The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) employs principles of social and restorative justice seeking transformation in the ways justice questions related to injustice, incivility, conflict, crime and harm are addressed. It promotes effective forms of justice that are safe, just, equitable, sustainable, reparative and socially constructive. NACRJ serves as the parent organization for the biannual National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice. It provides supports for members as well as the field by making information, resources and networking opportunities readily available.
"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.
We wish to extend our sadness along with our solidarity for all peoples of Sri Lanka who now mourn the tragic loss of life due to the recent Easter bombings in several cities of that country. The devastating impact to hundreds of families is beyond imagination. We grieve with you.
Certainly the trauma of such unpredictable violence is magnified by the memories of the recent 26-year old civil war which for many can make it all the more difficult to make sense out of the senseless. Our hope is that restorative responses can bring both healing and empowerment to those most affected. We recognize too that authors such as Iromi Dharmawardhane have already pioneered the way for the possibility of implementing restorative measures that can even help rehabilitate those who have been schooled in the ways of violence. (See her article, “Sri Lanka’s Post-Conflict Strategy: Restorative Justice for Rebels and Rebuilding of Conflict-affected Communities.”)
On the 30th anniversary of the production of Dennis Maloney’s seminal work, “The Balanced Approach,” the Juvenile and Family Court Journal has now issued a set of articles this spring that revisit the beginnings and spread of what has largely been known, over the years, as BARJ.
Included in this journey is a recent article by co-authors Sandra Pavelka and Douglas Thomas, “Evolution of Balanced and Restorative Justice," which creatively takes the reader through the hypothetical experiences of youth offender Joey who navigates a complex justice system that may or may not include a balanced approach.
Maloney (for whom one the NACRJ award categories is named after), along with other colleagues, came up with the balanced triad of accountability for victims, competencies of offenders, and protection for communities, as a way to encapsulate the thrust of restorative justice as it was unfolding in the 1990s in the realm of criminal justice for youth offenders.
Every April the Office for Victims of Crime, based in Washington, D.C., helps to promote National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This years theme is “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.” To learn more about award recipients for those who have done notable work in serving victims or advancing the field of victim services, you can visit the OVC website. Also check out the NCVRW Resource Guide that has promotional artwork you can download.
NACRJ is glad to stand with all workers in the realm of victim advocacy and victim rights, recognizing that the restorative justice emphasis on victim needs blends very well with responses that are relational, trauma-informed, and which promote deep resolution.
Last spring during NACRJ's strategic planning meeting, the board determined to write a positioning statement on Historical Harm which is now fully posted on our website. A positioning statement helps NACRJ to 'position' itself within the currents of modern society where ideas and trends present new challanges as well as new opportunities. By defining our association with respect to the theme of historical harm, the NACRJ is able to not only express greater sensitivity to communities affected by long-standing harm, but also able to promote new initiatives that specifically address historical harm in powerful, constructive, and humane ways.
As a member-driven organization, we certainly invite your thoughts and comments on this issue as we grow in our understandings and responses to historical harm.