Thalia González, 2022 Recipient of Dr. Bazemore Research/Journalism Award

Thalia Bazemore

NACRJ endorses, encourages and supports both well-designed academic research and thorough, unbiased investigative journalism that explores applications of community and restorative justice that contribute to the development of safe, just and equitable communities. At its biennial conference, NACRJ periodically recognizes accomplishments by journalists and academic researchers with its Research/Journalism Award. Going forward, the award will be named in memory of Dr. Gordon Bazemore.

This year’s recipient is Thalia González, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law where she holds a Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair. She is also a Senior Scholar in the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center where she leads national research and policy advocacy on restorative justice, and is the author of more than 40 academic publications and currently an editor of the North American Volume of the International Encyclopedia of Restorative Justice (forthcoming 2023).

Learn more about Professor González, Dr. Gordon Bazemore, and the Research/Journalism Award. 

Scholarship Awards 2022 NACRJ Conference

NACRJ takes great pride in providing scholarship funding to groups and individuals to attend our biannual Conference. This year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to award over $60,000 in scholarship funding to more than 65 individuals and groups. Thank you to all who donated and who continue to donate to NACRJ - we would not be where we are today without you!


2022 Conference Attendance

The NACRJ Conference has experienced incredible growth since its inception 15 years ago. The July 2022 conference attendance numbers exceeded expectations. With 1,707 registered attendees, this year's event in Chicago was the largest NACRJ conference to date! Attendees came from near and far to connect (and re-connect!) with one another. From the most rural areas of the country to the most urban, people came together to be in community, to learn, and to motivate one another. We are so grateful for the beautiful enrichment that attendees brought to the conference.

49 states and 9 countries

Attendance Graphic

Celebrating Chicago

Celebrating Chicago

The NACRJ Conference was held July 6-9, 2022 in Chicago, IL. Over the next several months we will be sharing highlights and celebrating the many wonderful aspects of the conference. Stay tuned - we promise you there is much to celebrate!

NACRJ Circles

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NACRJ Executive Director Joel Friesz will be leading virtual Circles for NACRJ members and the RJ community. These Circles will provide an opportunity for those working and living in restorative and community justice spaces to listen, learn from and support each other. The purpose of these Circles is to provide a space where NACRJ members can step away from their busy daily lives and come together in a safe and healing space.

Check out our Programs page to sign up for upcoming Circles. Additional dates will be scheduled monthly. To be notified of future dates, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Scholarships for the 8th NACRJ Conference

A limited amount of donor support for scholarships to attend the 8th NACRJ Conference has been received for historically marginalized groups: BIPOC, formerly incarcerated persons, at risk young adults 18-25, youth from LGBTQ+ communities, victims and survivors, and people needing accommodations to attend and meaningfully participate in conference sessions.

Application Deadline: April 30, 2022 (11:59 pm PT). Submit your application as soon as possible.

We will start a rolling review and decision process by April 8, 2022. Award notifications will be sent during the month of April.

Click Here for the Online Scholarship Application.

President Wilson introduces Joel Friesz as Executive Director

Jan. 31, 2022

Dear NACRJ Members,

Last year when National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) founding Executive Director Michael Gilbert announced his retirement, the NACRJ Board quickly began a national search for the next Executive Director. While Mike has generously given his time as a contractor all these years, we are thrilled to now be able to install the first official employee of the organization. This is truly a momentous achievement as we have generated the funding and infrastructure necessary to support this position.

It gives me great joy to announce Joel Friesz as the next Executive Director of NACRJ. Joel is no stranger to the association, as he has been a Board member for several years and, up until his hire, has tirelessly served on the NACRJ Board as Treasurer since 2017. In addition, Joel has had a long history as a restorative justice practitioner, trainer and educator in North Dakota and throughout the Midwest. To learn more about Joel and his work in the field, please click here.

As I mentioned, we are making history at NACRJ. This feat could not have been accomplished without the hard work and support of our Board, and especially the hiring committee: chair Teiahsha Bankhead, Mara Schiff and myself. There is more to come as we will continue to expand both our Board and our NACRJ staff this year, so stay tuned for more great changes.

When you get time, please reach out to Joel to congratulate him. If you haven’t met him yet, I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about his enthusiasm for the work and for the association. His warm demeanor and welcoming spirit is infectious. Otherwise, you can meet him at the upcoming NACRJ conference in Chicago.

I am grateful for all the ways we are growing as an organization, and I ask each of you to stay connected and be well until we see each other (virtually or in person), again.

Until then, please take good care of yourselves and your communities.


Sheryl R. Wilson

Sheryl R. Wilson, NACRJ President