Exploring Restorative Approaches to Elder Justice: A Webinar Series Hosted by the California Elder Justice Coalition
Justice is a broad concept. While it encompasses formal justice systems, in its broadest sense, justice refers to basic concepts of fairness in human relations—balance, equity, fair exchange, harmony, and equal treatment. Justice provides guideposts for living together in peace with dignity and respect for one another and the environment. It guides our response to harms, inequities, and injustices. Justice also encompasses how our institutions relate to us in respectful, constructive, and unbiased ways.
Elder abuse is a violation of relationships that has largely been addressed through the criminal and civil justice systems. These systems are essentially adversarial, with advocates for opposing parties vigorously arguing their parties’ cases before objective judges or juries who determine the truth and pass judgment. While effective in some abuse cases, this approach is not acceptable to many older adults who fear losing their relationships with family members or others they rely on or hope to reconcile with. This disconnect is leading more advocates to explore alternatives.
Restorative justice is an alternative that provides opportunities for change and healing among all those who are affected by crime and conflict. Rather than depending on courts, it enlists families and communities to provide opportunities for truth-telling, change, and healing.
This 4-Webinar series, made possible by a grant from the van Loben Sels/RembeRock Foundation, and co-sponsored by the Institute on Aging (IOA) and the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC), will build awareness about restorative options for older adults. It further aims to promote safe, just, equitable and sustainable practices, communities, and institutions.
More information on each webinar (including CEU info) is provided below. Registration is now open for Webinar 1 and Webinar 2.
If you are not already a member of CEJC, we hope you will consider making a donation of $25 per webinar to support our continued efforts to promote elder justice in California and nationally.
Or, consider becoming a member of CEJC. Annual memberships are $100 for individuals ($25 for students/retirees) and $150 for organizations.
Webinar 1: Syracuse, New York’s “Long Game” for Adopting Restorative Approaches to Elder Abuse
Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific Time
Suggested Donation: $25
In 2016, a small group of Syracuse, New York service providers and researchers gathered to explore restorative justice approaches to elder abuse. Recognizing the challenges they faced, the group developed “the long game,” which began with a qualitative research project to evaluate service providers’ perceptions of using RJ in this context. They went on to explore RJ approaches to elder abuse around the world, which resulted in an article analyzing existing efforts and offering recommendations and a conference that brought together leaders of the RJ and elder abuse movement to share models and expertise. The presenters will discuss their research, tentative conclusions, and their “eCORE Project,” which offers community building and conflict resolution circles to seniors.
• Maria Brown, Assistant Research Professor, School of Social Work and Aging Studies Institute, Syracuse University Falk College
• Mary Helen McNeal, Professor and Director, Elder and Health Law Clinic, Syracuse University College of Law
Webinar 2: A Circle Approach to Healing the Harm of Financial Exploitation
Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Time: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific Time
Suggested Donation: $25
The Waterloo Restorative Justice Elder Abuse Project, developed over two decades ago, remains one of the few programs of its kind serving older adults. Attendees to this session will preview a video depicting how the Waterloo program uses a peacemaking circle to reduce the harm to family relationships following financial elder abuse. The video’s producer and circle co-facilitators will discuss the benefits and challenges of applying restorative justice to elder abuse, potential applications and settings in which it can be used, and steps for implementing programs.
• Eva Marszewski is founder and director of Peacebuilders (Canada), a nonprofit organization that provides restorative programs and services to young people and works towards effecting change in the justice and education systems.
• Arlene Groh, retired consultant, Healing Approaches to Elder Abuse Waterloo (Ontario) and founding director of the Community Care Access Centre’s Restorative Justice Approach to Elder Abuse Project.
Two additional webinars will take place in March & April. More info and registration will be coming soon.
Webinar 3: A Restorative Approach to Inclusion and Equity
The “racial reckoning” that has prompted calls for criminal justice reform and reimagining policing and has lent added urgency to exploring restorative approaches to elder abuse. Presenters in this session will provide examples of how abuse is viewed and responded to in underserved communities and share their insights into how programs can better meet the needs of those they serve.
Webinar 4: Restorative Justice in Elder Abuse Showcase
This session will feature four RJ programs across the U.S. and Canada, including a community building circle in a senior housing facility, a court diversion program, and a program to strengthen family caregiving systems. The session will highlight the diversity of approaches and their unique features.
Continuing Education Units:
We would like to thank the Institute on Aging (IOA) for providing, free of charge, 1.5 BRN and CAMFT Continuing Education hours for each webinar session. See below for more information.
We would also like to thank the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC) for providing, free of charge, 1.5 MCLE Continuing Education hours to California attorneys for each webinar session. See below for more information.
There are no events scheduled at this time.
Visit our Contact Us page to be added to our mailing list.
Please be sure to subscribe to our News & Updates in order to be notified about upcoming webinars or events.
PAST WEBINAR RECORDINGS
Stop the Bleeding - Temporarily Freezing Assets in Elder Abuse Cases (September 2021)
Telling Your Story to the Media: A Conversation with Elder Abuse Expert Shawna Reeves and Journalist Nick Leiber (May 2021)
A Conversation on Applying Restorative Justice to Elder Abuse (April 2021)
Absent Authority: Making Conservatorship a Positive Tool of Transformation (March 2021)
Fraud & Financial Abuse Prevention Networks: Showcasing Innovation (January 2021)
Elder Justice for Medicare Beneficiaries (October 2020)
Advancing Trauma Informed Responses to Elder Abuse (October 2020)
The Power of Peer Support Groups for Older Scam Victims (February 2020)
Civil Remedies for Empowering Victims of Elder Financial Exploitation (December 2019)
Improving Access to Aging Services with Community Health Workers (November 2019)
Reforming Adult Guardianship Through Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders (July 2019)
State ID Theft Coalitions: Stolen Identities and Beyond (May 2019)
In Conversation with Bill Benson: The State of Elder Justice (March 2019)
What's new in Undue Influence: Definitions, Tools, and Court Responses (November 2018)
Homelessness in Older Adults: Causes, Consequences and Prevention (September 2018)
International Financial Crimes: How Do We Turn the Tide and Help Older Victims? (August 2018)
Engaging Financial Institutions in Abuse Investigations (June 2018)
Building an Elder Justice Framework State by State (May 2018)