Terry O’Connell, director of Real Justice Australia, a division of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), is a retired 30-year veteran with the New South Wales Police Service, and well known as the “cop from Wagga Wagga” who developed what is now the IIRP’s Real Justice restorative conference model.
IIRP president Ted Wachtel first heard O’Connell speak in 1994 in Pennsylvania, and was so taken with O’Connell’s work adapting the New Zealand model of family group conferencing that he founded Real Justice, now the IIRP’s restorative justice program.
The IIRP has promoted the use of O’Connell’s restorative conference process based on his “restorative questions,” which foster empathy and shared understanding among offenders, victims and their respective friends and family members.
Since retiring from the police service, O’Connell has headed up the IIRP’s office in Australia. (see Terry’s blog at https://www.blog.iirp.edu/category/welcome/)
While he has been a major influence in spreading restorative justice throughout the world, in recent years he has been especially effective in bringing restorative practices to schools.