You are invited to be part of a groundbreaking National Conference on Restorative Justice to convene on Sunday afternoon June 24, 2007, and to conclude by noon on Wednesday June 27, 2007.
U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis of Chicago (co-sponsor of the Second Chance Act) and law professor and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine P. Geske are among our keynote presenters. They are joined by restorative justice pioneers Dr. Mark Umbreit and Dr. Howard Zehr, peacemaking circles advocate Kay Pranis, juvenile justice authority Dr. Gordon Bazemore, church and social justice leaders Elaine Enns and Ched Myers, Australian practitioner and criminal justice leader Leigh Garrett, and a host of other participants.
Over thirty-three workshops and panel discussions are scheduled Monday through Wednesday, in addition to major keynote addresses each day. More than eighteen presentations of new research on restorative practices will be made by scholars and researchers from across the U.S. and around the world.
The host site for the conference is Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, about 80 minutes from the San Antonio International Airport in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, a location which provides for on-site lodging, meals, convocation and meeting space, and amenities for recreation and relaxation. A free shuttle service to and from the San Antonio International Airport will be provided. Continuing education credits also will be available.
The conference is presented by a group of organizing partners who have been working together for two years on this national conference. They are: The College of Public Policy and Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas at San Antonio; the Ghost RanchNational Conference Center of Santa Fe and Abiquiu, New Mexico;Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas; and the SoL (Source of Light) Center at University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas.
Co-sponsors of the National Conference on Restorative Justice include theInternational Community Corrections Association (ICCA), theNational TASC, the Marquette University Law School Restorative Justice Initiative, the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and the Victim Services Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, among other organizations.
Our purpose for this national conference is to bring together community leaders, politicians, educators, academics, practitioners, judges, faith leaders, policymakers and concerned citizens to promote the implementation of restorative justice practices in communities across the nation as suited to local needs. Different approaches to restorative justice will be demonstrated, with practical solutions to today’s problems emphasized.
Each day major keynote addresses will provide energy and vision to all participants. As well, to inform and equip participants in their respective areas of specialization or interest, the conference will feature five program tracks with experts leading workshops and panel discussions in the following categories:
· Restorative Justice Research and Teaching
· Practitioners of Restorative Justice
· Faith Groups and Restorative Justice
· The Criminal Justice System and Restorative Justice
· Restorative Justice in the First Person
This national conference is a joint venture between universities, restorative justice practitioners, and the faith community. The conference planning team includes the four conference presenters named above as well as a diverse group of practitioners, academics, and faith leaders from both the interdenominational and interfaith communities.
Our belief is that we must forge strong, cross-disciplinary relationships to be effective in instituting restorative practices in local communities. We are all partners in this effort, each with important roles to play. We need to examine working models and build new relationships that broaden our horizons.