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1 Facilitating Restorative Group Conferences Lesson 4: Role of the Facilitator Minnesota Department of Corrections with the National Institute of Corrections.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Facilitating Restorative Group Conferences Lesson 4: Role of the Facilitator Minnesota Department of Corrections with the National Institute of Corrections."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Facilitating Restorative Group Conferences Lesson 4: Role of the Facilitator Minnesota Department of Corrections with the National Institute of Corrections

2 2 Lesson Objectives(1) n Listen to and communicate effectively with a wide variety of participants n Identify and deal with cultural issues n Explain the role of the facilitator including standards of conduct n Understand the legal issues including confidentiality and mandatory reporting

3 3 n Understand the variety of options to repair the harm n Conduct effective initial phone calls and pre-meetings n Assess the readiness of potential participants n Start to determine if the facilitator role is a good fit for you n Evaluate your own competency and that of a co-facilitator (2)

4 4 Communication Exercise n Who are my people and where did I come from? n Who is my family?

5 5 n What was it like to do the exercise? n How did it feel to listen? To talk? n Was one harder than the other? n Were you working against any other kind of family or cultural training about communicating? n Were your observations & guesses accurate? n If yes, have there been times when assumptions were very inaccurate? n What kind of difficulties did that create? n How did you feel talking about your people?

6 6 Dynamics of Difference n White middle class (mainstream) culture has been imposed upon minorities n Used to judge intelligence, mental health, beauty, appropriate communication n Mainstream values applied to others draw mainstream conclusions

7 7 Cultural Competence... n Ability to work effectively with people whose culture is different from your own n Requires understanding your own biases n Requires understanding the differences of people with whom you interact

8 8 Cultural Diversity n Race n Gender n Sexual orientation n Power imbalance n Age differences n Physical abilities n National origin n Lifestyle differences n Economic level n Religion n Philosophical beliefs n Education

9 9 Implications n Implications in case assessment Which cases are referred for conferencing n Implications during the conference Being impartial to all participants Drawing conclusions from the conversation

10 10 Cross Cultural Communication Worksheet n Eye contact: looking someone in eye n Slow speech, lots of pauses n Smiling and laughing during serious event n Sitting slouched down in chair at conference with arms crossed over chest and eyes on floor

11 11 Assumptions n Dont assume you know a persons sexual orientation, race, religion or other cultural practices n It is okay to say you are not knowledgeable about a given culture n It is okay to ask participants to help you understand how their culture affects how the harm was done or how it impacted upon them

12 12 What is a hate crime?

13 13 Hate Crimes (2) Crimes committed against a person simply because of some physical characteristic or belief of theirs, such as race, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion

14 14 n What distinguishes a hate crime from other crimes? n How might a hate crime feel different to a victim? Why? n What additional considerations or concerns might you (as a facilitator) have with a hate crime case? Hate Crimes (3)

15 15 Local Culture Activity n How are people different from each other in this community? n What barriers to communication might arise with these differences? n What strategies can be employed to help make all participants in a conference feel safe and empowered?

16 16 Taking Care of Yourself As a Facilitator: Being Centered... enables you to focus through others pain, frustration, extreme feelings, and ability or inability to reach agreement

17 17 Care of a Facilitator (1) n Before a pre-meeting or conference, establish a place of inner calm n Sit or stand with body balanced n Breathe deeply n Afterwards, talk with a colleague or another facilitator for feedback and self assessment

18 18 n Say out loud one thing you did well n Breathe! n Continue daily care Care of a Facilitator (2)


20 20 Functions of a Facilitator n Educate potential participants in pre-meetings n Bring conference treats, forms, tissues, and name tags n Create safe atmosphere n Allow for free expression of emotion n Aid participants communication process n Help group develop creative, realistic agreement, if willing n Write agreement; get signatures n Complete paperwork and follow up on agreement (or program staff)

21 21 Facilitator As Umpire n You are not one of the game players n You watch the game n You remind participants of the rules if necessary n You throw the conversational ball back into the game so participants can play n You are not responsible for the final score --Officer Paul Schnell

22 22 Basic Facilitator Communication Skills (1) n Eliminate distractions n Demonstrate active listening n Suspend judgement n Be empathetic n Try not to assume

23 23 n Be aware and tolerant of differences in communication styles n Allow speakers to vent n Model and teach use of "I" statements n Be aware of your emotions and biases n Acknowledge the speaker's emotions as existing and legitimate (2)

24 24 Body Language n Eye contact to all n Physically centered, sitting with body balanced, able to see everyone easily n Alert, but relaxed muscles n Use body and eye contact to direct speaker to talk to all

25 25 Vocal Language n Tone of voice: encouraging, calm, reassuring n I statements n Neutral word choices n Use of silence: 10 counts after question, 10 counts after answers

26 26 Allowing Emotional Expression Keep facial expressions neutral or supportive Gently pass tissues to teary participants Check in on all participants Use silence: count 10 after a strong emotional expression If participant expresses anger inappropriately, remind them of ground rules

27 27 Problematic Facilitation Techniques n Talking for participants n Interrupting n Dominating participants discussion n Allowing participants to only look at or talk to facilitator

28 28 How to Give Feedback Using Communication Checklist n Separate behavior from person n Suggest alternatives n Acknowledge skills displayed n Be honest, but talk with intention of helping to improve n Look to learn for yourself

29 29 Typical Duties, Responsibilities and Qualifications of Facilitators n See Participant Guide n Refer to your agency or programs job description

30 30 Summary: Role of the Facilitator n Be compassionate, sincere, respectful n Listen! n Let people vent their emotions n Stay neutral (equally partial), while disapproving of harm done n Be a facilitator, not judge or negotiator n Do not be directive

31 31 n Dont counsel participants n Be aware of community resources n Model and teach communication skills n Be able to work independently n Be willing to keep records n Be able to do a very basic readiness check n Be willing to evaluate yourself and co-facilitator – See tool in manual! (2)

32 32 Self Assessment Know thyself. --Socrates

33 33 Preparation Meetings Enable All Participants to … n Recall and sort out feelings about the incident n Gain comfort with the process and facilitator n Learn the process expectations and benefits n Decide whether to participate n Understand the process and agree to the ground rules n Minimize their fears n Plan what they want to say about the effects of the harm done

34 34 n Work on their communication skills n Work through some of their feelings n Decide who they would like as support people n Understand restorative concept and begin thinking about options for the agreement n Decide where and when to meet n In a case with many people harmed or many people doing harm, decide if there will be one or several meetings n Develop realistic expectations

35 35 Pre-Meetings Allow the Facilitator to … n Inform potential participants about conferencing process, to aid their informed choice n Decide whether participants are appropriate and ready for a meeting n Develop a strategy to deal with potential difficulties or complicating factors n Determine which support persons are appropriate and possibly prepare them

36 36 Initial Phone Calls Offender and parents Victim and supporter

37 37 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Safety Issues n If juveniles, schedule with parent n Never enter or remain at residence in which you feel uncomfortable n Never continue meeting if you feel parties are too angry or are under influence of a chemical n Be careful about revealing any private information

38 38 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Conference Co-Facilitation n More difficult to coordinate scheduling n Increases safety n Allows observing things one person might have missed n Helps facilitate difficult or complex sessions n Enables shared feedback, viewpoints

39 39 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Legal Issues n Confidentiality n Admissibility in court n Data privacy restrictions n Mandatory reporting n Protection against lawsuit –For facilitation –For damage or injury in completing reparation n Parents legal financial responsibility

40 40 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Options for the Agreement n Financial payment n Work for victim n Work for the charity of victims choice n Restorative community service n Apology n Participation in education, assessment, or program n Anything else that feels fair to all participants n Combination of the above

41 41 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Facilitator Standards of Conduct In small groups, spend 5 minutes brainstorming and recording: What should be the standards of conduct for conference facilitators? (Dont look further in Participant Guide!)

42 42 Model Standards of Conduct n National civil mediator standards are in your manual n Review on your own time

43 43 Pre-Meetings Allow the Offender and Parent to n Consider how the harm may have impacted others n Understand difference between conferencing and disciplinary or justice processes n Perhaps learn about the victims attitude and circumstances n Make an informed decision about participating n Consider some ways they might realistically make up for the harm done

44 44 Tips for Working with Parents n Validate the parents feelings n Allow them to vent n Treat them with compassion n Allow time for them to talk n Find time to visit with the youth alone if possible

45 45 Parents Needing Special Consideration Controlling - frequently intervene for their children Minimizing - make light of the behavior of their child Angry/punitive - fed up and want their child to be punished Passive/overwhelmed - have given up emotionally and possibly in every other way

46 46 Offender and Parent(s) Initial Face to Face Meeting

47 47 Processing Questions n How did it feel in each of your roles? n What did you see that you liked? n Was a reasonable agreement reached? n What made it difficult to reach consensus? n What helped to move the group along? n How could the facilitator have improved their performance?

48 48 Pre-Meetings Empower the Victim to … n Vent their anger and frustration n Experience validation of their feelings n Understand the difference between conferencing and disciplinary or justice processes n Learn about rights, alternatives and resources n Perhaps learn about the offender n Make an informed decision about participating n Develop realistic expectations n Decide if they wish to speak first

49 49 Victim and Supporter Initial Face to Face Meeting

50 50 Processing Questions n How did it feel in each of your roles? n What did you see that you liked? n Was a reasonable agreement reached? n What made it difficult to reach consensus? n What helped to move the group along? n How could the facilitator have improved their performance?

51 51 Preparing Supporters and Other Community Invite those that belong Avoid those who are inappropriate Make sure everyone is clear on roles Supporters & other community members will : Bring resources and knowledge Bring creative perspective for repairing harm Help re-integration Strengthen the community itself Establish base of support for program

52 52 Problem Points: Multiple Offenders n Preference of the victim n Safety of all individuals n Power imbalance n Offenders disagree about their personal shares of the culpability

53 53 Conferencing with Multiple Offenders Consider separate conferences when: n Victim requests to see them separately n Many offenders and few (or only one) victim n Offenders are in placement n Offenders have disproportionate levels of culpability

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