Welcome to NACRJ
The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) employs principles of social and restorative justice seeking transformation in the ways justice questions are addressed. It promotes effective forms of justice that are equitable, sustainable and socially constructive. NACRJ serves as the parent organization for the biannual National Conference on Restorative Justice and provides members with information resources applicable to restorative and community justice theory and practice.
"Shaping Justice for the 21st Century"
We are deeply saddened and disheartened by the losses of life in Colorado Springs, CO and San Bernardino, CA last fall. Like so many others, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
These incidents call for reflection on why such mass violence appears to occur more in the US than in other countries.
Although coercive enforcement is necessary in the short term to remove an immediate threat to public safety, the way out of this pattern of violence is not more violence. It is not higher walls or fences. It is not fear based policies that marginalize and exclude people perceived as part of a "dangerous class".
Mahatma Ghandi once commented that "an eye for an eye" vengenance, if followed to its logical conclusion, "...would leave the whole world blind." He might have added, angry and in search of further vengeance.
His call is for people to walk the walk of relational justice so that "right relationships" are established between people despite their differences by race, ethnicity, culture, and religion. This echos similar calls by most faith systems. Peace, when it is found, is through dialogue, engagement, and respect. It is not found though marginalization, isolation, or coercive controls.
Victim Offender Mediated Dialogue in Prisons
Policy Statement and Implementation Guidelines
During the October 6, 2015 meeting of the NACRJ Board of Directors a proposed policy statement on the use of victim offender mediated dialogue in state prisons was unanimously approved. The policy statement is shown below.
NACRJ Policy Statement on Victim Offender Mediated Dialogue (VOMD) in State Government Correctional Facilities in the United States:
- The NACRJ Board of Directors seeks to promote policies or practices that allow mediated or facilitated contact between victims and offenders. While we recognize that there are states with a no victim offender contact policy, we strongly encourage those states to reconsider their positions and join the more than twenty states that already have formal protocol to make VOMD available to those victims and survivors who request it. We are calling for all states to adopt VOMD programming, which promotes healing of victims and works toward earning redemption for offenders while increasing accountability for their actions.
2. NACRJ seeks to assist states:
a. In developing the policy and capacity to support victims of crime who seek a VOMD process in states where VOMD programming in correctional facilities is not currently offered.
b. To develop evidence-based policy and practices to implement VOD practices where they do not currently exist.
c. To make technical supports available to corrections staff in states seeking to initiate VOMD programming.
 NACRJ recognizes that within those systems with a no-contact policy correctional administrators may have discretionary authority to waive the prohibition in particular cases. While a discretionary waiver is a good step, it is at the discretion of the correctional administrator and is not supported by policy. Allowing VOMD programming within prisons by policy systematizes the option and when used provides an added level of personal accountability for offenders to their victims or their families which is otherwise not available to them.
Click here for the "Implementation and Management Guidelines" for the VOMD policy statement as of March 6, 2016.
a. NAVSPIC VOD National Standards; Colorado Restorative Justice Council.
b. Restorative Justice Facilitator, Code of Conduct and Standards for Training and Practice.
c. Umbreit, M. & Armour, M. (2010). Restorative Justice Dialogue: An Essential Guide for Research and Practice. New York, NY: Springer.
An On-Line Discussion Forum for Members
“Virtual Circle” is an on-line discussion forum specifically for members. Several preset discussion topics have been created. These are:
- General NACRJ Membership
- Community Justice
- Restorative Justice
- Research and Evaluation in Community and Restorative Justice
We hope you become an active user of the NACRJ Virtual Circle and are able to learn from and network with other members.
The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding is making great strides in reshaping the ways justice practices are employed in communities. The video "Now Showing" below provides a revealing insight into how they are reshaping the Gainesville, FL community.
(Previously featured videos and audio tracks may be found at - "Public Resources", "Recent Videos/Audio")
Progress - Restorative Justice Juvenile Diversion Pilots in CO
By Deb Witzel, Coordinator for Restorative Justice
Colorado Restorative Justice Coordinating Council
HB13-1254, was signed into law in May of 2013. This legislation sponsored by Representative Pete Lee and Senator Linda Newell, along with many others. It advanced restorative justice significantly in Colorado.
Some of the key factors of this legislation included:
- Establishing a juvenile pilot program in four judicial districts,
- Commissioning a study and collection of data to document the results of the pilots,
- More deeply engaging the Victim’s Right’s Act language,
- Imposing a surcharge that supports restorative justice, and
- Creating a restorative justice coordinator position for the state.
The now 19 member Colorado Coordinating Council on Restorative Justice (RJ Council) continues to guide the work of this new law and the RJ Pilots. For more information on the RJ Council please visit www.rjcolorado.org.
The four “pre-file” Juvenile Diversion Restorative Justice Pilots (RJ Pilots) housed in district attorney’s offices are wrapping up their pilot phase. Three out of the four will be continued for FY 2017. As of July 1, 2016, these projects will be joined by three newly funded programs from around the state when the Restorative Justice Cash Fund begins its third year fully funding programs and a coordinator position.
Below are some highlights from the preliminary evaluation of the RJ Pilots released in early 2016. The research was conducted by Omni Research Institute. Their final report, including recidivism data, is due late this summer. The full preliminary report is available at www.rjcolorado.org.
The time frame (July1, 2014- September 30, 2015) that Omni evaluated shows that: 231 youth were served and completed their restorative justice contracts. The demographic data indicates that 56% were male, approximately 53% identified as Hispanic/Latino, and the average age was 14.7 years. About half of the charges would have been misdemeanors including: trespassing, assault, burglary/theft, arson and alcohol/drug offenses. Over 97% were successful in repairing the harm to the victims they offended.
All participants are asked to take a post-process satisfaction survey. Of those who completed the survey 96% of the victims and community members reported feeling satisfied with their restorative justice experience and felt this experience improved their perspective of the justice system. Similarly, 94% of offenders felt the process was satisfactory and gained a sense of accountability from the process.
The CO RJ Council is hosting a statewide conference September 25-28 in Vail, CO this year. At that event, the full report from the RJ Pilots will be presented and plans for expanding support for restorative justice across the state will be explored. As we get closer to that event, go to www.rjcolorado.org to learn more.
The RJ Council has chosen to continue their focus on funding “pre-file” juvenile diversion restorative justice projects for now in an effort to continue the data collection that has been established and move toward best and evidence-based restorative justice practices for juvenile diversion. The hope is to keep as many young people out of the justice system as possible by using restorative responses to incidents in schools and the community.
Important Restorative Justice Legal Reseach Tools
The first version is posted below for anyone who visits our website. Click on the the link below to download the Excel spreadsheet.
Restorative Justice Policy and Legislation Resource, Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, College of Law, Georgia State University, December 2014.
An updated second version of this database is now available to NACRJ Members after logging into the website. The new version is located under the "Resources" category under "Other Related Topics" ---> "Legislation-Laws".
Recently, CNCR produced a summary of proposed restorative justice legislation by state for the 2015 legislative year. That document is now attached below:
Proposed Restorative Justice Legislation by State 2015 (by CNCRJ June 2015)
Restorative Justice Conference Facilitator
Published: Thursday, 10 March 2016 10:30
Restorative Justice Conference Facilitator
Youth Restoration Project
Central Falls, RI
Become part of the growing and fascinating Restorative Justice movement! Help implement a systemic alternative to ineffective punishment for misbehaving youth.
Maintain a caseload of conferences including scheduling, pre-conferencing, conference facilitation, and conference follow-up. Pre-conferencing includes interviewing students, families, community members, school staff and others. Conference Facilitation includes facilitating a meeting to uncover the dynamics of the “the event” and to develop, with the group, a restitution plan of restoratively appropriate responses. Conference follow-up includes coordinating with school-based and external resources to implementation of the restitution plan. Train, model, and promote the YRP-RP conferencing method with individuals and groups in the school and community. This position requires residential and community visits.
- Schedules and facilitates conferences and ensures satisfactory results for all conferences.
- Facilitates conferences with, usually, 4 to 12 people.
- Manages self and empathizes with others in stressful situations.
- Makes presentations to and trains groups and individuals.
- Works well with in-school professionals and staff.
- Effectively and pro-actively report to Restorative Practices Implementation Manager.
- Ability to work with and assist the Restorative Practices Specialists Team as needed.
- Ability to work with and assist Restorative Practices Student Issues and Response Team as needed.
- Ability to work with and assist Restorative Practices Implementation Manager as needed.
- Bachelor’s degree required.
- Bilingual in English and Spanish preferred.
- Must have superb interpersonal skills and be highly organized.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
- Good computer skills including Microsoft Excel, email, website, school data system and project coordination software required.
- Possession of a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and proof of automobile insurance required.