Trauma awareness: 3 speakers showing the way in restorative practice

Restorative Values and Standards Working Group. Picture taken from the Website of EFRJ.

Claudia Christen-Schneider, from Switzerland, is the founder and president of the Swiss RJ Forum, and she is also involved in EFRJ (European Forum For Restrorative Justice) values and standards committee. In her presentation, she will tackle the question, “if Restorative Justice currently fails to live up to its own goals of providing a needs-based and healing form of justice.”

If we practice according to Zehr’s (2002) understanding of Restorative Justice, which is “healing of harms caused by crime”, we might conclude that trauma must form part of it. However, this may not always be the case in reality. Investigating the disconnect between theory and practice, Claudia aims to explore “what it means to work trauma-informed with all stakeholders in a restorative process.

Dr Colleen Pawlychka is our Canadian advocate of “trauma-informed correctional care”. Her teaching aims to bridge the gap between community and prisoners. In her talk, Colleen will pay special attention to Childhood psychological trauma (CPT) as a main generator of criminal behaviour.

She will share the perspectives of Canadian federal, male prisoners, that she gathered in a series of in-depth interviews with former prisoners who self-identified as having experienced CPT. If you decide to attend her talk, you’ll also get to hear her recommendations for correctional practice, includeing increased community-prisoner connection and implementation of trauma-informed correctional care.

Anna de Paula is also strongly engaging with the topic of trauma. She currently works as a public prosecutor in Brazil. If you’re part of her talk, you’ll be shown how we can help and support victims of crime with minimal financial or personal resources. Yes, that’s right: Support does not equate to money. How? Well… Anna will explain this part! To understand the imporatance of trauma awareness in that equation, don’t miss her talk!

Author: Katharina Kurz

Katharina Kurz is a postgraduate Anthropology and Philosophy student from Austria. She recently obtained her degree at Maynooth University, Ireland. Her main area of research is the field of Restorative Practice/Restorative Justice. She has been organising and contributing to conferences such as the EU-wide conference series “RJ: Strategies for Change". Most recently, she became part of the nation-wide program “Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning in Irish Universities” (EDTL) in the role of Maynooth University Associate.