Who We Are and What We Do
“Restorative justice is a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future.” Tony F. Marshall
“Restorative justice is not simply a way of reforming the criminal justice system; it is a way of transforming the entire legal system, our family lives, our conduct in the workplace, our practice of politics. Its vision is of a holistic change in the way we do justice in the world.”
“From more than 20 years of experience in many thousands of cases and more than 52 empirical studies, it has clearly been found to be a practical and time tested approach that results in many positive outcomes for victims, offenders, family members, and the larger community.” –Mark Umbreit
"In RJ, I learned that life doesn't have to always be about teasing and bullying. It is about actually treating people the way they want to be treated. Don't make fun of how they look and how they do something. In RJ I have improved on being respectful to every citizen I know and I will on every new person I meet."
-4th grade male – Central Michigan
“I am continually humbled by human capacities for openness, heart-centered connecting, humility, compassion, understanding, and love. I find that restorative justice in general and peacemaking circles in particular help us connect with our deepest and best selves and bring these dimensions of ourselves to some of the hardest challenges we face.” –Kay Pranis
“Research on family group conferences demonstrates that they can contribute to lessening the chance of re-offending even when other important factors such as adverse early experiences and subsequent life events are taken into account.” –Gabrielle Maxwell
“Restorative measures in schools provides a framework for administrators to address true accountability for offenders, the needs of victims and the actions of bystanders without sending anyone away, and a process to develop a supportive learning community, recognizing that by taking the time to do that, we improve academics, strengthen school connectedness and increase safety.” -Nancy Riestenberg
“In July 2002, the United Nations Economic and Social Council adopted "Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programmes in Criminal Matters" as a guide to encourage member states to implement restorative justice in the operation of their domestic juvenile criminal justice systems.”
Justice for victims will not be served if we maintain our primary focus on the old questions that drive our justice system:
- What laws have been broken?
- Who "done" it?
- What do they deserve?
Real justice requires that we start with victims:
- Who has been hurt?
- What do they need?
- Whose obligations and responsibilities are these?
Only when we allow such questions to frame our quest for justice will victims attain the place they deserve.” -Howard Zehr
“We cannot be effective as practitioners unless we are able to integrate restorative justice principles and practice into our own lives and professional practices.” -Terry O’Connell
“The greatest challenge is to move restorative justice thinking and practice from a narrow programmatic focus to a set of broader philosophical insights and normative practices.” -Terry O’Connell
“I am continually humbled by human capacities for openness, heart-centered connecting, humility, compassion, understanding, and love. I find that restorative justice in general and peacemaking circles in particular help us connect with our deepest and best selves and bring these dimensions of ourselves to some of the hardest challenges we face. “ -Kay Pranis
“From more than 20 years of experience in many thousands of cases and more than 42 empirical studies, it has clearly been found to be a practical and time tested approach that results in many positive outcomes for victims, offenders, family members, and the larger community.” -Mark Umbreit
“If systems are not innately restorative, then they cannot hope to effect change simply by providing an occasional restorative intervention.
Restorative practices must be systemic, not situational.” -Ted Wachtel
“Research on family group conferences demonstrates that they can contribute to lessening the chance of re-offending even when other important factors such as adverse early experiences and subsequent life events are taken into account.” -Gabrielle Maxwell
“Restorative justice is a systematic response to wrongdoing that emphasizes healing the wounds of victims, offenders and communities caused or revealed by the criminal behavior.” –Author Unknown
“Practices and programs reflecting restorative purposes will respond to crime by: (a) identifying and taking steps to repair harm, (b) involving all stakeholders, and (c) transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime.” –Author Unknown
“Restorative justice involves looking beyond retribution to find deeper solutions that heal broken relationships.” –Author Unknown
“In every one of us there is a deep desire to connect to others in a good way.”
–Judge Barry Stuart, Yukon, Canada
“It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence...and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect.”
–Manintonquat, Elder of the Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
– R. Buckminster Fuller
“All restorative practices share a vision of conflict resolution that prioritizes dialogue between Stakeholders and sanctions that seek healing and redress and avoid stigmatizing punishments and community outcasting. Having a repertoire of practices available to a community may be the best future for a judicial system, making use of one or another as the circumstances require.”
“In a mere quarter century, restorative justice has grown from a few scattered experimental projects into a social movement.”
-–Howard Zehr and Barb Toews
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." -Mahatma Gandhi
"When will our conscience grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" -Eleanor Roosevelt
"Violence will only increase the cycle of violence." -The Dalai Lama
"It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence . . . and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect." -Manitonquat
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi
"There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a piece of love." -Mother Teresa
"Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely an absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people." -Jawaharlal Nehru
"Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared." -Henri Nouwen
"If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies." -Moshe Dayan
"No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise." -Marian Anderson
"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stands than to anything on which it is poured." -Anonymous
"In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery? -St. Augustine
"When you're finally up on the moon, looking back at the earth, all these differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend and you're going to get a concept that maybe this is really one world and why the hell can't we learn to live together like decent people?" -Frank Borman
"In separateness lies the world's great misery; in compassion lies the world's true strength." -Buddha
"We used to wonder where war lived, what it was that made it so vile. And now we realize that we know where it lives, that it is inside ourselves." -Albert Camus
"There are three truths: my truth, your truth and the truth." -Chinese Proverb
"We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighours! We cannot ignore their interests!" -The Dalai Lama
"I have great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift." -Septima Poinsette Clark
"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice." -Confucius
"The longer we listen to one another - with real attention - the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions." -Barbara Deming
"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." -Indira Gandhi
"Out of clutter,find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity." -Albert Einstein
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids both rich and poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." -Anatole France
"It belongs to the very substance of nonviolence never to destroy or damage another person's feeling of self worth, even an opponent's." -Bernard Haring
"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has a need to be forgiven." -Lord Herbert
"While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself." -Doug Horton
"It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." -Irish Proverb
"A Rattlesnake, if cornered will become so angry it will bite itself. That is exactly what the harboring of hate and resentment against others is -- a biting of oneself. We think we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves." -E. Stanley Jones
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of humans as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." -Helen Keller
"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends." -Abraham Lincoln
"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional." -Max Lucado
"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." -Nelson Mandela
"Nonviolence doesn't always work -- but violence never does." -Madge Michaels-Cyrus
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster ... when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." -Friedrich Nietzche
"Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind. It is the deed that teaches not the name we give it." -George Bernard Shaw
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." -Bishop Desmond Tutu
"Respectful dialogue, in the interest of searching for more complete truth, is considerably more productive than arguing for the purity of position." -Gerard Vanderhaar
"Peace is an environment where conflicts are resolved without violence, where people are free, not exploited, living so they can grow to their full potential." -Gerard Vanderhaar
"What is man?
Hope turned to dust.
What is man?
Dust turned to hope." -Elie Weisel
"Productive work, love and thought are possible only if a person can be, when necessary, quiet and alone. To be able to listen to oneself is the necessary condition for relating oneself to others." -Erich Fromm
"We are convinced that non-violence is more powerful than violence … If you use violence, you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you are no longer a master of your own struggle." -Cesar Chavez
"It is the job of the thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners." -Albert Camus
"Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world." -Jane Addams
"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." -Alfred Adler
"Peace is not the product of a victory or a command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions." -Oscar Arias
"The God of life summons us to life; more, to be lifegivers, especially toward those who lie under the heel of the powers." -Daniel Berrigan
"The pacifist's task today is to find a method of helping and healing which provides a revolutionary constructive substitute for war." -Vera Brittain
"Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire." -Teilhard de Chardin
"The first thing to be disrupted by our commitment to nonviolence will be not the system but our own lives." -James Douglass
"Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being." -Mahatma Gandhi
"If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution." -Emma Goldman
"I expect to pass through this world but once, therefore any good that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not come this way again." -Stephen Grellett
"If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work." -Thich Nhat Hanh
"I really see no other solution than to turn inwards and to root out all the rottenness there. I no longer believe that we can change anything in the world until we first change ourselves." -Etty Hillesum (concentration camp victim)
"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." -Helen Keller
"A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror." -Ken Keyes, Jr.
"The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy." -Martin Luther King
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
"I plan to stand by nonviolence, because I have found it to be a philosophy of life that regulates not only my dealings in the struggle for racial justice, but also my dealings with people, and with my own self." -Martin Luther King Jr.
"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room." -Anita Koddick
"It is crucial that we realize the great value of human existence, the opportunity and the potential that our brief lives afford us. It is only as humans that we have the possibility of implementing changes in our lives." -The Dalai Lama
"Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live, and as if you were to die tomorrow." -Mother Anna Lee
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." -Matthew 5:3
"You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself." -Gene Mauch
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead
"No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God." -Micah 6:8
"There never was a war that was not inward; I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war." -Marianne Moore
"The world cannot continue to wage war like physical giants and to seek peace like intellectual pygmies." -Basil O'Connor
"Only when there are many people who are pools of peace, silence, understanding, will war disappear." -Osho
"If you want peace, work for justice." -Pope Paul VI
"As long as space remains,
As long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain,
And dispel the miseries of the world." -The Dalai Lama
"For it isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." -Eleanor Roosevelt
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." -E. F. Schumacher
"Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace." -Albert Schweitzer
"All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do." -Leo Tolstoy
"Violence produces only something resembling justice, but it distances people from the possibility of living justly, without violence." -Leo Tolstoy
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." -Malcolm X
"Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict -- alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence." -Dorothy Thompson
"We enact many laws that manufacture criminals, and a few that punish them." -Benjamin R. Tucker
"If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you recognize that your liberation and mine are bound up together, we can walk together." -Lila Watson
"I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." -Anne Frank
"This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." -Sir Francis Bacon
"Meditation may also be thought of as a technique by which we diminish the force of old thought habits and develop new ones." -The Dalai Lama
"No future without forgiveness." -Bishop Desmond Tutu