Restorative Justice

In contrast with adversarial systems of justice, restorative justice focuses on repairing harm and restoring relationships. Restorative practices tend to prioritize the equal voice of all parties affected by a conflict, and may support victims of crime in safely facing their aggressors. The emphasis is on preventing future violence or disruption.

Through its relationships with tribal communities, where many restorative practices originated and continue to operate, the Center for Court Innovation launched peacemaking programs in Red Hook and Syracuse. The Center continues to support community-led mediation and violence prevention at the Crown Heights Mediation Center, and uses a peer-led and problem-solving approach to youth justice with its youth courts. The Center is committed to testing new restorative approaches to justice through its operating programs and research, and shares lessons learned with jurisdictions looking to increase their reliance on restorative and community-led initiatives. 

The Latest

  • The Red Hook Star-Revue profiles the Red Hook Community Justice Center's Peacemaking program and the neighborhood NYPD officer about to graduate from it.
  • WKOW 27 speaks to Linda Baird from the Center for Court Innovation about a restorative court in Madiscon, Wisconsin.

Community Justice 2016

A panel on restorative justice, moderated by Erika Sasson, director of restorative practices at the Center for Court Innovation, was held at Community Justice 2016. Panelists included Jose Egurbide, supervising attorney for the Neighborhood Justice Program at the Office of the City Attorney of Los Angeles, Joe Balles, retired captain at the Madison Police Department, and Judge Herman Sloan from the Atlanta Community Court. 

Publications

Can Restorative Practices Address Intimate Partner Violence?

Can Restorative Practices Address Intimate Partner Violence?

This monograph explores whether and how restorative practices might be safe and effective as a response to intimate partner violence and provides practitioners with a series of questions to assist in developing key policies and principles for these interventions.

To Read the Summary of a Roundtable Discussion

Audio

Strengthening Ties Between Police and the Community: A Conversation about Restorative Justice in Madison, Wisconsin

Strengthening Ties Between Police and the Community: A Conversation about Restorative Justice in Madison, Wisconsin

Joe Balles, who recently retired as a captain after a 30-year career with the Madison (Wisconsin) Police Department, discusses restorative justice and police legitimacy with Robert V. Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation. A mentee of Herman Goldstein, considered the father of problem-oriented policing, Balles was instrumental in the creation of the Dane County Community Restorative Court, a diversion program based on the Native American principles of peacemaking. The interview took place during Community Justice 2016.

Publications

'The Public Wants to be Involved': A Roundtable Conversation about Community and Restorative Justice

'The Public Wants to be Involved': A Roundtable Conversation about Community and Restorative Justice

By Robert V. Wolf

Highlights from a roundtable discussion about engaging the public in justice programming. Questions addressed included: How do you define "community"? What are the goals of community engagement and how do programs engage communities and retain volunteers?

Audio

Involved Communities Support Vermont's Restorative Justice Panels

Involved Communities Support Vermont's Restorative Justice Panels

Yvonne Byrd, director of the Montpelier Community Justice Center, Karen Vastine, the community justice coordinator in Burlington, and Marc Wennberg, director of the St. Alban’s Community Justice Center, explain how volunteers help craft restorative responses to crime and conflict in Vermont.

Video

The Red Hook Peacemaking Program

The Red Hook Peacemaking Program

Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to justice that focuses on healing and restoration rather than punishment.

Read More

Most Popular Research

Audio

Problem-Solving Justice in Indian Country: The Navajo Nation Plans a Pilot Community Court

Problem-Solving Justice in Indian Country: The Navajo Nation Plans a Pilot Community Court

Court Administrator Susie Martin and Chief Probation Officer Lucinda Yellowhair explain how the Navajo Nation's pilot community court will draw on their culture's traditional restorative justice principles.

Publications

Peacemaking Circles: Evaluating a Native American Restorative Justice Practice in a State Criminal Court Setting in Brooklyn

Peacemaking Circles: Evaluating a Native American Restorative Justice Practice in a State Criminal Court Setting in Brooklyn

By Suvi Hynynen Lambson

This study examines the work of the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s Peacemaking Program, which uses traditional Native American practices to resolve disputes. Participants can avoid the justice system by participating in peacemaking sessions and reaching a consensus agreement for restitution and repair.

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