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Programs: Restorative Justice

Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership

"Promoting reconciliation and healing within our youth and our community"

A joint project with Seward Neighborhood Group and Longfellow Community Council

Our Mission is to build community by providing the opportunity to repair harm by involving the victim, offender, and community in solutions that promote healing, accountability, and reconciliation.

Located at: 
     Seward Neighborhood Group
      2323 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406
      612-338-6205 x108
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About Restorative Justice

Crime damages people, communities, and relationships. Restorative justice examines the harm caused by an offense and emphasizes the needs of those impacted in developing a plan for the harm to be repaired. In contrast, the court system emphasizes laws broken and assigns “punishment” accordingly.

Restorative Conferences
As an alternative to court, we conduct Restorative Group Conferencing through agreements with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the Minneapolis Police Department. Our target clients are youths who are 18 and under in the Seward, Longfellow Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha neighborhoods and the 55406 zip code area. Our program is completely voluntary. Typical referrals are for shoplifting, theft, property damage and 5th degree assault.
Conferences are structured face-to-face meetings between youth offenders, their parents, victims, their support people, and community members. Conferences are generally an alternative to juvenile court.
Trained volunteer facilitators guide conferences to give everyone a voice and create an opportunity to make things as right as possible. Facilitators complete 20 hours of training, which is offered two times per year.

Community representatives participate in conferences to share how crime impacts our whole community. After a short orientation, anyone with a stake in 55406 can be added to the list of potential community representatives for conferences.
A restorative agreement or plan is developed through consensus among the participants. Agreements specify tangible actions to be performed within an acceptable timeframe. Typical agreements to repair the harm include apology letters, essays about lessons learned, volunteer work, commitments to sports or afterschool activities, and chores at home.
What participants say: “this is a powerful process”, “If the criminal justice system was as effective as this program we would be a much safer society.”, “Thank you for taking the time to care about my child”, “This is a wonderful program and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate”.

Peacemaking Circles
Circles are a storytelling process. Every person has his or her story and every story has a lesson to offer us. People heal and touch one another's lives through their stories. In a circle, a talking piece is passed and the person holding the piece has the group’s attention. Circles often include multiple sessions. We sponsor twice-monthly Teen Circles at Longfellow Park and Matthews Park. These circles are open to any teen who wants to talk with other teens about what is on their minds. The circle is co-facilitated by a trained circle keeper and a park employee. We sponsor an Adult Circle that meets monthly at Epworth Church in Longfellow. Contact Michele Braley here or at 612-338-6205 x108 for more information. In addition, we conduct Peacemaking Circles with referrals from community block clubs, parks, businesses, and schools. These help resolve conflict, prevent and reduce violence, and are used to intervene in harmful events.

We invite you to join us…
We invite community members, community organizations, businesses, schools, churches, faith communities, and any interested persons in the Seward Longfellow area to join us in promoting reconciliation and healing within our youth and our community. We offer training to volunteers interested in being a trained facilitator or as a participant representing the community’s voice. We are available for presentations about restorative justice and restorative conferencing, and for demonstration peacemaking circles.

Annual benefit concert co-sponsored by
Faith Mennonite Church and the Community of St. Martin

Ways to participate:
• Make use of our process through referrals.
• Participate in a restorative justice process as a community representative.
• Attend facilitator training and volunteer to facilitate restorative conferences.
• Arrange for a presentation about restorative justice or peacemaking circles
• Give financial support: Make checks payable to SNG/SLRJP and send to
2323 E. Franklin, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Or, give a secure, on-line donation through GiveMN.

If you are interested in having a restorative justice process available, volunteering, or have any questions please contact:
Michele Braley, Program Manager
Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership
612-338-6205 x108
Email michele@sng.org

Many thanks to our funders for 2014
--Basilian Order of the Catholic Church
--Irwin Andrew Porter Foundation
--Seward Co-op Community Fund
--Community of St. Martin
--Hennepin County Attorney’s Office (fee-for-service)
--City of Minneapolis - Office of the City Attorney (fee-for-service)
--MN Office of Justice Programs (fee-for-service)
--Hennepin County Bar Foundation
--Seward Neighborhood Group
--Longfellow Community Council
--Longfellow Business Association
--Seward Civic and Commerce Association
--Grace University Lutheran Church
--Holy Trinity Lutheran
--Faith Mennonite Church
--Christ Church Lutheran
--Individual donors

We'd also like to recognize local businesses who donate goods and services
--Birchwood Restaurant
--Coastal Seafoods
--Cub Foods
--Fun City Dogs
-- Gandhi Mahal Restaurant
--Jennifer Larson Communications Design
--Jesse Haas Massage + Nutrition
--Minneapolis Eagles Club
--Minneapolis Eagles Club
--New French Bakery
--Pizza Luce
--Seward Co-op
--Volunteers of America
--Welna Hardware
--Wood from the Hood (Siewert Cabinets)
--Zipps Liquors (sponsor of February Sweethearts and Spirits benefit)

Internet resources:
MN Department of Corrections Restorative Justice Unit
MN Restorative Services Coalition