New Bread of Mediators! Restorative Justice Circles for Family

We now have a new  model of mediation – restorative.   I developed the 46 hour course, and taught and trained  with other faculty to an inaugural class of 24 participants, who graduated January 1, 2020,  including  Judge Oleisky, attorneys,   mediators,  restorative practitioners, psychologists, doctors, teachers,  family members, professionals and consumers.  We now have a small platoon to put to work.

Family Innocence’s Restorative Justice Circle Mediation model is adapted from world renowned peacemaker, Dominic Barter’s,  restorative circle  process.  I studied with Dominic in 2012, after being introduced to circles by Judge Bruce Peterson, who had studied with Dominic years earlier.  Since then, I have worked to implement Dominic’s peacemaking dialogue in the family community. Family innocence  facilitates  communication among family members and participants in circle by implementing a  listening exercise, and  use of a talking piece and peacemaking dialogue, where everyone can speak and be heard (not just the words), closing the circle with written agreed actions.   We provide a community of two co-facilitators and a volunteer family innocence advocate to support family members.

The restorative justice circle process ultimately  teaches participants a method of communication that can be implemented anywhere in their lives and resolve any conflicts peacefully.  We need funding to edit and publish the 46 hour class so that we can train others and share this peace-making alternative with the world. To donate , call 651-783-5878. Thank you for your support!


Say family innocence!

Jason Houle of Native Strong!

Yay! We got accredited!

This is amazing!

Go Jodie!

We need funding to edit this epic course!

A white pigeon; one of our graduates has had a dove for years.



We love family!






by Michelle L. MacDonald, attorney & advisor with MacDonald Law Firm, LLC.  is

Founder and Volunteer President of  Family Innocence, a non-profit project dedicated to keeping families out of the adversary process: resolving conflicts and injustices peacefully through Mediation,  Restorative practices & Family Circles.


Michelle can be reached at: or by cell phone at 612-554-0932


About Family Innocence

Family Innocence is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, dedicated to keeping families out of court, resolving conflicts and injustices peacefully.