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"
To the Victims of the Attack in Nice, France
July 16, 2016
Our hearts are once again broken by the staggering violence carried out in a terrorist inspired act. This time in Nice, France during Bastille Day celebrations in which 84 people were killed. We are in solidarity with the victims, their families, the citizens of Nice, and all of France. We are with you - you are in our thoughts and prayers.
We are commited to building safe, just, equitable and inclusive communities that are grounded in care, respect and dignity created through community and interpersonal dialogue.
A Painful Couple of Weeks
The week of July 4, 2016 was heart breaking. On Tuesday (July 5, 2016) Alton Sterling, a father of five, was killed by a police officer in Baton Rouge, LA in a confrontation over selling CD's outside a convenience store. The next day (July 6, 2016) Philando Castile was shot and killed by an officer in Falcon Heights, MN (a suburb of Minneapolis) after a traffic stop for a broken tail light. They were loved and their lives mattered.
Then on Thursday evening (July 7, 2016) there was a mass shooting that killed five police officers -- Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith and Lorne Ahrens and wounded seven other officers -- in Dallas, TX -- as they ran toward the danger, doing their job and serving their community. They were loved and their lives mattered.
The ambush came as thousands of demonstrators began to disperse at the end of a peaceful day protesting police violence. Their march against police use of force had been been protected by police. It was then that the shots rang out - killing and wounding the officers. The evidence now suggests that the shooter's motivation may have been revenge against the police for the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and other people of color killed in confrontations with police over the years.
On July 17 there was a second ambush of police that left three officers dead and three more wounded. The officers killed were Montrell L. Jackson, Matthew Gerald, and Brad Garafola. The shooter's motivation appears to be revenge for police violence. He deliberately and intentionally targeted police officers. These officers were serving their community. They were family men with children. The youngest, Montrell Jackson, had a four month old son. They were loved. They were respected by their community. They deserved to come home that day.
We understand that police on occasion need to use force, even lethal force, in response to an immediate threat to public safety. We know that most officers exercise their authority judiciously - in a careful, respectful, thoughtful and responsible manner. We need them.
Yet, these realities should not blind us to injustice committed in the name of "justice" when force, particularly lethal force, is used in questionable, excessive or unnecessary ways by someone wearing a badge. This is particularly important with lethal force which disproportionately impacts people of color. Responsible citizenship calls on us to speak out, demonstrate and challenge disparate impacts of policing and the criminal justice system as a whole. This is what the demonstrators in Dallas were doing when the shots by the sniper rang out.
Read more ...
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)
Program Coordinator & Field Director/Analyst Positions
Published: Wednesday, 22 June 2016 23:32
Seeking to Fill Two Positions
The Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue (IRJRD)
Location: University of Texas, Austin, TX
Application Screening Starts - July 1, 2016
Screening Continues Until the Positions are Filled
A. Program Coordinator
Purpose: Assist the IRJRD Director in developing and implementing restorative justice in Texas.
Essential Functions (see the full list in the attached job ad):
1. Coordinate restorative justice training of school administrators and Restorative Justice Coordinators at Education Service Centers in Texas.
2. Provide consultation to campuses/districts implementing school based restorative justice.
3. Write grants and develop mechanisms for supporting Restorative Matters, the training arm of IRJRD.
Master's degree in field of specialization or equivalent experience. Four years of related experiences with a Ph. D. degree or six years of experience with a Master's degree or eight years of experience with a Bachelor's degree. Equivalien combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.
Graduate degree in education, social work, law, criminal justice, conflict resolution, or related field. Previous experience with restorative justice, special education, primary and secondary schools, and juvenile justice plus training and curriculum development background. Strong organizational skills, self-motivated, detail oriented, superior written and oral communication skills, and community-based orientation.
Salary Range: $45-$55K (negotiable)
Click Here to Apply through the UTA Job Posting Site
B. Field Director/Analyst
Purposes: (1) Director training for IRJRD and (2) Serve as trainer in developing and implementing restoratve justice at the local, state and national level.
Essential Functions (see the full list in the attached job ad):
1. Manage requests for training and consultation including budget preparation, personnel and training agendas.
2. Develop partnerships with educators and other stakeholders to ensure training matches need and program implementation.
3. Market restorative justice training opportunities at local, state and national levels.
Bachelor's degree in field of specialization or equivalent experience. Four years of related experience with a Ph. D. degree or six years of experience with a Master's degree or eight years of experience with a Bachelor's degree. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.
Previous experience with restorative justice in educational settings, extensive restorative justice training background with diverse populations, experience working with school and districk adminstrators and teachers, and training curriculum development. Strong organizational skills, self-motivated, detail oriented, superior written and oral communication skills, and communit-based orientation.
Salary Range: $42-$45K (negotiable)
Click Here to Apply through the UTA Job Posting Site