Presentation on theme: "Facilitating Restorative Group Conferences"— Presentation transcript:
1 Facilitating Restorative Group Conferences RGCFacilitating Restorative Group ConferencesLesson 4: Role of the FacilitatorMinnesota Department of Correctionswith the National Institute of Corrections
2 Lesson Objectives (1)Listen to and communicate effectively with a wide variety of participantsIdentify and deal with cultural issuesExplain the role of the facilitator including standards of conductUnderstand the legal issues including confidentiality and mandatory reporting
3 (2) Understand the variety of options to repair the harm Conduct effective initial phone calls and pre-meetingsAssess the readiness of potential participantsStart to determine if the facilitator role is a good fit for youEvaluate your own competency and that of a co-facilitator
4 Communication Exercise Who are my people and where did I come from?Who is my family?
5 What was it like to do the exercise? How did it feel to listen? To talk?Was one harder than the other?Were you working against any other kind of family or cultural training about communicating?Were your observations & guesses accurate?If yes, have there been times when assumptions were very inaccurate?What kind of difficulties did that create?How did you feel talking about your people?
6 Dynamics of Difference White middle class (mainstream) culture has been imposed upon minoritiesUsed to judge intelligence, mental health, beauty, appropriate communicationMainstream values applied to others draw mainstream conclusions
7 Cultural Competence . . .Ability to work effectively with people whose culture is different from your ownRequires understanding your own biasesRequires understanding the differences of people with whom you interact
8 Cultural Diversity Race Gender Sexual orientation Power imbalance Age differencesPhysical abilitiesNational originLifestyle differencesEconomic levelReligionPhilosophical beliefsEducation
9 Implications Implications in case assessment Which cases are referred for conferencingImplications during the conferenceBeing impartial to all participantsDrawing conclusions from the conversation
10 Cross Cultural Communication Worksheet Eye contact: looking someone in eyeSlow speech, lots of pausesSmiling and laughing during serious eventSitting slouched down in chair at conference with arms crossed over chest and eyes on floor
11 AssumptionsDon’t assume you know a person’s sexual orientation, race, religion or other cultural practicesIt is okay to say you are not knowledgeable about a given cultureIt is okay to ask participants to help you understand how their culture affects how the harm was done or how it impacted upon them
13 Hate Crimes (2) Crimes committed against a person simply because of some physicalcharacteristic or belief of theirs, such asrace, sexual orientation, national origin,or religion
14 Hate Crimes (3) What distinguishes a hate crime from other crimes? How might a hate crime feel different to a victim? Why?What additional considerations or concerns might you (as a facilitator) have with a hate crime case?
15 Local Culture Activity How are people different from each other in this community?What barriers to communication might arise with these differences?What strategies can be employed to help make all participants in a conference feel safe and empowered?
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 Care of a Facilitator (1) Before a pre-meeting or conference, establish a place of inner calmSit or stand with body balancedBreathe deeplyAfterwards, talk with a colleague or another facilitator for feedback and self assessment
18 Care of a Facilitator (2) Say out loud one thing you did wellBreathe!Continue daily care
20 Functions of a Facilitator Educate potential participants in pre-meetingsBring conference treats, forms, tissues, and name tagsCreate safe atmosphereAllow for free expression of emotionAid participants’ communication processHelp group develop creative, realistic agreement, if willingWrite agreement; get signaturesComplete paperwork and follow up on agreement (or program staff)
21 Facilitator As Umpire You are not one of the game players You watch the gameYou remind participants of the rules if necessaryYou throw the conversational ball back into the game so participants can playYou are not responsible for the final score--Officer Paul Schnell
22 Basic Facilitator Communication Skills (1) Eliminate distractionsDemonstrate active listeningSuspend judgementBe empatheticTry not to assume
23 (2) Be aware and tolerant of differences in communication styles Allow speakers to ventModel and teach use of "I" statementsBe aware of your emotions and biasesAcknowledge the speaker's emotions as existing and legitimate
24 Body Language Eye contact to all Physically centered, sitting with body balanced, able to see everyone easilyAlert, but relaxed musclesUse body and eye contact to direct speaker to talk to all
25 Vocal Language Tone of voice: encouraging, calm, reassuring “I” statementsNeutral word choicesUse of silence: 10 counts after question, 10 counts after answers
26 Allowing Emotional Expression Keep facial expressions neutral or supportiveGently pass tissues to teary participantsCheck in on all participantsUse silence: count 10 after a strong emotional expressionIf participant expresses anger inappropriately, remind them of ground rules
27 Problematic Facilitation Techniques Talking for participantsInterruptingDominating participants’ discussionAllowing participants to only look at or talk to facilitator
28 How to Give Feedback Using Communication Checklist Separate behavior from personSuggest alternativesAcknowledge skills displayedBe honest, but talk with intention of helping to improveLook to learn for yourself
29 Typical Duties, Responsibilities and Qualifications of Facilitators See Participant GuideRefer to your agency or program’s job description
30 Summary: Role of the Facilitator Be compassionate, sincere, respectfulListen!Let people vent their emotionsStay neutral (“equally partial”), while disapproving of harm doneBe a facilitator, not judge or negotiatorDo not be directive
31 (2) Don’t counsel participants Be aware of community resources Model and teach communication skillsBe able to work independentlyBe willing to keep recordsBe able to do a very basic readiness checkBe willing to evaluate yourself and co-facilitator – See tool in manual!
33 Preparation Meetings Enable All Participants to … Recall and sort out feelings about the incidentGain comfort with the process and facilitatorLearn the process expectations and benefitsDecide whether to participateUnderstand the process and agree to the ground rulesMinimize their fearsPlan what they want to say about the effects of the harm done
34 Work on their communication skills Work through some of their feelingsDecide who they would like as support peopleUnderstand restorative concept and begin thinking about options for the agreementDecide where and when to meetIn a case with many people harmed or many people doing harm, decide if there will be one or several meetingsDevelop realistic expectations
35 Pre-Meetings Allow the Facilitator to … Inform potential participants about conferencing process, to aid their informed choiceDecide whether participants are appropriate and ready for a meetingDevelop a strategy to deal with potential difficulties or complicating factorsDetermine which support persons are appropriate and possibly prepare them
36 Initial Phone CallsOffender and parentsVictim and supporter
37 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Safety Issues If juveniles, schedule with parentNever enter or remain at residence in which you feel uncomfortableNever continue meeting if you feel parties are too angry or are under influence of a chemicalBe careful about revealing any private information
38 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Conference Co-Facilitation More difficult to coordinate schedulingIncreases safetyAllows observing things one person might have missedHelps facilitate difficult or complex sessionsEnables shared feedback, viewpoints
39 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Legal Issues ConfidentialityAdmissibility in courtData privacy restrictionsMandatory reportingProtection against lawsuitFor facilitationFor damage or injury in completing reparationParent’s legal financial responsibility
40 Preparing for Pre-Meetings: Options for the Agreement Financial paymentWork for victimWork for the charity of victim’s choiceRestorative community serviceApologyParticipation in education, assessment, or programAnything else that feels fair to all participantsCombination of the above
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?(Don’t look further in Participant Guide!)
42 Model Standards of Conduct National civil mediator standards are in your manualReview on your own time
43 Pre-Meetings Allow the Offender and Parent to Consider how the harm may have impacted othersUnderstand difference between conferencing and disciplinary or justice processesPerhaps learn about the victim’s attitude and circumstancesMake an informed decision about participatingConsider some ways they might realistically make up for the harm done
44 Tips for Working with Parents Validate the parents’ feelingsAllow them to ventTreat them with compassionAllow time for them to talkFind time to visit with the youth alone if possible
45 Parents Needing Special Consideration Controlling - frequently intervene for their childrenMinimizing - make light of the behavior of their childAngry/punitive - fed up and want their child to be punishedPassive/overwhelmed - have given up emotionally and possibly in every other way
46 Offender and Parent(s) Initial Face to Face Meeting
47 Processing Questions How did it feel in each of your roles? What did you see that you liked?Was a reasonable agreement reached?What made it difficult to reach consensus?What helped to move the group along?How could the facilitator have improved their performance?
48 Pre-Meetings Empower the Victim to … Vent their anger and frustrationExperience validation of their feelingsUnderstand the difference between conferencing and disciplinary or justice processesLearn about rights, alternatives and resourcesPerhaps learn about the offenderMake an informed decision about participatingDevelop realistic expectationsDecide if they wish to speak first
49 Victim and Supporter Initial Face to Face Meeting
50 Processing Questions How did it feel in each of your roles? What did you see that you liked?Was a reasonable agreement reached?What made it difficult to reach consensus?What helped to move the group along?How could the facilitator have improved their performance?
51 Preparing Supporters and Other Community Invite those that belongAvoid those who are inappropriateMake sure everyone is clear on rolesSupporters & other community members will:Bring resources and knowledgeBring creative perspective for repairing harmHelp re-integrationStrengthen the community itselfEstablish base of support for program
52 Problem Points: Multiple Offenders Preference of the victimSafety of all individualsPower imbalanceOffenders disagree about their personal shares of the culpability
53 Conferencing with Multiple Offenders Consider separate conferences when:Victim requests to see them separatelyMany offenders and few (or only one) victimOffenders are in placementOffenders have disproportionate levels of culpability