Learning about restorative justice and restorative justice diversion online has its limitations, which is why we ask you gain deeper understanding through interactive learning at trainings. This step directs you to organizations that provide such trainings.
Preparing your organization to implement a restorative justice diversion program requires more than just reading and utilizing this toolkit. In order to be eligible for a Restorative Community Conferencing training from the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice in Step 3: Receive Training, your organization must have already received trainings in restorative justice, circle processes (specifically community building circles and harm circles), and implicit bias.Your organization must also have some experience holding circles in your community. Responsibly introducing RJD to your community requires learning about the history and fundamental principles of circle process and restorative justice, as well as gaining intimate knowledge of how our criminal legal system functions and its history. You learned about this at length in Step 1A: Youth Criminalization, and we encourage you to review the additional resources provided in that step to deepen your knowledge of the criminal legal system.
Additionally, it is essential to understand implicit bias and privilege—how they inform our interactions with others, as well as how they create and uphold certain practices, policies, and procedures. Developing a program that maintains and sustains a liberation framework can only happen when staff actively and self-reflectively engage with the realities of implicit bias, power, and privilege.
While our list of recommended organizations, associations, and websites is in no way exhaustive, it does provide a great starting point for conducting your own research on where to receive trainings and additional support. Although many of these organizations are California-based, their trainers may be available to travel. Of course, if there is a local restorative justice organization in your community that offers trainings, they could be your best option—both because local trainers cut down on travel costs and because they will have a better understanding of your local community. For more recommendations, visit our Restorative Justice Resources page on the Impact Justice website.
Contact your local legal aid center and request a meeting, presentation, or training on your local juvenile legal system and processes.
Once trained in restorative justice and circle process, you’ll be able to hold circles. Spending time in this facilitation role is essential experience necessary before starting an RJD program. Spend as much time as you need in this step of the toolkit, learning alongside others in trainings and practicing restorative justice in your life. The next step of the toolkit helps you determine if an RJD program is truly aligned with your organization’s values and mission.
RESEARCH local, online, and out-of-the-area trainings
REGISTER for and RECEIVE trainings in restorative justice and circle processes
REGISTER for and RECEIVE training in implicit bias
HOLD CIRCLES in your organization and community