Restorative Mentoring: evidence and implications

Pablo Romero

Pablo Romero·– 06/26/2024 8:08am

In a world where conflict and trauma can deeply affect individuals, restorative mentoring (RM) emerges as a beacon of hope. This innovative approach intertwines the principles of restorative justice with the supportive framework of mentoring, creating a unique pathway for personal growth, healing, and community building. By emphasizing relationship-building, accountability, and mutual respect, these practices offer a nurturing environment where individuals can embark on a journey of transformation. 

The essence and goals of Restorative Mentoring

Restorative mentoring is a fusion of restorative justice practices and mentoring relationships. Restorative justice, at its core, is about repairing harm, restoring relationships, and reintegrating individuals into their communities. This counselling involves a supportive, one-on-one relationship where a more experienced mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to a mentee. When combined, these approaches help individuals reflect on their actions, understand the impact of their behavior on others, and develop constructive pathways forward.

Imagine a young person who has made some poor choices, finding themselves entangled in the criminal justice system. Traditional punitive measures might only push them further away from positive social connections. However, these practices offer a different approach. It provides a space where the young person can engage in meaningful conversations with their mentor, fostering understanding and accountability. Through this process, they not only acknowledge their mistakes but also learn to rebuild their lives with the support of a caring mentor.

The evidence behind Restorative Mentoring

The benefits of RM are supported by a growing body of research, particularly for youth and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. One compelling study by Wachtel (2013) revealed that youth participating in restorative programs were significantly less likely to reoffend compared to those who did not receive such support. This reduction in recidivism is attributed to the sense of accountability and personal responsibility fostered through the restorative process.

Moreover, RM has been shown to improve social skills and relationships. Umbreit and Coates (2000) found that participants in restorative programs reported better relationships with family members and peers. The mentor-mentee relationship provides a model for healthy interaction and support, which is essential for personal growth.

Self-esteem and personal development are also key outcomes of this approach. To this regard, Maxwell and Morris (2001) demonstrated that participants in these programs felt more confident in their abilities to make positive life choices and set goals. By focusing on the strengths and potential of the mentee, this counselling approach empowers individuals to envision and pursue a brighter future.

Community reintegration is another significant benefit. Restorative mentoring facilitates the reintegration of individuals into their communities by involving community members in the restorative process. This involvement builds a network of support that extends beyond the mentoring relationship, crucial for long-term success and stability.

The role of technology in enhancing Restorative Mentoring

As we navigate the digital age, technology offers exciting opportunities to enhance RM programs. Virtual mentoring platforms, for instance, can bridge geographical barriers and connect mentors and mentees through online interactions. This is particularly useful in rural or underserved areas where access to mentors might be limited. Platforms like Zoom or Skype can facilitate regular, face-to-face interactions, fostering strong mentor-mentee relationships.

Furthermore, online resources and training can provide mentors with the tools they need to support their mentees effectively. Websites and online courses offer valuable information on restorative practices, effective communication, and mentorship strategies. Continuous learning helps mentors stay informed and skilled in their roles.

Digital storytelling tools can also be a powerful medium for personal growth and healing. By using platforms like Restorativs' mobile application, mentees can create and share digital stories, reflecting on their experiences and building narratives that promote understanding and transformation.

Technology can also assist in tracking the progress of mentees and the effectiveness of these programs. Apps and online tools can collect data on mentee engagement, goal achievement, and overall progress. This data can be then analyzed to identify trends, measure success, and make necessary adjustments to the program.


Restorative mentoring stands as a promising approach that harnesses the principles of restorative justice to support personal growth, accountability, and community reintegration. The evidence suggests that it can reduce recidivism, improve social skills, boost self-esteem, and facilitate successful community reintegration. By incorporating technology, thsese programs can expand their reach, enhance mentor training, support reflective practices, and monitor progress effectively.

At Restorativ, we are committed to exploring and implementing innovative restorative practices that foster healing and growth. As we continue to develop and refine our solutions, we look forward to develop technology to enhance RM practices experience and support our mission of building stronger, more resilient communities.