Restorative Justice (RJ) is a conflict-resolution method that emphasizes repairing harm members of the community inflict on one another. Participants collaborate to create resolutions that address the harms created by the behavior with the goal of restoring the community’s trust in the responsible party. Through dialogue led by trained facilitators, participants share the incident’s impact, identify implications of the behavior, and collectively agree on steps to move forward.
Restorative Justice Participants
The parties involved in a restorative justice process will vary depending on the situation; however, most circles involve the following individuals:
- Student(s) of concern
- Impacted parties
- Supporting parties (participants have the option of bringing a support person to the circle)
- Trained facilitator(s)
- Office of Student Conduct staff (if applicable)
Benefits of Restorative Justice
Encourages collaborative decision-making
Supports community values
Promotes social justice
How It Works
The restorative justice program reviews incidents for suitability to participate. If deemed appropriate, a facilitator would reach out to impacted parties.
A facilitator meets with participants separately. During this initial intake, participants learn more about the process, address any questions, and provide information to the facilitator.
The restorative justice conference is scheduled, and a facilitated conversation with defined stages takes place.
- Each person tells their story, describing the event and its impact, to foster a comprehensive understanding of the incident
- Participants determine what harm occurred
- The group determines possible ways to make amends
- The participants agree upon the specific actions to be taken to repair the damage. The outcome of any restorative justice circle is unique to that group
After the restorative justice conference is concluded, participants take responsibility for completing the agreed upon actions.
Follow-up conversations take place about the resolution of the actions and each participant’s growth within the process.