New Certificate for Restorative Discipline Coordinators

July 31, 2015

LEVEL I – successful completion of 40 hour RD Coordinator training by the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue

LEVEL II* – successful completion of 40 hour RD Coordinator training by the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue AND one year experience as a campus-based onsite RD Coordinator

LEVEL III* – successful completion of 40 hour RD Coordinator training by the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue AND three years experience as a campus-based onsite RD Coordinator

*requires 12 hours of continuing education biannually in restorative practices relating to education, school discipline or criminal justice

Restorative Discipline is a relational approach to building school climate and addressing student behavior that fosters belonging over exclusion, social engagement over control and meaningful accountability over punishment.

Trained RD Coordinators are in increasingly high demand and schools are seeking those individuals who can implement the school-wide model with fidelity. This Certification identifies Coordinators who are fully trained in the Texas model incorporating 13 best practices for a whole school approach.

certificate photo

For more information, please contact the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue at irjrd@austin.utexas.edu


Second Year Ed White Middle School Restorative Discipline Report Now Available

November 20, 2014

Second Year Ed White Middle School Restorative Discipline Report Now AvailableView the PDF here.

The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the second year of a three-year plan to implement Restorative Discipline (RD) at Ed White Middle School in the North East Independent School District (San Antonio). Starting in 2012-2013, the school instituted a school-wide restorative justice intervention called Restorative Discipline to redress bullying, high levels of suspensions, and the disproportionate assignment of discipline consequences and placements among minority students. Restorative Discipline is a relational approach to building school climate and addressing student behavior that fosters belonging over exclusion, social engagement over control, and meaningful accountability over punishment. Using a whole school approach, the plan was to introduce RD sequentially starting at the sixth grade. In 2013-2014, the seventh grade was added. Implementation will be completed in 2014-2015 when RD is introduced at the eighth grade level.


You can also download the First Year Ed White Middle School Restorative Discipline Report – View the PDF here.


VICTIM OFFENDER MEDIATION TRAINING

November 3, 2014

March 12-14, 2015
Austin, TX

Download the VOM Training Application – Word Document


First Year Ed White Middle School Restorative Discipline Report Now Available

December 11, 2013

First Year Ed White Middle School Restorative Discipline Report Now Available


New legislation pertaining to DIVO

June 6, 2013

HB 899 just passed by the 83rd legislature strengthens the practice of DIVO in Texas by shifting the responsibility of notifying the victim survivor of its use and describing its benefits to the judge who orders DIVO funding. For the judge to make the contact and provide the information gives DIVO greater credibility as well as a mechanism for victim survivors to consider the service in light of their own interests and needs without direct communication from the defense and independent from the interests and needs of the prosecution.

In response to the legislation, the Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue will be crafting new protocols and working with the Texas Judicial College to educate judges about their role in communicating accurate information about DIVO.


Training for Mitigation Specialists coming in October

September 10, 2012


DIVO Advanced in Fort Hood Hearing

April 16, 2012

Victim Outreach Program Called to testify in Hasan Hearing in Fort Hood

AUSTIN, Texas    The Institute for Restorative Justice & Restorative Dialogue at The University of Texas at Austin was called by defense counsel at Fort Hood to provide testimony about one of its programs as part of a recent hearing in the case of United States vs. Maj. Nadal Hasan. The program – Defense-initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO) – was being considered for its use in this case in which Hasan has been charged with 13 counts of first-degree murder and 32 counts of attempted murder in the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood.

Hasan’s defense team was seeking funding for a victim outreach specialist to serve as a bridge between the victim survivors in this case and the defense team. Such outreach provides an opportunity for victim survivor needs to be communicated to the defense and their responses communicated back. The program gives victim survivors a stronger voice in a process that affects their lives.

The hearing represents the first time testimony has been heard relative to DIVO and its application in a military court martial. The Institute’s Director Marilyn Armour and Assistant Director Stephanie Frogge testified in support of the defense’s motion to fund  an outreach specialist to provide services to victim survivors. Their testimony focused on the concept and practice of DIVO with particular emphasis on how it has been implemented in Texas.

“We’re honored that they selected the DIVO program at The University of Texas at Austin to provide services to the victim survivors in this case,” said Armour, an associate professor in the School of Social Work. “The shooting was a terrible tragedy for our nation and state, and it’s important the defense recognized that the pursuit of justice in this case should be one that provided the very best resources we have for victim survivors.”

Defense-initiated Victim Outreach is standard protocol in federal capital cases and is growing at the state level in both capital and non-capital cases. A recent evaluation of UT’s program noted that in 54 percent of cases in which outreach was made, the victim survivors had questions and concerns they wanted relayed to the defense through their victim outreach specialist. In response to requests, DIVO is careful not to duplicate existing services.

“The judge’s questions showed a genuine interest and desire to learn about DIVO and how it operates, and how it might apply in this very high profile case,” said Frogge. “As I understand it our testimony provides a record for the military going forward, and that advances the opportunity for more victim survivors to have this resource available to them in future cases.”

Although Judge Gross denied funding for DIVO, the decision was not unexpected.

“The burden of proof is very high for things of this nature in the military,” said Maj. Christopher Martin, a member of Hasan’s defense team.  “What was at issue here was whether we could show that DIVO was necessary for a strong defense for Hasan. While we still are committed to seeing how the defense can also assist victim survivors in military cases, we recognize that this decision was made based on legal factors and wasn’t a reflection of the value of the program.”

For more information about the university’s Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach program, contact Dr. Marilyn Armour at 512.471.3197 or irjrd@mail.utexas.edu.


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