Restorative Practice and Partnerships

By Craig Adamson, PhD, Provost, International Institute for Restorative Practices,

and Keith Hickman,Director of Continuing Education, IIRP

Partnership is an important theme for restorative practices work. To promote and sustain this emerging social science that strengthens relationships between individuals, as well as social connections within communities, we need partnerships between all kinds of organizations in our community, including education, youth serving organizations, law enforcement and justice, social services, faith-based, and many more.  

 The practice of restorative justice, a subset of restorative practices, itself is reactive, consisting of formal or informal responses to wrongdoing after it occurs. It involves building social capital within a partnership in order to use restorative processes to determine how best to repair the harm done by an offense to its members. This powerful change in a partnership, reinforces the most critical function of restorative practices which is to restore and build meaningful relationships.

 When we include those harmed, wrongdoers, and their communities of care as primary stakeholders, we then create the space for reparation and responsible actions to occur. When we are particularly attentive to those that felt wronged, we would ask: What did you think when you realized what happened? What impact has the incident had on you and others? What has been the hardest thing for you? What do you think needs to happen to make things right? This generates an emotional exchange necessary for meeting the needs of all members involved.

 Learn more about how restorative practices can transform individuals and communities. Check out: