One picture . . . a thousand words. One tear . . . . a million emotions.

The loss of a loved one is an incredible burden to bear.  When we people die, are killed or take their own lives, the burden is compounded with trauma.  SCVRJP seeks to help those impacted and those that have caused the harm.

Our Walk For Awareness annual event is to provide support and raise funds.

We live our mission of peace & belonging in our fundraising.

For a video of the 2011 Walk event, encouraging your participation in 2012, click here.

Training for Restorative Justice Facilitation – Fall 2012 St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program

One of the revenue generating activities for SCVRJP is consultation income.  This includes payments made to trainings held on site at SCVRJP and for contracted trainings, where I travel off site and train for another agency.  This blog post will feature some trainings that are available on-site, and would be available as contract opportunities.  The session offerings have evolved over the last few years as I have trained and learned what is helpful to others for implementation.  Each session can be focused to school or community settings.

I recently did two victim-offender-dialogue cases in two days.  Both involved a death, one happened 25 years ago and the other just under 2 years.  One case took months of preparation, the other just a week!  With every case, you meet the individual needs, each case is unique.  There was much to learn and gain, as these two sessions came together to be held back to back.  Combined with the expereinces of preparing people for conferences and circles, I decided to offer the Art & Science training opportunities.  These will cover in-depth preparation meetings, and the key elements for facilitating a session.

Restorative Justice the Art & Science

August 2 & 3 – River Falls, WI or October 3 & 4* – West St. Paul, MN

  • Day 1: Preparing Victims & Offenders for Restorative Process
    • Restorative Justice/Restorative Practices –theory into practice.
  • Day 2: Restorative Conferences & Restorative Circles
    • Skills and facilitation of Restorative Process.

*co-sponsored by Dakota County Community Corrections & Hastings Restorative Justice Council – no charge, MRSC members can register at a reduced rate.

Circle Keeper Training    October 5 & 6  River Falls, WI

Participants will learn:

  • Restorative Justice Philosophy and Practices
  • Core Circle Elements
  • Circle Stages
  • Role of a Circle Keeper
  • Circle Applications for PBIS stages
  • Dealing with Un-circle-like behavior

Restorative Justice Victim Impact Panels

October 12  River Falls, WI

Participants will learn:

  • Operating a successful VIP program
  • Working with storytellers & speakers – survivors & offenders

SCVRJP has been providing VIP’s since 2003, and reaches over 500 individuals a year.  This service meets the Driver Safety Plan requirements and supports survivors of impaired driving crashes.

Click here for: Training Flyer, you can pre-register by contacting me at 715-425-1100 or

Managing a nonprofit crisis – restoratively and with justice.

St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program is a small independent non-profit, 501c3.  Our SCVRJP Annual Report 2011, SCVRJP served 1,820 individuals in 139 different sessions, about 11 times a month we are in a Circle, Conference, training or presentation, that means about 2 times a week.  For 2012 we are trending ahead of last year, averaging 13 sessions a month, with less staff.

Our session revenue only covers half of our monthly expenses.  Each month the other half comes from grants and donations.  SCVRJP has just a few major grants and one fundraising event a year.  We are facing a financial crisis, our operating funds will be depleted, exhausted, finished in October.  We are hopeful a major grant will be there in October.  Hopeful.  Hope doesn’t pay rent and salaries.

The board and I are working closely, we are reviewing plans, making strategies.  We are approaching partners for funds, maximizing our ask for fundraising, re-evaluating our occupancy expenses.  I’ve always been a strong presence for SCVRJP, I’m the leader and this crisis is requiring me to dig deeply into myself.  When things are easy, living in our values is easy.  When times our tough, when we are backed against the wall, that is when living with and from our values becomes the truth of who we are.

I am choosing to live my values of Restorative Justice, through this financial storm.  No storm lasts forever.  I am going to trust what will be on the other side of October.  I am in the beginning of this, my plan is to approach this seeking accountability and healing (key elements of Restorative Justice).  I am admitting and have, that we operated a few years back, for a few years with a budget of -$20,000.  That is certainly not sustainable.  I am not going to blame, my energy is to precious right now, to look back.  I need to engage myself and those around me with looking to the future.

Being a Restorative Justice practitioner has taught me to let go of outcomes.  I know that “trusting the process”, and operating within Restorative Justice approach brings good things.  That awareness of flexibility, is with me now during this financial crisis.  I also know balance from being a Restorative Justice practitioner.  The balance is to keep my zen approach, but also write every grant possible.  To stay calm and to listen, will help me with creating creative options.

SCVRJP has become part of the fabric of the community.  I trust our community will not let us disappear.  Restorative Justice is about the community, so if our community does not help us sustain, then that is the desire of the community.  I can’t imagine doing anything different with my life at this point.  I will be practicing Restorative Justice in some form or another.

I need to ask, can you support SCVRJP?  All donations are needed, share what you are able.  Your donation will be used to help promote Restorative Justice.  We are accepting pledges for October, and our website donation page.

Thank you!

Office of Justice Programs – Crime & Victimization presentation – Restorative Justice.

Restorative Justice for victims, can always be shared.  I was fortunate to be able to share at the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs Crime & Victimization Conference.  My overall outline was to share what Restorative Justice is, how best to meet needs of victims with Conferences or Circles.

The powerpoint I used is here:  Crime & Victimization Conference May 2012 updated

I used a brief handout with 80 people attending, OJP Crime Victims handout

I ran a slideshow so people could see feedback about our programs.  Quotes from our community.

SCVRJP contracts with agencies to bring trainings on Restorative Justice.  Please see our website for more information.

A message on the Service of Justice – River Falls United Methodist Church

A local church recently hosted Peace with Justice Sunday.  I was fortunate enough to be asked to give the service.  As I read over the hymns & reading it was really easy to pull a message together.  One of my former students, in the UWRF course – Restorative Justice, posted a photo on Facebook, and this was read as the closing.

It really does take a village.

I wanted to do a good job, I was born and raised Methodist and I don’t attend as often as I should, or recently at all.  Confession is good for the soul right!  The Methodist Church folks, posted this to Facebook last night.  This is really awesome, because typing it up was on my to do list!  Now I can share it easily.  I’ve already got a request from another Restorative Justice program, wanting to share with their program volunteers.  I thought it might help or hold value for others so I am sharing it here.

To listen to the message, click here.  A copy of the closing reading: