In early October of this year we announced the first NACRJ Mini-Grant program and published a call for proposals. By the end of the submission period we had received 24 applications for Mini-Grants. After careful deliberation, the Mini-Grant Committee has named our first recipients for NACRJ mini-grants. The 2016 grant recipients and their projects are:
1. J. Renee Trombley of Claflin University: HBCU Circle Training – While the need for restorative practices can be envisioned for all universities, there is an enhanced need among minority serving institutions. Minority youth are underrepresented in college yet overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
2. M. Michelle Day of Nehemiah Trinity Rising: Chicago Peace Room – This program leverages the capacity of the community to effectively address causative factors associated with youth crime and violence. This is done through building relationships through community circles then proceeding to educate and provide skills training for a community cohort of persons who will work to grow restorative justice practices in the neighborhood. Part of this process includes the collaborative establishment of a permanent community peace room.
3. Linda Keena, University of Mississippi, Department of Legal Studies: Prison Apology Workshop – The focus of this project is on making the first identified component, an apology. For most individuals, especially inmates with inadequate oral communication skills, an apology is challenging. This restorative justice intervention course is designed to help maximum-security inmates master the art of a crucial conversation in a restorative justice program.
4. Jeike B. Mitchell, University of Akron, OH (dissertation): Survivor Restorative Justice Study (sexual violence) – This project bridges the areas of positive psychology and criminology, particularly in the case of sexual victimization. The research question concerns the relationship between restorative attitudes. The Retributive and Restorative Justice Orientations Scale will be used in this research project.
5. Janice Jerome, Restorative Justice Institute of Atlanta: Rainbow Summer Youth Workshop – RJIA established Spaces in the Rainbow, a summer workshop for youth that uses restorative principles and practices to address youth concerns about their communication with their parents. The workshop is free and led by Restorative practitioners. Pierre left behind five other siblings ages 5 to 13 who have participated in the workshop both years.
6. Danielle Sims, Bridges to Life: Books for Prison Program – Bridges to Life operates restorative justice oriented reentry programs for incarcerated people in many prisons across Texas and other states. This project funds purchase of books, workbooks and other training materials for these programs.
7. Lynn Lee, Pikes Peak Restorative Practices: Restorative Justice Volunteer Retreat – This project envisions a "retreat" with facilitators and volunteers in Restorative Justice. We have been working together for over 8 years and have never gotten together for a more extended time to review/discuss our program(s) and continue our education around RJ issues.
Please join us in congratulating all the 2016 NACRJ Mini-Grant Recipients for their outstanding work in promoting safe, just and equitable communities. Every day their work advances the field and is literally "Shaping Justice for the 21st Century".