Updated continuum

I’ve updated the continuum of restorative practices, and have posted the new version here. So far, all the feedback I’ve had has been positive. Enthusiastic, even. As it turns out, I’m not the only one who’s been trying to sort this out. Often when I review it with an individual or group I get interesting feedback, which I have tried to incorporate.

It still feels a long way from “done” however. In fact, I’m not sure if there ever will be a “done.” Because the continuum tries to illustrate how principles are expressed through practice. The principle is primary, not the particular form of practice. In each circumstance and environment even the best practices must morph to fit the moment. So the practices illustrated on the continuum are examples…they are “here, it might look like this,” instead of “this is how it must be done everywhere.”

Here’s where I see it going in the future:

Multi-agency. In Sonoma County, where I work, there are multiple agencies doing restorative work in a variety of ways. This afternoon I am having a meeting with staff of one of these agencies who have previously seen the continuum. We will be discussing where and how our two agencies overlap on the continuum. I think this may help to reduce confusion and also to improve collaboration and cooperation among agencies.

Indicators of Success: For each type of practice, what exactly will we observe when it is successfully implemented within any particular setting? What language diagnostic of emerging restorative culture will we hear being used? What behaviors will we observe? What artifacts will appear–for example, changes in policies, referral forms, types of data reported? And what shifts in key data indicators (for example, reductions in suspensions)?

Skills and Knowledge: When we think about consulting and training to support shifts toward restorative cultures, it is important to begin by describing with some precision what it is that people need to know and be able to do. The continuum will serve as a framework for articulating this. For each type of practice we will make a list of content and skills to develop through training, supervised practice, and coaching.

Since last time I checked I did not possess the lodestone of wisdom about these things, I invite other workers in the field to make suggestions or contributions, if you are so moved.

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One Response

  1. Hi Amos,

    It was fantastic to see you (briefly) at Dominic’s training and now fascinating to read some of your pre and post – processing.

    Here at Marin Mediation we have been working with a group of volunteers and trying to develop the tools both for training and implementing Circle processes. Most recently we have been meeting once a week and (among other agenda items) collectively drafting Principles of the Restorative Circle practice for our facilitators. Then, this afternoon I was going on your web-site to confirm the date of two trainings I want to sign up for and read the Overview page for the first time. I think it’s brilliant – especially in light of the fact that we’ve been discussing in depth how to communicate to our potential clients and others, what we do. I love how you captured such an authentic expression of what we do in Circles!!! Also, I am really appreciating your Website and blog entries.

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