Walls to Bridgeshttp://www.wallstobridgesproject.org
Walls to Bridges is focused on fostering family communication during incarceration. We are working with the Conflict Resolution Center to 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 focus is on teen and adult children and their currently incarcerated parents. 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 the 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, teen and adult children of incarcerated parents are given the opportunity to feel empowered and heard, and incarcerated parents are given the opportunity to directly respond to the experiences of their children.
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.