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Monday, October 26, 2009

Reconciliation Circle / Restorative Justice

1 - Reconciliation circle will focus on main and most objective harms that have occurred.
2 - Overarching moral/ethical concerns AND interpersonal issues need not take precedence or be discussed
3 - The issue of violence will have to be addressed either in a different context of point #1
4 - In the circle, for the dialogue and justice-seeking to occur, we need at least 2 pillars (i.e. "elders" in the Native/First Nations and Quaker sense) to be present to witness the circle.
5 - All must agree that dialogue and justice are desired by all for the health of the community. Uh-huh. Yep. ALL.
6 - Each party should bring a facilitator/friend, who, without being impartial, is at least not emotionally involved, i.e. has not been harmed or accused of whatever bad thing did or didn't occur. The facilitator is there to help the parties TALK, they are also there because they understand the process and also have a vested interest in the health of the community.
7 - In some models, you have a moderator or moderating tribunal (3 moderators) to help the whole thing happen. In the absence of this element, the presence of pillars and facilitators is supposed to be enough to allow for equal and open dialogue in the interests of justice, forward-looking intentions, transparency, and communal reconciliation.
8 - The Circle is not punitive. End results can be action items, but not necessarily. Broken trust and hurt feelings can be discussed, but the purpose is truly for there to be a communal recognition of what has occurred and genuine desire to move on to be voiced and felt. This will not always occur, but it is at least :
i) Harm reductive
ii) Non-conflictual
iii) Non-punitive
iv) Dialogue-based
v) Egalitarian

Which is more than you can say for many processes.
One key word I forgot to mention was Restorative Justice, that is the praxis:

Check it out!

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