Ted Lewis has been creating and guiding restorative justice trainings for over 25 years. He currently does both in-person and zoom-based trainings. At times, our center does the hosting; most often, other agencies or organizations request a training and do the hosting.
In 2000, Ted designed a 16-hour training in Restorative Conference Facilitation which he has done annually for the Center for Dialogue and Resolution in Eugene, OR up until the time of the pandemic. In addition to this, he has led this training over 30 times in the last decade. His tailor-made 40-page manual for this training has been modified and improved year by year. Role play guidance has also improved over many years of experience.
To view a sample outline for the 16-hour training, view this PDF.
- Restorative Conferencing for Facilitators (16 hours)
- Deepening Your Facilitation Practice -- Advanced Training (4 to 8 hours)
- Introduction to Restorative Justice (1 to 2 hours)
- Introduction to Restorative Practices in Schools (1 to 3 hours)
- Strengths and Limits to Circles and Conferences (1 to 3 hours)
- Building a Restorative Justice Program Collaboratively (2 to 4 hours)
- Restorative Dialogue for Hate Crimes (2 hours)
- Tools for Evaluating Restorative Dialogue Programs (2 hours)
- How to Handle Challenging RJ Cases (2 to 4 hours)
- Restorative Conversations in Workplace Settings (2 to 6 hours)
- Restorative Conversations for Faith-Based Communities (2 to 6 hours)
STORIES ARE CENTRAL.
One of Ted's strengths in being a trainer is that prior to his work with the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, he had over 15 years of experience as an RJ program manager and practitioner, which involved him in a considerable amount of casework with victimized and offending people. In short, he has access to a lot of anecdotes which he can speak to first-hand. These stories serve well to enrich the learning experience for people who are new to the field.
PARTNERSHIPS BUILD PROGRAMS.
Ted also brings over two decades of experience working closely with judges, victim advocates, district attorneys, probation officers, law enforcement officers, school principals, and human service workers. The context for most of these partnerships was working out of nonprofit organizations that provided restorative dialogue services. With this background, Ted understands how vital it is for community volunteerism to be the backbone of any program whether it is rooted in a government agency or a community-based organization.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER.
Everyone has different learning styles, and adults learn best when they connect what they are most familiar with to new content. This means that experiential learning and the sharing of everyone's wisdom are key elements to a good training. Ted also trains 'to the heart' and not just 'to the head.' Becoming a good facilitator is like becoming a good musician or athlete. One has to develop good intuitions and be very responsive to the moment. After learning good form, the highest skill level for facilitators is reading situations in the 'heart zone' because that is where harming and harmed parties talk about things so that "shift happens."
CONFERENCING OR CIRCLING?
This is a major question these days, and sometimes when people are trained in either restorative conferencing or in restorative circles, they develop 'model loyalty' which makes it harder for them to be flexible. At the same time, many practitioners are recognizing the strengths and limits of both models and are finding creative was to blend both models together. Programs that include cross-training in both models tend to be the strongest and most adaptive to handle wider sets of casework.
With the influence of Dr. Mark Umbreit's pioneering work in humanizing traditional models of mediation, Ted primarily trains in a conference model that abides by standard best practices in the field of mediation. At the same time, elements of a circle process can be woven into a conference model such as the seating arrangement and the use of go-around prompts for book-ending a joint meeting.
Here are some features of the conference model that Ted emphasizes:
- Routine preparatory meetings to build up more trust
- The inclusion of support people for each party
- Establishment of consent at the end of prep meetings
- A non-directive, non-scripted style of facilitation
- Invitation for both parties to have direct conversation
- Valuing the importance of storytelling and responses
- Consensual decision making for reparation agreements
- Program supports in the fulfillment of agreements
To clarify... this conference model is an intervention model in the aftermath of a crime or harm. While circle processes can be used for the same responsive goals, they are more widely used in preventative, proactive settings to strengthen communities or groups that use them.