New Hampshire Restorative Justice Training

Jon Kidde and Marc Wennberg designed and facilitated the training sessions described below. The morning and afternoon sessions created a full day of training that was held in six locations throughout the state.

  •  October 13, 2023 at Marine Patrol in Gilford.
  •  October 27, 2023 in Claremont.
  •  November 30, 2023 in Concord.
  •  December 1, 2023 in Manchester.
  •  February 1, 2024 in Nashua
  •  February 2, 2024 in Portsmouth

Jon and Marc have been working in the restorative justice ‘training space’ for over twenty years. We have experience partnering with contracting agencies to design, deliver, and evaluate training curriculums. We have worked with a wide array of agencies; and have delivered restorative justice trainings to cohorts ranging from hundreds of participants to small online groups.

Morning Session: Overview of Restorative Justice (9am – 12pm)
This three hour session helped participants refocus on restorative values and principles, rethink when and where restorative justice is and can be used, and encourage application to participants’ own realm of work.
131 people participated. Participants included: Court Diversion Program Staff, JPPOs, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, Judges, Law Enforcement.

Afternoon Session: Building System and Referral Capacity (1p – 4p)
This three-hour collaborative session brought together people working in the same district/county in order to improve youth access to restorative justice, including: strengthen existing referral processes, explore new referral ‘off ramps’, and identify regional resources.
108 people continued to participate in the afternoon session. This session was designed for people to collaborate regionally.  Participation in the morning session was highly recommended.

Selected Participant Generated Training Products

Values

One of the first activities during the training invited participants to identify values and characteristics they strive to uphold. Below are word clouds of the values named by participants in each of the trainings. If a value was named more than once it appears larger. Respect and honesty consistently rose to the top.

What is Restorative Justice?

Near the end of the morning session, participants drafted what they would say to someone asking “What is restorative justice?” Below are selected responses small groups crafted during the training.

Building Connections, Mapping Referrals, and Action Planning

The afternoon session offered opportunities for participants to continue to build relationship. Participants focused on strategies to meaningfully engage parties, develop county-specific flow-charts, and explore situations appropriate for referral to a restorative diversion. The session concluded with time for regionals teams to come together to draft an action plan to improve engagement, enhance communication and collaboration, and/or increase appropriate referrals.

Training Materials

PDF of New Hampshire Restorative Justice Training Slides
Circle Outline
What is Restorative Justice handout
Action Plan Template
Video Links:
Restorative Justice Places Aurelia on a Different Path
Tinkerbell
Restorative Justice: Why Do We Need it? • BRAVE NEW FILMS (BNF)
Criminal Justice System – Investments and Outcomes

Training Pre / Post Survey Data Analysis

The trainers distributed a pre-training evaluation survey to all registrants two weeks prior to their registered training date and sent out multiple survey-completion reminders in advance of the session. Post-training surveys were distributed at the conclusion of the training. Trainers also sent participants multiple reminders to complete the post-training evaluations. In addition to tracking overall training outcomes, Jon and Marc used the survey evaluations to make changes to the curriculum based upon participants’ experiences. The following is a top line data analysis of the six regional trainings.

SURVEY COMPLETION

  • 120 people completed the Pre-Training Evaluation Survey
  • 93 people completed the Post-Training Surveys (full day and half day surveys)
  • Registration for the trainings (170 total) was approximately 25% higher than actual attendance.

It’s not possible to determine what percentage of people who completed the pre-training surveys actually attended the training.

INCREASES IN KNOWLEDGE

There were notable increases in ‘current knowledge’ all across five evaluated domains. The first three domains are specific to the morning session and the latter two are specific to the afternoon session.

  • RJ values and principles 
  • RJ data and outcomes
  • Application of RJ to my area of work
  • Referral process to RJ Diversion
  • Cases/individuals appropriate for RJ Diversion

USEFULNESS OF TRAINING OBJECTIVES

Participants largely expressed strong appreciation for the usefulness of the training’s learning objectives. The latter two learning objectives were specific to the afternoon session. Participant appreciation was notably higher for those who attended the full-day training

  • Build relationships and identify interpersonal connections.
  • Define Restorative Justice in your own words. 
  • Illustrate the application of restorative principles an area of your practice/work.Developed county-specific case flow-charts with potential ‘off-ramps’. 
  • Developed regional action plans to enhance your restorative justice infrastructure.  

CHANGES IN ATTITUDES

Participants expressed notable positive changes in attitudes between pre and post trainings when presented with the following statements.

  • Restorative Justice can effectively serve young people.
  • Restorative Justice can effectively meet the needs of victims. (greatest change)
  • We should divert as many young people as possible to Restorative Justice.
  • Restorative Justice diversion should only be available to first offense. (significant movement towards disagree)

ANTICIPATED CHANGES IN PRACTICE

Comparative analysis of pre and post-surveys reveal modest anticipated changes across four areas of practice.

  • Effectively apply Restorative Justice principles to my role and work.
  • Refer young people to local Restorative Justice organizations.
  • Support collaboration with local Restorative Justice organizations.
  • Advocate for Restorative Justice diversion.

FOSTERING REGIONAL COLLABORATION

The afternoon session focused on strengthening regional collaboration across youth-justice agencies. Afternoon participants expressed notable positive movement across pre/post surveys on three yes/no questions:

  • Is there a clear process for Restorative Justice referrals? 
  • Is there a working relationship between law enforcement and Restorative Justice organizations? 
  • Does your agency have a working relationship with other youth-serving organizations? 

Full results from the pre and post surveys are available upon request. 

Increased Collaboration or Action Taken as a result of the Regional Training

In addition to the pre and post training surveys, the trainers reached out to both Diversion programs and training participants several weeks after the training to ask if anything changed as a result of the training. Below are a few responses we have received.

  • We have increased our regular communications with JPPO’s and other community youth programs.
  • We have collaborated with our local Restorative Justice organization to learn more about how we can work together. We also have worked in schools to educate faculty and administration about restorative practices and how to include them in the disciplinary processes.
  • We have a mission within our program, and I think the information gained from the regional training fortifies what we already are doing. 
  • Increased effort to include harmed parties.
  • More frequent partner meetings

Additional Upcoming Training

The preparation of this report was financed under an Contract with the State of New Hampshire, Department of Health and Human Services, with funds provided in part by the State of New Hampshire and/or such other funding sources as were available or required, e.g., the United States Department of Health and Human Services.