Turning Point Partners of Louisiana was founded in 2001 in New Orleans. It introduced restorative philosophy and practices in the region providing training and services to communities, schools, juvenile courts and detention facilities.
Turning Point Partner’s presence in the Orleans Parish education system was steadily increasing prior to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It worked closely with the administration of Marion Abramson High School to develop programs in Mindful Communication and Family Conferencing. Also, staff facilitated peace circles with children in A. P. Tureau Elementary School and was beginning a project with Woodson Middle School.
In the Juvenile Justice system, TPPL brought Restorative Justice practices to the Orleans and Jefferson Parish courts. In addition, staff facilitated peace circles with youth at Bridge City Center for Youth, a secure facility for young people.
Attempting to transform the social and political climate of our institutions, TPPL facilitated numerous trainings in Mindful Communication and Restorative Philosophy and Practices.
After the hurricanes, Jean Handley who founded TPP, settled in Memphis and resumed the work in Tennessee. The organization became two entities: Turning Point Partners Louisiana (TPPL) under the leadership of Lou Furman and Turning Point Partners Tennessee (TPPT). Since Katrina, the New Orleans-based entity includes trauma awareness and resilience as a foundation for its restorative practices.
In January 2011, TPPL merged with Community Mediation Services (CMS), founded in 1994 to resolve conflict peacefully and with justice. TPPL and CMS had partnered on numerous trainings and activities in the past with several board members in common. Coming together was a natural fit. The new organization operating under the CMS banner has strengthened the capacity of both organizations and holds much promise for the future.