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Restorative values such as collaboration, community, and resiliency are not new, but they are new in their relationship to the criminal justice system. Within recent decades, restorative justice practices have grown in popularity as they provide a number of solution-focused strategies to address crime. Restorative practices also have the potential to positively transform reentry-specific processes. In Wilmington, North Carolina, Leading Into New Communities (LINC) is an organization that assists its residents in their return from prison, recognizing that restorative values are essential to a successful transition. However, while LINC is restorative in its overall mission, most staff members do not possess concrete understandings of restorative justice.
In this study, in order to improve staff understandings of these topics, two voluntary training workshops were held to provide LINC staff members with more information on restorative justice, including its many programs and practices, as well as the unique ways in which it relates to reentry. Workshop observations and anonymous feedback forms provide insight into how these workshops benefitted LINC staff. This paper highlights the importance of restorative workshops in similar organizations as a way to improve understandings of restorative justice practices and how they can be utilized throughout reentry processes. With a broader understanding of restorative justice, organizations such as LINC will be in a better position to assist individuals with reentry in more meaningful ways.