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Join us tonight for training

The first evening of training begins tonight at East Side Lutheran Church, 1300 E 10th St., Sioux Falls. Even if you haven’t registered yet, you can register on-site. Training begins at 6:30 and will go until 9:00 p.m. Same schedule for Thursday, followed by all day Saturday. $35, refundable if you chose to become a mediator for Restore. Find out what restorative justice means and how it can transform the justice system! All are welcome!

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Restorative Justice program in Rapid City is featured

In a legal system that focuses on crime as an offense against the state – not an individual – the voices of crime victims are frequently unheard, according to Mark Umbreit, founder of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work.

Umbreit was in Rapid City recently to train case leaders for the local Center for Restorative Justice.

“Conflict is endless,” said Umbreit, who has witnessed the evolution of Restorative Justice over the past four decades as it has emerged as an internationally accepted way of resolving conflict by creating a situation in which those who cause injury can meet the injured and learn firsthand the harm they have caused.

To read the full article, click here.

Upcoming Training

We are planning on offering: “victim-offender mediation training, an introduction to restorative justice” on the first Friday and Saturday in October. (Dates subject to availability at East Side Lutheran, Sioux Falls.) Stay tuned for updates!

As in the past, training will be held over two days, beginning Friday from 6-10 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sessions will be held at East Side Lutheran Church, 1300 E. 10th Street in Sioux Falls. Due to the possibility of offering CEU credits, total cost is being determined but it will cover all course materials, supplies and a light lunch at the Saturday session. For those interested in serving as volunteer mediators in the program for at least six months, partial tuition is refundable. As always, scholarships are available.

Training will be led by Dr. John Gehm, former Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of South Dakota and the Director of Restore. (For more information click on his bio, to the right.)

Grounded in restorative justice, the training draws also from transformative model of conflict resolution. Training is active and participants will leave with an understanding of “the language of conflict,” approaches to resolving conflict which recognize and empower all participants, and the skills, techniques and confidence which will enable them to serve as volunteer mediators in the victim-offender mediation program if desired. The training is open to the general public, including youth and elders. No prior mediation experience is required, just an interest in learning more about peaceful solutions to conflict and opportunities to apply it. Please call Restore for more information and to reserve your place.

If you need a place to stay, lodging can be arranged with local hosts with sufficient lead time.

So, save the date. Registration will be limited to 20.

Christmas message

When we first spoke about what had happened it was clear he was still frustrated and angry.  The crime had occurred over six months ago.  The damage to the vehicle was fixed, but not the damage to his trust in young people and the injury to his emotions.  Face-to-face, they were finally able to talk.

“I’m scared at what he will do to me,” the young, female offender had confided on our way to the meeting.

During the meeting he asked questions about what had happened.  And why.  He told her how angry and frustrated he was—and about his disappointment.  She apologized with a sincerity one might not expect from someone who had been labeled ‘juvenile delinquent’ from an early age.  Then he did do something to her:  he forgave her.

Restore is about relationships. When parties leave the meeting a little better than when they came in, when both sides have a little better understanding of what it means to take responsibility, to hold accountable, and to make things right—then we have done more than just our job—we have helped people see each other—and the world—just a little bit differently than before.  And given the state of the world, we think that’s a good thing.

Restore is blessed to have so many friends and supporters who also see things “a little bit differently” and give so generously to help us fulfill our mission—one conversation at a time:

…helping two people in a local retirement community resolve their differences by creating a place where each felt safe enough to be able to say the things that mattered to them—and to be heard.  As they had an honest conversation with each other, speaking from their own experiences instead of their assumptions about the other, the resentment, the fear, the hurtful misperceptions and inaccuracies began to fade.  The tensions that had built up over a year were eased to the point where they no longer had to avoid each other or feel that knot in the stomach as they passed.

Restore relies almost completely on the generosity of supporters like you.  There are many reasons to contribute to an organization—just as there are many reasons to work for one—but here is where we are in common—each giving according to our gifts and our talents to restore a world of broken relationships—and helping others to see not only the possibilities of a new way of thinking but the promise of a new way of acting.

Please help us continue to help others grow stronger at the broken places.

Sincerely,

John Gehm, Director

P.S.   We see many exciting opportunities on the horizon in 2010!  Besides exploring all the other areas restorative justice is positively changing lives—in schools, in churches, in organizations—Restore is hoping to be able to hire its first Program Coordinator to help match needs with resources.  This will mark a significant change in the life of the organization.  Thank you again for keeping us moving forward.

sunrise

God comes to us …

disguised as our life.

New Training

Announcement

October mediation training

R E S T O R E, Inc. (formerly “VORP”, the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program of Southeastern South Dakota) will hold a second “Introduction to Restorative Justice and Victim-Offender Mediation Training on Friday, October 30th from 6-10 p.m. and concluding Saturday, October 31st 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.  Sessions will be held at East Side Lutheran Church, 1300 E. 10th Street in Sioux Falls.

mediation-classroom-colorThe cost is $50 which covers all course materials, supplies and a light lunch at the Saturday session. For those who are selected and who are interested in serving as volunteer mediators in the program for at least six months, $25 may be refunded. Training scholarships are available.

Training will be facilitated by experienced mediators, and led by Dr. John Gehm, former Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of South Dakota and the Director of RESTORE. Gehm has been a researcher, mediator and trainer for over 20 years.

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Grounded in restorative justice, the training draws also from transformative model of conflict resolution refined by Baruch Bush and Joe Folger in The Promise of Mediation in 1994. Participants will leave the training with an understanding of “the language of conflict,” approaches to resolving conflict which recognize and empower all participants, and the skills, techniques and confidence which will enable them to serve as volunteer mediators in the victim-offender mediation program through RESTORE, if desired. The training is open to the general public, including youth and elders. No prior mediation experience is required, just an interest in learning more about peaceful solutions to conflict and opportunities to apply it.

circleRegistration Form October 2009. Call Restore 605-338-6020.  Or send an e-mail to  restore-sd@sio.midco.net. Participation in both sessions is highly recommended, although not mandatory.  If you have a conflict, please contact the director.

The fruit of service

service

I happened to read this again the other day:

The fruit of silence is prayer.  The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.

I always want to add another line to Mother Theresa’s prayer: “…And the fruit of peace is justice.”

May all of us be about planting, nurturing, and harvesting….

We’re always looking for inspirational quotes about forgiveness, reconciliation and restorative justice.  Please join the conversation!