I did a recent post that was speaking from the heart, it was about my relationship to my work right now. It feels good to write and there is something about sharing in a way to think it could help others. When I didn’t post for two days this week, it was on my mind. So I had to keep a grip on my stress by posting, sigh. I feel better now.
What I need to post about is the wonderful experience of having visitors. Visitors to the Restorative Justice program, SCVRJP, initially interested in Underage Consumption Panels. The guests are applying Circles to other programs and groups they run. I am sooo thrilled with the visit outcomes. The timing could not have been more perfect. The guests were able to be part of an underage consumption panel (which is held in Circle), a Circle with students from the alternative school and two days of Circle Training. I also set up appointments for them to speak to our local clerk of courts and municipal court Judge. A meeting with a community member/volunteer was also arranged.
What these meetings did, was give me an opportunity to hear the program ‘check-up’. I was fighting back tears as I heard the Judge declare “this is the best thing that’s ever happened to us”. The explanation about the powerful impact of hearing directly from vicitms, and most importantly the lack of having repeat offenders. The Judge was sharing the best things you could hope to hear. I was extremely proud of our community, and extremely honored to send these two wonderful people back across the United States with such a rich experience.
My community member also offered ideas, suggestions and described the value of realizing each person has a story and that stories can be shared to help other people. The young people that attended our programs, and shared Circle with my guests also offered support, compassion and were brilliant examples.
On the day of the visit, I shared with my intern, how excited I was to have the guests. She asked me if I was nervous. I said no. Then after a few minutes I asked “should I be?”. This is the first time I’ve had visitors like this, sure people come for trainings. But this was like a shadowing session, mixed in with learning about us and how we work. One of the visitors said this was the most beneficial training she has ever been to.
Okay – this isn’t a Kris Miner bragging post. This is a work hard and it will pay off example.
Restorative Justice and Circle process is beginning to take hold, beginning to make sense and I believe will evolve into a preferred method of moving forward.