What follows are questions adopted from the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) and can be useful in a variety of settings (school, employment, personal, etc). As with any incident in which people have been harmed, it is imperative that any approach be done with the needs of all parties taken into consideration, and with appropriate caution and care. Those who are new to RJ or circles processes, and/or those who anticipate facilitating a circle (particularly those that will involved harmed parties and responsible parties), should note the following:

  • Proper training and/or experience is strongly encouraged.
  • Partnering with a skilled, experienced, co-facilitator can be very valuable.
  • Restorative practices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and borrow heavily from a variety of cultural traditions (i.e., this is not a new thing, but an “ancient idea whose time has come).
  • The questions below are designed to be asked in the order listed.
  • In circles where the responsible and harmed parties will participate together, RJ@MSU strongly endorses starting with Questions I.

RJ Questions I – For those who caused harm

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

RJ Questions II – For those who have been harmed

  • What did you think when you realized what had happened?
  • What impact has the incident had on you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?