Restorative Justice Practices and Crime Prevention: An Overview

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Restorative justice is a field that focuses on fostering cooperation between authority figures and everyday citizens. It is based on the premise that people will be more productive and respectful when those in positions of authority figure out the everyday citizenry.Restorative justice practicesis likely to be used more often in schools as a way to reduce rates of crime and violence and increase levels of cooperation.

Restorative justice practices focus on three areas, victims, offenders, and the community. It encompasses a wide range of techniques that are employed to persuade victims and offenders to collaborate.

By working with victims and their families, offenders may gain an appreciation for the harm they have caused to others.  Similarly, victims gain confidence in the fact that they may be able to get help from the police and other authority figures.

Practices such as restorative justice may also encourage students to think about their role in preventing crime. They could highlight the importance of cooperate with police and other school authorities to prevent future crimes. Students may also be encouraged to develop better relationships with their classmates, since a majority of them will be caught up in adolescence when crimes occur.

By treating victims and offenders respectfully, teachers facilitate the area of acquaintance, friend, and affiliation for students. Teachers should also encourage students to think about their role in preventing crime. They should encourage students to be alert to their surroundings andreport any incidents or concerns they may have. This behavior may be helpful to anticipate future school violence and other criminal activities.

Beyond calling the police, other school authorities can also play an important role in addressing school violence.asers and other weapons are very real and must be dealt with using verbal and physical communication techniques. Also, the police must be informed about planned incidents and the names of the people involved in crimes. It is also important that the police be aware of the threats that may motivate students to carry weapons.

As a whole, the entire campus community should be urged to work together to address both short-term and long-term problems with school violence. Among the recommended actions, programs that promote respect between students ought to be implemented.

These programs should be used by faculty staff and students to socialize and to deter criminal acts.Center staff and student volunteers can begin by carrying briefcases filled with school-owned items. These briefcases should be returned to administrators with a letter stating the contents of the case, who was involved, and what was done. This information can be posted on the school website as a map or list of people wanted to contact.

Both staff and students can work together to implement effective strategies. Students can enlist help from teachers and other staff members to create a school environment of respect. Educators can use the information in the case study to create a school safety awareness curriculum. And, both staff and students can try to work cooperatively to prevent incidents of school violence.

There are many different programs that can be implemented to promote school safety. Services that can be offered include crisis intervention training, truancy work programs, behavior watch programs, classroom observation programs, and peer counseling programs. A good center staff should be able to offer recommendations on effective strategies for safety referrals.

As a schoolwork center or program, a service may also be helpful to students and faculty who wish to stop incidents of school violence. The most important step is educating students and teachers about the effects of violence. Another strategy is for staff members to work individually with students.

While prevention is the primary goal of most of these prevention programs, there should also be a component of assertiveness training for staff members. School security staff should also be taught self defense and anger management techniques. A technique such as “don’t lay down in bed at night when you are scared” goes a long way.

As a whole staff members need to be trained in non-violent strategies and ways of interaction. School security services should have presentations available for staff and teachers reading events and planning security plans.

In addition, staff should be taught first aid, conflict resolution and delete compromised passwords. They should be able to monitor their own email accounts for significant information theft and to have software programs that detect any attempted compromise of their systems.

For their own protection, students should be required to sign a “least invasive” contract that effectively proves their educational rights. This contract should address the particular cases of the school security team members.

While most schools are still forming their security policies, staff and students can start using some non-intrusive strategies to maintain a safe learning environment.

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References

usions. Wikipedia.com, n.d.,http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cooler_%28room_nation

Tunison, A.P. (2007). iPods in the classroom: Using music technology.

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