Restorative Justice

An Effective Alternative

Restorative Justice practices focus on accountability, empathy, and working to repair harms and relationships.

Victim-Youth Conferencing

This evidence-based practice has grown in Nebraska through the Office of Dispute Resolution and a grant from the Sherwood Foundation.

  • Allows youth who’ve caused harm the chance to take responsible for their actions.
  • Gives those they’ve harmed the opportunity to share the impacts of what happened – teaching youth the power of empathy.
  • Provides the opportunity for the youth and those harmed to work together on a plan to make things right.

Schools and Community

Restorative Justice practices can keep youth in school, instead of removing them for suspension or expulsion.

Practices include:

Circles – Students sit in a circle, using a “talking piece” to take turns speaking in a safe and respectful setting. When participants sit in a circle, they experience a greater sense of community.

Peer Mediation –  Students hear cases of minor delinquent acts or school offenses, and are empowered to take leadership roles and learn problem solving skills.

Mediation and Conferencing – Mediation in school can help resolve disputes between students or between students and staff. Conferencing opens the process to include others to participate, including supports for the youth.