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Restorative Justice


The Restorative Justice Simulator (RJS) is a unique tool that churches, synagogues, mosques, faith based and community based organizations can access to educate people from all walks concerning the day to day realities of life - behind the walls, as a relative of someone incarcerated, and as a citizen returning from incarceration. RJS is a means to promote a greater understanding of the criminal justice and restorative justice movement in an effort to inspire the faith community to become more engaged to in criminal justice issues.

Simulation strategy is based on the notion that people are more inclined toward action if they are able to visualize a situation and subsequently sense, feel, and empathize with a scenario. Simulation is a reproduction of an item or event. Learning Simulations can be produced in all fields through computer games, role-plays, or replications. But a result oriented learning simulation has a specific goal in mind—“to mimic, or model, a real system so that we can explore it, perform experiments, and gain an understanding prior to implementation into the real world. The development of the simulator enables the user to visually present, in this instance, the criminal justice system in vignettes that communicate process, system, experience, gaps and alternatives that an individual may encounter. Exposure to this type of ‘safe’ learning incubator will inspire members from the faith community to see opportunities for their engagement and the role they can and must have.

Each RJS kit contains:

  • DIRECTOR'S MANUAL: Instructions on how to design and implement a justice simulation, sample invitations letters and news release, facts about the prison industrial complex, delinquency, race, class, poverty and incarceration/crime, mentoring children of prisoners, visitation ministry, policy and advocacy around disparate minority confinement, mentoring and support groups for returning citizens, family support groups, the role of the church suggestion about what people can do to impact policy.
  • RESOURCE PACKETS: Instructions and accessories for each community resource, including welfare office, pawn shop, school, bank, police station, grocery store. Accessories include calculators, clip boards, money boxes, play money, homework, Social Security cards, name badges, forms.
  • JUSTICE PACKETS: There are packets, each with a criminal justice scenario and toolkits, navigation cards that guide the user through the simulator.
  • SOCIAL NETWORKING: Web 2.0 technology and resources are available along with Justice Simulator Website and podcasts to create and foster a Community of Learning around this issue.

The RJS is portable learning environment to be used as a learning event to jump start a church or faith community’s restorative justice ministry. It is intended to be used as part of a month long awareness effort that includes proclamation, presence, action/advocacy, pastoral and policy elements.

For more information, contact Cheryl L. Cook

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