Webinar: The Promise and Perils of “Standards” in Restorative Justice

When: -

Guest: Catherine Bargen and Aaron Lyons

Host: Howard Zehr

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This webinar will explore the contested issue of “standards” in restorative justice, using the example of a current initiative in the Canadian province of British Columbia as a basis for group discussion and learning.

While some restorative justice advocates urge that standards are essential to maintaining quality practice and securing the confidence of referral agents, others warn that adherence to standards could burden the restorative justice field with bureaucracy and power hierarchies, limiting the necessary flexibility of restorative justice service delivery.

Webinar participants will learn how a collaborative effort in British Columbia has attempted to navigate this complex terrain for the enhancement of restorative justice practice in criminal matters provincially. We will share some lessons learned while inviting participants into reflection and discussion on the implications of this work for other jurisdictions and communities who are passionate about quality restorative justice practice.

Guest Bios

catherine bargenCatherine Bargen has studied and worked within the field of conflict transformation and restorative justice since 1995.  With a Masters degree from Virginia’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, she is experienced across Canada and internationally as a consultant, trainer and practitioner in restorative justice and conflict transformation strategies. Catherine has been on staff with Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre (Edmonton, Alberta) and Community Justice Initiatives (Langley, BC).  She is author of the book “Educating for Peacebuilding: Implementing Restorative Justice Principles and Practices in a School System” (2010).  Catherine served as the Restorative Justice Coordinator for the government of British Columbia from 2008-2017,  and was also a program manager within Victim Services during this time.  She is Co-Founder, Principal and Consultant with Just Outcomes (www.justoutcomesconsulting.com) , along with colleagues Matthew Hartman and Aaron Lyons.

aaron lyonsAaron Lyons is a restorative justice facilitator, trainer and thinker who supports communities in having quality conversations about justice. Over the past decade he has designed and delivered widespread restorative justice training programs with a focus on the needs of crime victims and survivors, helped to spearhead collaborative efforts at developing recommended restorative justice standards, and is currently in the final stages of a pilot initiative aimed at supporting community justice providers to integrate these standards. Aaron is a Co-Founder and Principal with Just Outcomes (www.justoutcomesconsulting.com) and serves as a facilitator with Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives’ pioneering victim-offender dialogue program for serious and violent crimes in Canada’s federal correctional system (http://www.cjibc.org/victim_mediation).  He holds a Masters Degree in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Virginia.