UMaine Hutchinson Center and Restorative Justice Center to offer restorative practices certificate program in Belfast and Bath

Belfast, Maine — Registration is open for a six-session restorative practices certificate program, August–November. The program will be offered concurrently at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast and Union + Co. in Bath.


This six-session course, part of the Hutchinson Center’s professional development program, will be held from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Aug. 20–21, Sept. 25, Oct. 29–30 and Nov. 19. The cost is $650 per person, and includes a light breakfast and catered lunch. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Upon completion, participants will earn a certificate in restorative practices and 4.2 CEUs/42 contact hours.

Today’s best thinking in leadership, education and change management emphasizes the need to create spaces where people feel seen, heard and part of a community that cares. Restorative practices are poised to meet this need, improving and repairing relationships between people and communities. The purpose of restorative practices is to build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behavior, repair harm and restore relationships.

Through this program, participants will learn nonadversarial problem-solving tools to reach solutions in moments of conflict that go beyond de-escalation and build safer, healthier, more equitable environments. Systematic use of restorative practices can leave participants and the people they interact with feeling connected to positive, resilient and accountable communities. Educators, parents, school administrators, health care providers, social workers, police officers, municipal workers and nonprofit workers alike can benefit from restorative practices.

The restorative practices program is led by two professionals in the field — Carrie Sullivan and Sarah Matari from Restorative Justice Project Maine.

Matari began providing restorative practices and mediation services to institutions and communities early on in her legal career. As a trainer and consultant for the NYC Department of Education restorative pilot project, she delivered mediation and restorative circle trainings to staff and students in an effort to help schools work toward restorative culture change. She learned firsthand the importance of having a sustainable implementation strategy and team approach when engaging with restorative practices. She brings that to her role as manager of institutional implementation at the Restorative Justice Project in Belfast.

As a health educator and advocate, Sullivan has championed policies and programs aimed at improving individual and community health. She promotes restorative practices as a framework that honors and invites the voices of all stakeholders into shaping lasting solutions to the deepest challenges. Sullivan is program director for the Restorative Justice Project in Belfast, and oversees the formation of community justice centers in midcoast Maine in partnership with UMaine and local leadership teams.

Participants of this certificate program will gain techniques to build strong, connected cultures, learn problem-solving tools to reach solutions that build safer and healthier environments, practice new ways of relating to people and organizations, and improve decision-making and leadership skills.


For information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Michelle Patten, um.fhc.pd@maine.edu; 207.338.8002. For more information about upcoming professional development programs, to register online or apply for a need-based scholarship, go online. Early registration is recommended as spots are limited.

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