Mediation Project

Restorative Justice Dialogues

Walls to Bridges is focused on fostering family communication during incarceration. We offer mediation services and facilitation of confidential dialogues using restorative justice principles and practices. We are located in Santa Cruz, California, and seek to serve the system-impacted population in Santa Cruz County. Our program partners with the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz.

Our focus is on previously incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons and their family. By breaking down communication barriers and creating safe spaces for family dialogue, Walls to Bridges aims to mitigate the isolation and stigma created by familial incarceration. 

Restorative justice involves creating healthier, more communicative relationships. This view implies a concern for healing of all involved – those directly harmed, those who have caused harm, and their communities. Restorative justice allows for a facilitated, direct encounter with adequate screening, preparations and safeguards that allows both parties to ask questions to each other directly and negotiate how to make the relationship right. Through this process, system-impacted persons are given the opportunity to feel empowered and heard, and they are given the opportunity to directly respond to the experiences of one another.

Bringing families together to manage shame, rather than to promote it, is a crucial component. Walls to Bridges offers a forum for system impacted families to heal and outline a process for reparation of family relationships.