General Resources
More details
Howard Zehr
More details
Symposium 2013  -  Presentation Descriptions
Thursday, May 9, 2013


8-9:00   Auditorium


Shame and the implications for Restorative Justice
Howard Zehr, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding


The topic of shame has become a controversial issue in restorative justice. Shame occurs in the lives of those who have harmed, those that have been harmed, and in all of our lives. Restorative processes often give rise to shame, for example, as one begins to realize the harm she or he has caused. Should we be actively encouraging shame? What are the dynamics of shame in restorative processes and how can we manage these? Can we help in transforming shame into a sense of pride or accomplishment?




Surviving Violence and Getting to Forgiveness
Gary Flakes & David Works


What does Restorative Justice look like at ground level, in the real world? Gary Flakes (12 ½ years – prison) speaks from the point of view of an offender, while David Works (New Life Church 2007) speaks as a violent crime survivor. They both emphasize forgiveness.


10-11:15  Auditorium


Restorative Justice as a Life Path/Beyond Systems Used
Beverly Title, Ph.D


This session begins with a brief explanation and interactive discussion on the principles and values of restorative justice practices (RJP), using the 5 R’s (relationship, respect, responsibility, repair, reintegration). We will explore how these principles form a complete system for conflict prevention, resolution and transformation that has broad application for virtually all individuals and groups to strengthen relationships and establish organizational norms. Once we fully integrate these principles in a systematic way, adapting the processes to any life situation becomes easy and natural which is a source of personal power and wellbeing. Much of our experience with RJP involves formal processes that we engage in “for the benefit of others.” In this session, we will consider restorative justice practices (RJP) through the lens of the personal impact of being a RJP practitioner and how we can expand this more fully into our personal lives. This experience may deepen our commitment to the work, lead us to appreciate the vast range of informal applications for RJP, and help us appreciate our connection to the world-wide, RJ family.


Room 6
Expanding Restorative Justice Research & Evaluation Efforts in Colorado
Amanda Mahan, RJ Facilitator and Trainer

Many of us have been personally touched by restorative justice and know the benefits of this powerful process. How can those benefits be demonstrated in a way that can easily convey RJ’s efficacy in the language of the larger justice system? Some programs have begun to record statistics and have started research efforts, but there is still a lot that needs to be established. In the first part of the course we will explore the evaluation measures and research that is already being put into practice in the state of Colorado and beyond. The second part of the course will be a collaboration between participants (in small groups) to brainstorm ways of utilizing the existing evaluation tools in an effort to expand RJ research in Colorado.


Room 9
Practical Practice with Restorative Justice
Janna Funk, Academy District 20 & Kathy Crawford, Academy District 20

This interactive workshop will be an introduction to restorative justice covering how to set it up in our schools and why to even use it.


Room 10
Community Circles: A Pathway for Re-entry Amanda Nagl, Estes Park Police Department, Melissa Westover, Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership and Pam Vendegna, Estes Park Restorative Justice Partnership

This presentation will highlight the need for effective re-entry opportunities for formally incarcerated individuals. The Community Circles Program, which has been in existence since 2006 will be highlighted as a restorative answer to this need. Participants will be exposed to all aspects of the Community Circles Program and be given a program manual to assist in implementing a program. Time will be set aside for questions and answers


11:30-12:30  Auditorium


Engaging the Minority Community in the Restorative Justice Movement
Jeannette Holtham, Youth Transformation Center & Dan Benavidez, Author


The over-representation of minorities in our prison system and the marginalization of youth as casualties of zero tolerance policies in schools have played significant roles in the expansion of the restorative justice movement. It is a call to action to engage our minority populations now as empowered leaders and well-informed advocates for restorative justice. Connectedness begins with outreach. Learn how you can overcome the cultural barriers and gain some outstanding tools that will bring us together as one community. You will meet the dynamic Elza-lynne Kruger from South Africa via Skype to compare similar cultural issues we face in America with those of our Restorative Justice colleagues in Africa. Elza-lynne was involved with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


Room 6
Implementing and Maintaining a Restorative Justice Program in a Rural Setting
Amanda Nagl, Estes Park Police Department, Melissa Westover, Estes Valley Restorative Justice Partnership

This presentation will focus on how to develop and maintain a Restorative Justice Program in a rural community. Estes Valley Restorative Justice will share practical ideas and experiences that have been helpful over the past decade of the program. A time will be set aside for questions and answers.


Room 9
Implementing Restorative Practices & Creating a Restorative Culture in Your School
Kerri Schmitt, Restorative Justice Practitioner & Lossie Ortiz, Restorative Practices Coordinator, D-11-Palmer High School

Too often a restorative justice program is introduced in schools only to falter or disappear when the champion leaves. Effective programs do exist in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and England because they are part of a larger restorative culture. Come explore the five stages of implementing a whole school approach to RJ, the 10 key elements that must be in place to insure successful RJ process implementation and why a palette of practices offers a speedy, time and cost effective response to harm. We’ll share the real life stories and strategies from Palmer High school’s successful RJ evolution.


Room 10
Skill Building for Restorative Justice Practitioners
Deb Witzel, Longmont Restorative Justice Partnership & Leslie Maya-Charles, 19th Judicial District Restorative Justice Partnership

This fun, experiential session builds essential skills for all RJ practitioners. What do you do when things don’t go as planned? How do you deal with difficult people and situations? Leslie and Deb give you skills and tools to think from your seat and navigate with grace.


1:30- 2:45  Auditorium


Trauma and Restorative Justice
Elaine Barge, STAR Director, Eastern Mennonite University


Have you ever considered how trauma can cause people to act out OR how addressing trauma could benefit victims as well as offenders? Trauma affects how we think, feel, and behave and unhealed trauma often leads to more violence as individuals and groups act out against others or become self-destructive. This presentation will look at the potential of the restorative justice process for addressing the trauma and wounds of the one harmed as well as the one who caused the harm. It will also highlight the importance for everyone involved in restorative justice processes to be trauma-informed.


Room 6
Shifting the Restorative Practice Paradigm in Schools: Bumps, Barriers, Bridges
Vickie Samland, The Conflict Center & Pearl Bell, University College at the University of Denver & The Conflict Center

In schools that embrace Restorative Approaches there is often a large shift needed in understanding how to implement a broad range of Restorative Practices including teaching Social Emotional Skills, applying Restorative Language and Principles in daily classroom interactions, practicing discipline instead of punishment, and using Restorative Justice Circles with teachers and students. The intent of this session is to share knowledge, expertise and experience to help imbed restorative practice in elementary through high schools. The Conflict Center has been using SEL and RJ practices for 25 years. We see a need for ongoing conversation regarding the ways Restorative Approaches are used in school settings. We believe that a World Café styled conversation will encourage rich conversation, promote idea sharing, and hopefully expand the thinking and practice of all who participate. (World Café presumes that some of the best conversations happen with 3 or 4 people sitting around small café tables, drinking coffee, scribbling notes on napkins in a relaxed, informal, and creative setting. Facilitators provide questions as conversation prompts and then gather in the information for everyone to see).


Room 9
Take Your Finger Off the Emotional Trigger! Self Awareness for Facilitators and Mediators
Ken Keusenkothen, Longmont Restorative Justice Partnership

“Learn exercises for remaining objective while participating in the restorative justice process.” As participants in a restorative justice process, we can easily find ourselves being “triggered” by a personality or a situation. It could be a kid who doesn’t take responsibility for his actions or a mother who makes excuses for her child. We know that when we are triggered (or take things personally) we tend to lose our objectivity, and the RJ process can fall apart. None of us want to be triggered, but is there anything you can do to avoid it? In this Hot Topic, you will be exposed to a new method of becoming aware when you are being triggered and learn exercises for becoming present while still continuing to be a part of the Restorative Justice Process.


Room 10
Restorative Dialogue: Language Techniques for Facilitators That Support Repair,
Restoration, Responsibility and Respect
Kerri Schmitt Restorative Justice Practitioner

RJ offers an entirely different way to understand and respond to conflict and violence in our community; as a result it requires a different communication approach when working with victims’, offenders, and community members. Victims’ want vindication, validation and answers to the questions “Why me”? And “What can be done to prevent this from happening to anyone else”? Learn how to move a conversation from one of blame and punishment, power and rights to one of interests, empathy, compassion and respect. You will learn the 8 most common needs of participants and understand why addressing these needs is critical for a successful restorative practice outcome. Learn trigger words and language bridges that change the conversation to support individual needs, apology, and accountability. Discover ways a facilitator can re-frame a conversation when facilitation go awry. This highly interactive session will give participants an opportunity to practice these skills.


3:00-3:30  Auditorium


Past and Current Restorative Justice Legislation
Pete Lee, Colorado State Representative, House District 18
Representative Pete Lee will discuss past and current Restorative Justice legislation in Colorado and its implications for schools, courts, and the corrections systems.




Social Justice and the Power of Empathy
Sharletta Evans, Juvenile Advocate and Mother of Murdered Son, and Joanne Lewis,
Mother of Offender


Explore the perspectives of Sharletta, Kim and Joanne as they discuss their life experiences in the context of empathy. How does empathy empower us and open doors of opportunity and help break down barriers? How do we become a more interconnected community of crime victims and offenders when violence has occurred?



Friday, May 10, 2013


9-12:00   Auditorium


High Risk Victim Offender Conferencing
Howard Zehr, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Sharletta Evans, Juvenile Advocate
and Mother of Murdered Son & Elaine Zook Barge, STAR Director, Eastern Mennonite University


Film – “Meeting with a Killer- One Family’s Journey”

This is a documentary of Victim Offender Dialogue in Crimes of Severe Violence. Lisa F. Jackson, the filmmaker was nominated for an Emmy. This film details the journey of family members as they prepare to meet with the man who abducted, raped and murdered their daughter.


Following the showing of the film "Meeting with a Killer", join Howard, Sharletta & Elaine for a dynamic and interactive discussion of high risk victim offender dialogue and the implications for restorative justice.