Bert Thompson Pioneer Award for Faith-Based Community and Restorative Justice


Bert Thompson Award
Bert Thompson Pioneer Award

The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice will honor the memory of Bert Thompson with an award in his name. The award shall recognize individuals who embody the characteristics that Bert Thompson brought to his work to broaden the application of community and restorative justice principles and practices.

Bert Thompson embodied unwavering faith; his community and restorative justice work reflected his faith-filled efforts. He lived his faith.

Community and restorative justice thrive when community partnerships and collaborative networks are created with synergy and connectivity. Bert Thompson lived this principle as a consummate networker. His successes were the result of partnerships with people of many faiths to promote peace and justice. His efforts were to reintegrate offenders and assist victims through faith–based applications of community and restorative justice principles and practices.

Servant leadership and volunteerism were reflected in Bert’s life as he worked tirelessly simply for the satisfaction of being useful as a servant to his community and to the restorative justice movement. Mr. Thompson was a role model, mentor, and encourager urging people toward greater personal involvement in their communities. His work was to connect people and employ community and restorative justice principles and practice as to help others.

Vision and “forward” thinking combined with faith driven optimism described Bert’s desire to see that community and restorative justice principles and practices become integral problem solving strategies for individuals and their communities. Bert was a statesman, finding common interests that often brought opposites together by focusing on strategies to build safer, more livable communities that spend less on justice systems.

Award Criteria:

  • The nominee for the award must have a record of important and sustained contributions to the faith-based programs and services that deliver community and restorative justice practices that produce safer and more livable communities.
  • The nominee’s life work should reflect leadership in the community as well as the restorative justice movement.
  • The nominee’s efforts in faith-based programs should reflect an ideal of encouragement to those offenders to reinvent their lives after imprisonment.
  • The nominee’s acts should embody steadfast faith and idealism.
  • The nominee’s successes in the community and the prison system should reveal examples of guidance, encouragement, and an ability to be a role model.
  • The nominee’s background should include volunteerism, leadership, and the capability to interact with a variety of individuals.
  • The nominee’s biography should include examples of innPovation.

2015 Recipient

Scott Wood, JD, Professor of Law, Founder of the Loyola Law School Center for Restorative Justice

IMG 2027 RSG Cropped Prof. Scott Wood receives the Bert Thompson Award Faith Based Program from Pres. Mark Umbreit

Professor Scott Wood is an unsung hero of restorative justice in Los Angeles. He has played a leadership role in his faith community for many years on promoting restorative justice in schools, courts, prisons, re-entry programs, as well as policy and sentencing reform. Scott has served as the Chair of the Board of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative, as the Founder of the Loyola Law School Center for Restorative Justice, a leader in the Southern California Catholics Against the Death Penalty, in the promotion of Proposition 34 to end the Death Penalty, in the exoneration case of Francisco Carrillo, Jr. after 20 years of wrongful imprisonment, and an organizer for American Martyrs Catholic Parish in Manhattan Beach, CA – including 2 mission trips to visit prisoners in Guatemala, including the coordination of a visit to Guatemala by Fr. Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries. Scott has overcome numerous health challenges in the past years and yet remains a strong voice of the LA faith community for restorative justice.

2013 - Not Awarded


2011 Recipient


Alexander McLean, JD, African Prisons Project, London, UK and Kampala, Uganda.


2009 Recipient

John Sage, Founder & Executive Director, Bridges to Life, Houston, TX.

National Conferences

The next National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice will be in Oakland, CA on June 16-18, 2017 with a pre-conference training session on June 15, 2017- SAVE THE DATES.

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You may submit nominations for NACRJ awards using our Award Nominations online form. Deadline for nominations EXTENDED to April 30, 2017.

Check out past National Conferences on Restorative Jusitice (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015) from the Conferences tab.

Post Conference Training Opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area (June 19, 2017 and June 20-23 & 26-29, 2017)

Bert Thompson Award
John Sage receives Bert Thompson Pioneer Award

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