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Kay served the Minnesota Department of Corrections in the position of Restorative Justice Planner from 1994 to 2003. In that position she provided education to the criminal justice system, other agencies and the general public about restorative justice. She also assisted groups interested in implementing the principles of restorative justice in their communities through system change and community empowerment. She worked with leaders in corrections, law enforcement, the judiciary, civic organizations, neighborhood groups, faith communities and education to develop a comprehensive response to crime and conflict based on restorative justice.
Kay continues to be active in the field of restorative justice, providing training and technical assistance to national and local initiatives with a special emphasis on the use of peacemaking circles. She has been involved in the development of circle processes in criminal justice, schools, neighborhoods, families and the workplace. She is a co-author of the book Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community and author of the Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking. Most recently she is co-author of Doing Democracy - Using Circles for Community Planning.
Kay is an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, Eastern Mennonite University and Southwest Minnesota State University.
Kay has served as a consultant, curriculum writer and trainer for the National Institute of Corrections, the National Institute of Justice, and the Balanced and Restorative Justice Project of the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She serves on the Board of Reference of the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University and the Board of Directors of Living Justice Press, a non-profit publisher for restorative justice.
From 1988 to 1994 Kay worked for the Minnesota Citizens Council on Crime and Justice in public policy research and advocacy. Kay's background in community activism includes nine years of service on a local school board and three years as chair of the board of the Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women.