For a small organization Hawai‘i Friends has been extremely effective in developing and measuring the effectiveness of unique pilot programs, and disseminating information about them across the world.

Since 1996 Hawai‘i Friends has promoted restorative justice, which is based on democratic decision making and applies public health education principals, i.e. it is empowering, relies on active learning experiences for affecting positive behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes for individuals and communities.  Restorative justice (RJ) provides victims, and the community, opportunities to heal and strengthen their lives and relationships, after suffering an incident of crime or social injustice.  RJ also offers offenders an opportunity to learn from wrongdoing. Restorative justice is based on the ancient conflict resolution practices of many indigenous cultures including Hawaiians.

Most restorative justice experiences result in increased optimism of participants and observers.  RJ has been studied worldwide and has been shown to reduce recidivism in a number of settings, i.e. prisons, juvenile and adult court cases, schools. See, Sherman & Strang, Restorative Justice: the evidence, 2007 at http://www.smith-institute.org.uk/download-pages/download_restorative-justice-full-report.htm.    Restorative justice deals with wrongdoing and social injustice where specific offenders may not be identifiable (See, Braithwaite, Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation, 2002).

Since 1997 Hawai‘i Friends has worked with public housing residents; juvenile and adult crime victims and offenders; homeless youth; children in foster care; prison inmates and their loved ones; public schools; the Hawai‘i State public housing authority; the Honolulu Police Department; the Hawai‘i State courts; and Hawai‘i State prisons; to develop, implement, evaluate and publish the results of its innovative restorative justice programs.

Hawai‘i Friends has introduced, evaluated and realized the results of its restorative justice programs published in numerous journals and presented at conferences, which are listed below and may be downloaded.

In 2002 the late Insoo Kim Berg assisted us in learning about and using solution-focused principles in our restorative work.

In 2014 our latest pilots include: a process for people who want to amend protective orders (including TROs) or want to bring closure to relationships in a restorative and solution-focused manner outside of an adversarial process; reentry planning for imprisoned people and their loved ones which also includes prison staff; reentry planning and restorative practices for incarcerated youth, their families and staff; people completing parole and their loved ones and the community and for courts. For more detailed information please contact Lorenn Walker: email: lorenn@hawaii.rr.com or lorenn@hawaii.edu or phone: (808) 218-3712 or skype: lorennwalker

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