- In the News
The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice promotes effective forms of justice that are safe, just, equitable, sustainable, reparative and socially constructive, addressing not only crime, but conflict, incivility, injustice and all forms of harm. NACRJ hosts the biennial National Conference of Community and Restorative Justice, and provides supports for members.
"Shaping Justice for the 21st Century"
We envision a safe and equitable world where restorative interactions transform individuals, relationships, communities and systems through the prevention, repair and deep healing of harm.
We advance community and restorative justice as a social movement by serving people and organizations committed to building community and addressing harm. NACRJ provides guidance and support to establish high quality practices with fidelity to restorative principles.
Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities is now slated for a June 2020 release from Living Justice Press. This anthology, with 18 chapters, engages issues of colonialization, racism, and systemic harm within the restorative justice movement.
From the introduction by editor Edward C. Valandra: “The twenty authors of color in this book raise unsettling issues about restorative justice...as situated in white supremacist settler societies that sustain deep roots in European invasion and colonizing. The contradiction between restorative practices and the Western, white supremacist, settler societies in which we practice them is inherent. We People of Color and Indigenous Peoples have not created the contradiction. It is there. But we collectively experience this contradiction in ways Whites do not. We feel an urgency about addressing this contradiction that our White settler colleagues seem not to perceive or express. We also feel an urgency about critically informing communities of color and Indigenous communities that this contradiction, while not of our making or choosing, is one we negotiate in restorative justice.”
In this book, older voices join with new voices. “It is my hope that (these voices) land on ears willing to hear their wisdom that will enrich and perhaps even transform the RJ journey, even when the wisdom is uncomfortable.” - Harley Eagle
NACRJ will announce again when the book is available for purchase.
San Francisco’s newest District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, is promoting restorative justice options for all victims of crime. "I want to give every victim of every crime in San Francisco the right to participate in restorative justice if they choose to," he said. "It's going to take time, and it's going to take work, and we're going to have to see how many victims want to engage in the process. Some won't, but this is about putting victims first."
As reported in a 5-minute NPR feature on All Things Considered, Boudin's reformist views were shaped by his personal story. Like more than half of all Americans, he has an immediate family member behind bars. "Years now, decades, of visiting my parents behind bars taught me hard lessons about how...devoid of compassion [the criminal justice system] is. It's not healing the harm that victims experience. It's not rehabilitating people. And in many ways, it's making us less safe."
Dr. Mark Umbreit, past NACRJ president, was recently ranked among 50 notable social workers in United States history. This was announced by the International Association of Schools of Social Work. Mark was also ranked among the 50 most influential contemporary social work faculty in the U.S., by the Journal of Social Service Research based on the depth and range (throughout U.S. and 29 countries) of his restorative justice practice, teaching, research, and publication of 11 books and more than 200 other publications, including many training videos and films. In 1994, he founded the first university-based center for restorative justice in the U.S. the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota.
A recent NPR radio report on October 10, 2019, by Tovia Smith presented a new perspective that is not heard too often: "Growing Efforts Are Looking At How - Or If - #MeToo Offenders Can Be Reformed" (listen to the 7-minute audio version). This report features a man who voluntarily offered to be a surrogate offender in several "vicarious restorative justice" dialogue processes that included women who had been victimized by sexual assault.
Assisting these opportunities is a professor from Cal State University, Fullerton, Alissa Ackerman, who also teaches a course called "Sex, Crime, and Culture." As a proponent of restorative justice, Ackerman has extensively researched how sexual offendering can benefit from appropriate conversations. "No matter what somebody has done, no matter what somebody has experienced, their voice is important in understanding why it happens and what survivors need."
A powerful example of this work is now presented through a TED Talk, "Our Story of Rape and Reconciliation," which involves a man who took full responsibility for the harm he caused on his former girlfriend.