Short Term Practicum: Restorative Justice and Mediation

Lead Instructors:

Mediation: Elaine Bourne
Restorative Justice: Barb Blazej, Margaret Micolichek

(see biographies for instructors at end of page)

RJPtrainingCourse Overview: This is a two-part course introducing the philosophies and skills used by practitioners of Mediation and Restorative Justice.

Mediation immerses students in a problem-solving approach to resolving disputes. Drawing from diverse disciplines, coaching, class discussions, presentations, and role play, students gain a deeper understanding of conflict. Using the classroom as a conflict skills workshop, students acquire tools to improve communication and facilitate cooperation and collaboration. Students will receive a Certificate of Completion, proof of 40 hours of mediation training, a commonly accepted state and national standard for new Mediators.

Restorative Justice seeks a humanistic response to conflict, wrongdoing and crime. Students learn the Restorative Justice techniques of circle facilitation, restorative language, and observation, focusing on its practice in the juvenile justice system, in communities, and on college campuses. The Bates Mediation and Restorative Justice Fellows have been trained and certified in this Short Term Practicum. Offered in 2015 and 2017.

Concentrations and Major/minor information: Major credit for Psychology. GEC credit for (C064) Conflict and Threat: War and Disease and Children; (C030) Adolescents and School.

Biographies of Lead Practitioners-in-Residence:

Barb photo1Barbara Blazej, M.Ed., is a restorative practices trainer and consultant with the Restorative Practices Collaborative of Maine, of which she is a founding member. The Collaborative is a coalition of trainers and facilitators who assist and support Maine educators and schools throughout the state in learning and implementing restorative practices, values and skills, including restorative ways of responding to misbehavior and conflicts. From 2003-2010, Barb was the director of a Youth Violence Prevention Grant funded by the Maine Department of Health & Human Services, focusing specifically on restorative practices in Maine’s K-12 schools. Most recently she was the School Programs Coordinator for the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast (RJP) in Belfast. Barb has been working in the area of restorative practices, conflict resolution education, peer mediation and diversity education since 1996. She has been trained in restorative conference facilitation by the International Institute of Restorative Practices and RJP in Belfast, and in transformative mediation. Barb is also a faculty member of the Peace & Reconciliation Studies Program at the University of Maine, Orono, and a restorative conference facilitator for RJP.

Polaroid DIGITAL CAMERAMargaret Micolichek, MPA, consults on Restorative Justice projects around the state of Maine and is a trainer with the Restorative Practices Collaborative of Maine. Currently she is working on a research project with the Rand Corporation to assess the impact of Restorative Justice Initiatives with 16 schools in Maine. The five-year study will track 6th and 7th graders through to the 10th grade.

Margaret began working with restorative justice philosophy and practices in 1999 with a juvenile court diversion program in Boston. Upon moving to Maine in 2002 she continued in that work through the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Church which sponsored the start up of the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast in 2005 (RJP). As the director of the Project she collaborated with Waldo County Juvenile Services to provide Restorative Community Conferencing as a diversion for young offenders in a process that brings those harmed by crime or wrongdoing together to resolve the matter. RJP now serves the four counties of Judicial District 6 – Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc – and also works with jail and prison reentry through a mentoring program.

In an effort to provide prevention measures for all young people, RJP introduced Restorative Practices in schools. The work expanded statewide in 2006 through a partnership with the University of Maine at Orono and Southern Maine. Workshops are offered annually to train school personnel in restorative principles and practices as a way to connect and engage students in building positive school communities and to address conflict in a healthy way.
Margaret lives in Belfast where she enjoys the outdoors, gardening and teaching and mentoring at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center.

elaine bourne photoElaine M. Bourne, J.D., is the Program Manager of the Community Mediation Services Program of Volunteers of America, Northern New England. In this position she is responsible for financial management, program development, training, public and community relations, fundraising and oversight of CMS operations. In addition she trains more than 200 people each year on mediation and conflict resolution related topics in a variety of settings. Completing a 40-hour mediation certificate training several years ago turned Elaine into a devotee of mediation.

In her prior life, Elaine worked with law students, developing extensive experience, and a national reputation, as a leader in legal education administration -admissions and career services-from 1993 – 2008. A non-practicing licensed (PA) lawyer, Elaine has served as an Officer (secretary and vice-president) and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Maine Association of Mediators. She holds a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a B.A. from Eisenhower College of the Rochester Institute of Technology.