Students United for Restorative Justice
Inspired by the work at Restorative Resources, a group of pioneering Santa Rosa High student leaders has created SURJ - Students United for Restorative Justice. Check out their Facebook page and video produced by student filmmaker Sunce Franicevic:
Restorative Justice Summit a Huge Success
Over a hundred of the most influential leaders in Sonoma County gathered Feb. 21 at the Hilton in Santa Rosa to show their support and discuss how to expand restorative practices in the region. Along with Restorative Resources, Sonoma County Supervisors Mike McGuire and Shirlee Zane hosted the event that included educators, mayors, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, police chiefs and officers, sheriff's deputies, probation officers, county administrators, nonprofit executive directors, school board members, social activists and many more.
After several inspirational speeches, the group watched two short films - one on restorative justice in schools and another on the Restorative Resources adult pilot program. After each film, tables convened in roundtable discussions and then shared their findings with the larger group.
The overall reaction was resounding support for the pilot programs and for expanding their reach. The next step will be to clearly define how each entity will play a unique role in supporting and fostering restorative justice in Sonoma County. Watch the video:
We See It As Justice Through Community
Imagine a community where justice is a choice we make as a whole. A place where criminal offenders make amends in a council that includes the victim, their neighbors, volunteers and community leaders. A system where the goals are taking responsibility and repairing harm instead of punishment and retribution.
This is the mission of Restorative Resources. Since 2001, the community-based nonprofit organization has facilitated hundreds of cases, pioneering the growing field of restorative justice in Sonoma County.
What Sets Us Apart
At Restorative Resources, experienced and compassionate volunteers lead restorative conferences where offenders meet with victims in a circle that includes all parties involved - often arresting officers, school officials and community members. Through deep discussion and honest dialogue, they explore exactly what happened and who was affected. The goal is to reach reconciliation and determine what the offender must do to make amends.
Proven Track Record
For over a decade, Restorative Resources has worked with the Sonoma County Probation Department in implementing multiple juvenile and adult offender programs. After more than 1,000 cases, the percentage of repeat offenders is less than 6%. It’s also worth noting that 94% of the victims involved are very satisfied and 98% of law enforcement are satisfied.
But, it’s about far more than just numbers and statistics. Restoring balance, restoring families, restoring responsibility - Restorative Resources is a new way of looking at the roles we all play in society. It's about more than just a broken criminal justice program that no longer suits our needs. It's about broken communities coming back together.
Restorative Justice is a Tier-1 Evidence Based Program
The effectiveness of Restorative Justice Conferencing is supported by many research and evaluation findings. Restorative Resources is recognized by Sonoma Upstream Investments as a provider of Restorative Conferencing, a Tier 1 Evidence Based Practice of the highest ranking.
Sign up for Restorative Resources Updates
Intro to Restorative Justice
Classes: Aug. 13, Sept. 17 & Oct. 15
This foundational instruction is the first step to becoming a restorative justice volunteer and joining a growing network of community-based restorative councils around the country. Also, a two-day Facilitator Training will be held
Aug. 7-8 and Oct. 2-3. Sign up here!
News: Congratulations to Our Accountability Circle Graduates
Check out the Photo Gallery from the Aug. 4th graduation at Cook Middle School.
News: Year-End Restorative Justice Stats in SR Schools
Check out the "Close to Home" op-ed we wrote in the Press Democrat showing the success of restorative programs in Santa Rosa schools.
News: Cook Middle School Memorial Garden
Restorative Resources staff joined with students, teachers and community members to plant a garden in memory of Andy Lopez and others who have been lost at Cook Middle School. See photo gallery.
News: Restorative Justice embraced by Sonoma State
Two SSU psychology students teamed up with Restorative Resources to host a campus forum on restorative justice.
Check out the Sonoma Star story here.
News: Cover story on Restorative Resources in Santa Rosa Schools
The Bohemian focused their in-depth cover story on Restorative Resources and our schools programs in Santa Rosa.
Writer Leilani Clark enrolled in our Intro to Restorative Justice training and interviewed staff members, school board members, probation department staff and, most importantly, the youth whose lives have been changed in our programs.
It's a must read, check it out here.
News: SR School Board approves $125k pilot program with Restorative Resources
The Santa Rosa City Schools Board of Education voted to approve a contract with Restorative Resources to fund a pilot program for restorative justice suspension diversion at Elsie Allen High School and Cook Middle School.
Read the Press Democrat story and a great Press Democrat editorial.
News: Restorative Resources featured in the Press Democrat
Press Democrat writer Kerry Benefield observed Restorative Resources in action and interviewed one of our program graduates whose expulsion was overturned by the Santa Rosa School Board. Here are the two stories:
- "Some Santa Rosa schools explore alternatives to student suspensions"
- "Santa Rosa school district working to cut high suspension totals"