A restorative/transformative circle is a technique that builds and restores relationships through equal opportunity sharing and listening. These talking circles proactively build the skills individuals need when conflicts arise because they give every individual the opportunity to speak and be heard. Restorative circles are especially beneficial in communities as they help practice respectful listening and healthy self-expression and build relationships and understanding. These circles can foster community and reduce police interventions and contact.
In schools, these circles are often conducted as a response to wrongdoing or conflict as an alternative disciplinary strategy, however, circles can be equally as effective in providing preventative factors for when future challenges arise. Circles have the power to create and strengthen support systems between peers and lay the groundwork for a trusting classroom environment.
Because these types of talking circles provide both restorative and preventative measures, they are used in a variety of group settings, including but not limited to schools, foster homes, rehabilitation, correctional, neighborhood associations, community centers and mental health facilities.