Hello Everyone, 

Welcome again to RJBehindtheWire.Org. We are very excited to update you on the work we have been doing the last several months and to tell you about some of the things we will be doing to advance Restorative Justice in our own lives as well as within Virginia corrections and in the local community.

We are proud to have completed a full framework that we have titled Mending Fences. It is a 26 session manualized victim oriented offender rehabilitation program tailored for the correctional environment. Mending Fences is the product of countless hours of research and consultation with Restorative Justice practitioners and professionals. We are especially indebted to John Sage, Sue Prail, Keith DeBlasio, Jonathan Sheldon and the Virginia Center for Restorative Justice for generously sharing their knowledge, materials, and direction with us. Their assistance has been invaluable in our efforts as has the support and encouragement of our friends and family.

We are still both active as trainers in the BARK Beyond Bars program at Green Rock. In February the program celebrated its one year anniversary graduating its 30th abandoned and rescued dog. Of those 30 dogs, 25 have been successfully adopted.  Dusty's family adopted a Norwegian Elkhound named Sasha that Dusty trained and out of the same group Shawn trained a purebred German Shepherd that was adopted by the Virginia State Police. Both of us continue to focus on our studies. This summer we will both be taking a Victim Advocacy course offered through Adams State University, the school which Shawn has been attending through correspondence. Other courses that we are considering that have direct application in the Restorative Justice field include Alternative Dispute Resolution and Victimology.   We hope to apply the knowledge and skills that we gain from these courses to our formal curriculum and hopeful implementation of Mending Fences into Virginia correctional facilities.

We invite you to review the Mending Fences framework. We have included an introduction, a FAQ’s section, Program Mission, Goals and Objectives, as well as a Program Overview. Following the Overview is a detailed session by session breakdown including session itinerary, homework and personal journal entry topics. We believe that Mending Fences can be a valuable tool when used in concert with other rehabilitative programming, as well as emerging restorative efforts in Virginia corrections. We encourage you to share your comments, questions, concerns, and criticisms with us on our Facebook page or email us at RJBehindtheWire@gmail.com  We wish for Mending Fences to maximize its potential. We very much appreciate your support in doing so.