What is Restorative Justice?
When students admit behavior which brings harm to other members of the campus community, Restorative Justice can be used to bring the offender together in a safe environment for a discussion with those harmed or affected by the offender's actions.
Restorative Justice conferences gives voices to those involved in or affected by an incident, while focusing on repairing the harm and building community.
A staff member trained in Restorative Justice facilitates the Restorative Justice conference. During the conference, all participants have an opportunity to talk about what happened, from their perspective. The offender accepts responsibility and talks about what happened, and why it happened; the harmed and affected parties describe how they have been affected. All the parties who participate in the Restorative Justice conference then collaborate to identify specific actions the offender will take to repair the harm done to relationships and to the community by her or his actions. A contract is drafted committing the offender to these actions, and all participants in the conference sign the contract.
If you are you the offender:
- You accept responsibility for your actions and, by doing so; restore your reputation in the campus community.
- You can create a plan to repair the harm you've done to people and/or property.
- You can repair damaged relationships.
If you are you a harmed party or an affected community member:
- You have the opportunity to tell the offender, in a safe environment, how his or her actions affected you and others in the community.
- You can play an active role in deciding how the offender will repair the harm he or she has done, which will help the offender make better choices in the future.
When is Restorative Justice appropriate?
Restorative Justice may be appropriate in response to behavior which violates the Student Conduct Code or On-Campus Housing Regulations, or when expressions of speech have offended members of the campus community.
Why use Restorative Justice as part of the Student Conduct process?
The outcomes of Student Conduct matters are typically confidential and private. When a student waives that confidentiality and agrees to participate in Restorative Justice, there is a greater opportunity to focus on understanding the harm that has been done to the community, and to repair that damage.