Restorative Justice

Experiential Education Opportunities in Restorative Practices and Circle Keeping

 To support our community, the Mediation Center of Dutchess County offers educational opportunities to enrich current and prospective Circle Keepers and Restorative Practitioners.

At this time, MCDC is not providing education for new volunteer Circle Keepers. We do, however, offer multiple education sessions throughout the calendar year. Please take a look at the following session overview and sign up to receive updates when we schedule our sessions. You can also sign up for our newsletter here to watch for updates.

Current volunteers are also encouraged to sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest offerings.

Session Overview:

Mediation Center of Dutchess County offers experiential education sessions in Restorative Practices and Circle Keeping, as well as an Introduction to Responsive Practices.

  • Day ONE includes an introduction to Restorative philosophy and tools for building relationship and equity in interactions with others – from the interpersonal to the institutional. Restorative implementation prioritizes fair representation of community experiences, needs and knowledge through shared agreements on conduct, practice and accountability process.
  • Day TWO focuses on Circle Practice and the skills needed to “keep” and hold space in Circle, which includes Circle design and practicing facilitation. Circle is a type of equitable dialogue practice that allows members of a community – large or small – to build connection and understanding through prioritizing the equal representation of voices. Circles are structured in a way that ensures all have opportunities to be heard and to listen actively, without interruption or debate. Circle is informed by Indigenous practices from around the world. Training includes methods for honoring these origins and maintaining the integrity of the practice in a way that does not appropriate culturally specific rituals that are not part of our individual cultures or heritage.
  • Day THREE includes an introduction to Responsive Restorative philosophy and methods for responding to conflict or harm. As with Restorative community-building practices, Responsive processes aim to cultivate spaces for support and accountability for participants – in this case, impacted parties. Participants will have opportunities to consider their own experiences of conflict and conflict resolution through a Restorative lens and participate in a role-play.