Restorative Justice Program

Welcome to the Restorative Justice Program, provided in partnership with the Lansing School District and the Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan. 

Please visit our new website at www.centralmichiganrestorativejustice.com

What is Restorative Justice?

This program targets youth who misbehave in school by engaging them in a process which:

  • Addresses the misbehavior and its root conflict by engaging all affected parties;
  • Imposes accountability on and empowers those who have done harm to correct the harm caused by his/her behavior;
  • Empowers those who have been harmed to define what he or she needs to heal from the harm done; and
  • Teaches and engages youths (and sometimes their families) in peaceful conflict resolution practices. 

How does it work?

The Restorative Justice program asks:

What happened?
Everyone shares their story to gain a common understanding

Who was affected and how?                       
Those who were harmed, those who did harm, families, school, community

How do we heal the harm?
Accountability, apology, compensation and community service

Within the Lansing School District, Restorative Justice is used at:

  • Everett
  • Eastern
  • Sexton
  • Pattengill
  • Otto

Dwight Rich

Contact Information:
Phone:  (517) 755-2814
E-Mail:  lansingrjcenter@aol.com

Our Location

The Hill Center for Academics and Technology
5815 Wise Road
Lansing, MI 48911
Room 187

Contacts

For the summer months RJ practitioners will not be in the schools.

Restorative Justice Coordinator Nancy Schertzing
Phone: (517) 755.2814
Fax: (517) 755.2809

Employment Opportunities

Join the Restorative Justice Program
Full Time Job Opportunity

The Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) has an opening for a full-time AmeriCorps member, beginning April 2008 running through April 2009.  This position will be primarily allocated to our juvenile restorative justice school initiative in Grand Ledge.  Restorative justice is a peaceful conflict resolution tool that brings students, families, schools and the community together to resolve conflict, promote healing and restore communities.
The position presents opportunities for skill development in peaceful conflict resolution and youth services.  It also offers learning opportunities in outreach, team building, collaborative problem solving, grant writing and data input/data synthesis.  These Restorative Justice Program Assistants will have the opportunity to participate in and support a number of restorative justice initiatives.  Responsibilities would include:

  • Working with the Center’s Restorative Justice Program Manager to implement restorative justice programs in two middle schools, one high school and one alternative high school in Grand Ledge.  Duties would include facilitating restorative circles or conferences; participating in trainings; collecting and reporting data; referral screening, case intake and scheduling; and completion of follow-up interviews with students.
  • Working with school and student leaders to integrate restorative justice principles and practices into the school climate and culture by cultivating relationships and sharing information with those involved in shaping school culture.
  • Working with the DRC’s Restorative Justice Program Manager to reach out to community groups outside of Grand Ledge Schools to make them aware of the benefits of restorative approaches to student discipline.  Duties could include preparation of materials, presentations, telephone contacts, demonstrations, and follow-up.
  • Exploring grant opportunities to support and build the Restorative Justice program.

The position is full-time (35 hours/week) for 12 months and pays approximately $10,900, plus medical benefits.  If they fulfill their commitment, at the end of the service year the AmeriCorps members will each receive an educational award of approximately $4,625.

This opportunity is perfect for candidates interested in juvenile-based mediation, collaborative problem solving, restorative justice, juvenile justice, conflict resolution and safe schools.  Candidates must be comfortable working with juveniles and in school settings, have excellent people skills, effective verbal and written communication skills, be computer literate and able to multi-task.  Of course, positive energy is a must!

If you have questions, please call Nancy at 517.755.2814 or Karen at 517.485.2274 or e-mail your questions to them at lansingrjcenter@aol.com.  To apply, please send your resume with cover letter to: 

DRC AmeriCorps Position
229 North Pine
Lansing, MI  48933

Mission and Vision Statements

Our Vision: Restorative principles are fully integrated into the community.
Our Mission:  We build positive, respectful relationships, based on recognizing the worth of every person.  We accomplish this by:

  • Fostering a sense of connectedness
  • Providing opportunities to resolve conflicts peacefully, and
  • Educating and empowering all in restorative principles.

Participant Reactions

Quotes from people who have used Restorative Justice

“The restorative justice program really helps you express your feelings to others and feel better about yourself leaving knowing that you don’t have to fight to prove your point.”- Middle school female 

“It helped get some thoughts out to the other person without using violence.”- High school female 

“Restorative Justice has helped make our school a safer, more humane place for students to be educated.”- Bersheril Bailey, Sexton High School Principal  

“Seeing the victim and accused meet at middle ground in an attempt to make things right was very rewarding.”- Middle School Teacher 

“I’m glad I came to this meeting and met with the victim’s mother. Everyone had a chance to talk about what happened. I did learn a lot about me and the kids and respecting each other. The outcome was just great.”- Father of a middle school student 

“I learned to sympathize with not only them, but other people too – especially people who don’t speak our language.”- Middle school male 

“What I liked about it is we actually connected and came together as one. We didn’t see differences anymore.”- High school male

Restorative Justice Results

From data that has been gathered since 2005 in Lansing Schools

Since 2005, Restorative Justice Has: 

  • Resolved 252 conflicts through RJ interventions.
  • Engaged 476 different students in 635 incidents of participation; 99 students participated more than once.
  • Involved 93 parents in helping their children peacefully resolve conflict.
  • Sixteen students referred themselves to RJ to resolve their conflicts.
  • In surveys conducted a month after their intervention, 96% of students surveyed reported they had resolved their conflict using RJ.

Promoted Safe Schools and Streets:

  • Saved students 1,838 days of suspensions from school.
  • Through Student Services, RJ interventions avoided expulsion or semester-ending suspension for 15 students.
  • The Ingham County Prosecutors Office decided not to pursue criminal assault charges on 7 offenders who had successfully resolved their conflict with RJ.
  • In surveys conducted a month after their intervention, 90% of students surveyed reported learning new skills to resolve conflict and 86% reported using these skills to avert or resolve subsequent conflicts.