Restorative Justice

9 Things to Know about the Restorative Justice Process

1. What are the focus and goals of the Restorative Justice process?

It focuses on the harm that has occurred and/or the impact on others and how to repair that harm, restore trust, and prevent recurrence.

2. What does the process look like?

Facilitators meet with the involved parties individually to determine the appropriateness of Restorative Justice and prepare all for the conference or shuttle diplomacy process. The conference or shuttle diplomacy follows a formal order in which all parties involved share what happened from their perspective, how they were impacted, and what actions are needed to repair harm.

3. Do I have to be in the same room as the other person?

Yes or no. Restorative Justice circles can bring everyone together in the same room or the process can be facilitated through shuttle diplomacy.

4. Who else participates in the process?

The respondent, complainant, 1-2 facilitators, support persons, and potentially others impacted or representing impact.

5. Who makes the decision?

All parties involved, including those impacted and the respondent, have a voice in the resolution. Each person contributes a suggestion to a solution that the responsible party must complete in order to repair harm and restore trust. Decision is made by consensus of all parties.

6. What kind of questions would be asked?

Each party is asked to speak on their own perspective and experience. The goal is toward mutual understanding of all viewpoints, not deciding which viewpoint is correct.

7. Can a person be found not responsible? If so, what happens?

No.  The process starts from a foundation of acknowledging that some harm occurred and engages all parties to participate in deciding how that harm should be repaired.

8. How are outcomes recorded and enforced?

All information is maintained in students’ individual conduct records, including the agreement reached by the Restorative Justice process. The University enforces completion of the agreed upon outcomes, assigning additional sanctions if students are delinquent or noncompliant with sanctions or expectations. This is no different from the conduct, investigation or hearing process.

9. What happens if someone withdraws

The process will revert back to the appropriate conduct, investigation or hearing process.

Please click the link below to view the nine things to know about the Restorative Justice process and the Formal Investigation process. 

Formal Investigation or Restorative Justice Process.pdf 

Restorative Justice Processes

The Restorative Justice Process is a philosophical approach that embraces the repairing of harm, healing of trauma, reconciliation of interpersonal conflict, and reintegration of people who have been marginalized through participatory learning and improved decision-making skills. Rather than focusing on what policies have been violated, Restorative Justice processes instead identify who has been harmed and what actions are necessary to repair the harm. Restorative Justice Processes include:

Formal Restorative Conference:  participation in a discussion by trained facilitators with any persons harmed and the development of a shared agreement of how to correct the harm. The Complainant and Respondent as well as identified people who were impacted by this incident work together to develop an agreement that resolves the issue, help the Respondent restore their standing in their community, and repair relationships that were damaged by their actions.

Shuttle Diplomacy:  the crafting of an agreement using the restorative justice framework that does not require parties to participate in an in-person conference with each other. The mediator will work with parties individually to create an agreement that both parties can agree to.

  • This may include restorative statements, apology, other educational activities, etc.