Restorative justice (RJ) practices, especially “circle processes,” have been found to be very effective for adolescents in bullying. These practices are used at the federal level and by the Department of Public Safety in Missouri.
RJ is more effective than traditional counseling or punishment. The goal is to heal the harm, while holding the offender fully accountable. Missouri is considered a forerunner in this area with juveniles.
We are attempting to set up RJ program for adults in Sedalia, Mo., to try to keep the prison population from ever expanding and to address the recidivism rate (estimated at 60 to 70 percent) in our prisons.
For specific information, contact me, the Community Mediation Center in Independence or the Juvenile Justice Specialist (State of Missouri, Department of Public Safety) in Jefferson City.
Margaret L. Harlan