was an invitation for all to explore the limitless horizons of restorative justice and envision a world driven by understanding, reconciliation, and communal healing.