Our goal is to provide tools, practices and resources to empower those involved in incidents of wrongdoing to gain a deeper understanding of what happened, take appropriate accountability, understand impacts to others, have the opportunity to express harms and needs that resulted, and find ways to put things as right as possible in a way that is respectful for all people involved. Restorative justice allows us to move away from punishment and toward healing, learning, meaningful amends and reintegration into the community.
From our earliest days, our organization has worked to bring together all stakeholders when incidents of harm occur. This includes the one who caused the harm, those directly impacted as well as family, law enforcement, school personnel and members of the broader community. We offer an open and facilitated dialogue that explores accountability, impacts and ways to heal the harms and make things as right possible. Participants in the restorative justice process have the opportunity to speak and be heard in order to gain a deeper understanding of the impacts and resulting needs following an incident of harm. The process helps to build empathy, accountability and understanding; and helps to hear the needs of those impacted. In the process we support the one who offended to make meaningful amends to those impacted and, in the end, learn to avoid being involved in incidents of harm in the future.
A BRIEF HISTORY
In 2001, Restorative Resources was granted nonprofit status by the State of California and federally recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization. In 2011, Restorative Resources was recognized as a Tier 1 Evidence Based Practice by Sonoma County Upstream Investments Portfolio of Model Programs. These practices “are the ‘gold standard' programs—those programs that have been empirically proven to produce positive outcomes and that are implemented in Sonoma County with fidelity to the original model.”
Those referred by the courts will have an opportunity to take responsibility for, reflect upon, and learn about, the impacts that their actions had on others and, in the process, find ways to make amends so all are able to move forward in the most positive way possible. Those who have been impacted will have a chance to voice their needs, have their questions answered and express their feelings as a participant in the process. Now, with our work in the court system as our foundation, our work in restorative justice practices is also being used to help heal conflicts in schools and in neighborhoods.
"Restorative justice was the only thing that I saw that really had a chance of working for all the participants."
- Arnold Rosenfield
Sonoma Superior Court Judge