Promoting Positive Peace One Block at a Time: Lessons from Innovative Community Conferencing Programs

  • Lauren AbramsonEmail author
  • Lauren Abramson
  • David B. Moore
Part of the Clinical Sociology: Research and Practice book series (CSRP)


This chapter describes many of the principles, lessons, and practices derived from nearly 20 years of experience developing Community Conferencing programs. While focusing on one unique and long-standing conferencing program in inner-city Baltimore, Maryland (USA), a variety of issues are explored including (1) creative and effective program implementation as well as (2) the development of theory and principles that help sustain high quality services. Lessons are gleaned from Conferencing programs internationally. These point us in new directions for systemic reform in criminal justice, education, and community development.


Criminal Justice Justice System Restorative Justice Juvenile Justice System Alternative Dispute Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abramson, L., & Moore, D. B. (2001). Transforming conflict in the inner city: Community conferencing in Baltimore. Contemporary Justice Review, 4(3–4), 321–340.Google Scholar
  2. Abramson, L., & Moore, D. B. (2002). The psychology of community conferencing. In J. Perry (Ed.), Restorative justice: Repairing communities through restorative justice (pp. 123–140). Lanham: American Correctional Association.Google Scholar
  3. Cadd, N., Jakeman, L., Marks, H., & Moore, D. (2002). Dealing with conflict within the military: An evolving model for managing conflict and promoting good working relationships among defence employees. Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, 13(3), 135–147.Google Scholar
  4. Chatterjee, J. (1998). A report on the evaluation of RCMP restorative justice initiative: Community justice forum as seen by participants. Ottawa: RCMP Community, Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services.Google Scholar
  5. Coates, R., Umbreit, M., & Vos, B. (2000). Restorative justice circles in south St. Paul, Minnesota. St. Paul: Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, University of Minnesota,
  6. Cooperrider, D., & Whitney, D. (2005). Appreciative inquiry: A positive revolution in change. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Deukmedjian, J. E. (2008). The rise and fall of RCMP community justice forums: Restorative justice and public safety interoperability in Canada. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 50(2), 117–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dunn, D. J. (2004). From power politics to conflict resolution: Assessing the work of John W. Burton. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  10. Fenton, J. (2010, January 3). Baltimore homicides total 238 for 2009. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved from,0,73903.story
  11. Fisher, R., & Ury, W. (1981). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  12. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hudson, J., Morris, A., Maxwell, G., & Galaway, B. (1996). Family group conferences: Perspectives on policy and practice. Sydney: The Federation Press.Google Scholar
  14. Irvine, J. & Iyengar, L. (2005). Match-controlled study of young offenders: Community conferencing vs. juvenile services. Report of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.Google Scholar
  15. Iyengar, L. (1988). A Review of recidivism rates among juvenile justice youth born in 1977. Report of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.Google Scholar
  16. Lipstein, D. (2003). From conflict to cooperation (video), from:
  17. McCold, P. (1997). Restorative justice: An annotated bibliography. Monsey: Willow Tree Press.Google Scholar
  18. McDonald, J., & Moore, D. (2001). Community conferencing as a special case of conflict transformation. In J. Braithwaite & H. Strang (Eds.), Restorative justice and civil society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Moore, D. (2003). David Williamson’s Jack Manning trilogy: A study guide. Sydney: Currency Press.Google Scholar
  20. Moore, D. (2004). Managing social conflict – The evolution of a practical theory. Journal of Sociology and Social Work, 31(1), 71–91.Google Scholar
  21. Moore, D., & Forsythe, L. (1995). Family conferencing in Wagga Wagga: A report to the Criminology Research Council. Wagga Wagga: Centre for Rural Social Research. From:
  22. Pranis, K., Stuart, B., & Wedge, M. (2003). Peacemaking circles: From crime to community. St. Paul: Living Justice Press.Google Scholar
  23. Re-entry Policy Council. (2005). Report of the Re-entry Policy Council: Charting the safe and successful return of prisoners to the community. New York: Council of State Governments.Google Scholar
  24. Sawyer, K. (2007). Group genius: The creative power of collaboration. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Seligman, M. (2002). Authentic happiness. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  26. Senge, P., Smith, B., Kruschewitz, N., Laur, J., & Schley, S. (2008). The necessary revolution: How individual organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. London: Nicholas Brealey.Google Scholar
  27. Sharpe, S. (1998). Restorative justice: A vision for healing and change. Edmonton: EVOMS.Google Scholar
  28. Sherman, L., & Strang, H. (2007). Restorative justice: The evidence. London: The Smith Institute.Google Scholar
  29. Stone, B., Patton, B., & Heen, S. (1999). Difficult conversations: How to discuss what matters most. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  30. Sullivan, E. (2002). A league of their own. City Paper. 13–19 Nov 2002, from
  31. Surowiecki, J. (2004). The wisdom of crowds. Norwell: Anchor.Google Scholar
  32. Tilly, C. (2006). Why? What happens when people give reasons and why. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Tomkins, S. (1962). Affect, imagery, conciousness. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  34. Tomkins, S. (1963). Computer simulation of personality: Frontier of psychological theory. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  35. Trimboli, L. (2000). An evaluation of the NSW Youth Justice Conferencing Scheme. Sydney: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, from
  36. Van Ness, D. W., & Strong, K. (1997). Restoring justice. Cincinnati: Anderson Press.Google Scholar
  37. Zehr, H. (1990). Changing lenses: A new focus for crime and justice. Waterloo: Herald Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Abramson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauren Abramson
    • 2
  • David B. Moore
    • 3
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Community Conferencing CenterBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Principal with Primed Change ConsultingMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations