"Reimagining Justice": A Virtual Restorative Justice Art Show

RJ Art Show

The National Center on Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School is thrilled to present Reimagining Justice, a virtual restorative justice art show!

The artists featured in this collection were asked to consider a very important question: How can we use the power of images to communicate the concept of restorative justice and the greater philosophical shift at work to a wider audience?

We received 23 submissions from around the world and were amazed by the creativity and insight of the artists. We hope that you enjoy exploring their work!

The Reimagining Justice Art Show will run from November 18th-22nd, 2020 in celebration of International Restorative Justice Week. At the end of the week, we will award three Viewer’s Choice Awards. After you visit the show, please take a moment to vote for your favorite image.

Click here to view the collection.

"Reimagining Justice": A Restorative Justice Art Contest

RJ art contest

How can we portray Restorative Justice through images?

Images play a powerful role in communicating complex ideas. Indeed, it is often said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

There are many images used to symbolize the retributive approach to justice-making including police handcuffs, prison bars, a courtroom, a judge’s gavel, and Lady Justice with her blindfold, sword, and scales.

There are comparatively very few images to symbolize the restorative approach to justice-making. The most common images used are of a handshake or a group of people seated in a circle, which do not communicate significant conceptual depth to someone new to restorative justice.

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April 11-20, 2021

Relational Schools: Guiding School Wide Restorative Transformation

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Global eConference for educators and school administrators who are dedicated to implementing proactive strategies for relational wellbeing for students, staff and parents

NACRJ is joining with the organizers of RJ World 2020 to enable multiple learning streams in a unique interactive social platform. Attendees will be able to hear presentations and panels that are tuned to beginner, intermediate or advanced levels.

Enjoy the 10 day event from the comfort of your own home or office. New presentations will be released each day - on-demand - to be viewed at your convenience for the remainder of the conference. Zoom panel sessions will be aired live and replayed 24x7.

Conferrence Program - LINK


NACRJ has secured a limited number of half price tickets to the upcoming Relational Schools World eConference in April. Now you and your colleagues can experience 10 days with leading international restorative specialists, enjoying presentations and live panels.

The first twenty tickets sold using NACRJ's unique URL (below) and the discount code "INSIDER" at checkout will receive a 50% discount


If you use this LINK to register, a portion of registration fees will be shared with NACRJ as a sponsor.

Vermont Law School Lands National RJ Center

pThis spring the Vermont Law School (VLS) was awarded a $3-million federal grant to create and host the National Center on Restorative Justice.

VLS will be coordinating new efforts for RJ educational opportunities and research initiatives that will help shape and move forward restorative practices in both criminal justice systems and educational institutions throughout the United States. Senator Patrick Leahy, long-time champion of justice reform, was instrumental in helping to secure the funding.

The National Center on Restorative Justice will be comprised of a partnership between three academic institutions. Vermont Law School is the only law school in the nation to offer a master’s degree in RJ as a stand-alone degree or in conjunction with a law degree. University of Vermont brings research expertise and an established program of educating incarcerated individuals. University of San Diego provides geographical diversity and extensive experience in delivering national RJ trainings and curriculum design.

Read more from the Vermont Law School. 

Publication of Colorizing Restorative Justice

Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities is now published and available from Living Justice Press. This anthology, with 18 chapters, engages issues of colonialization, racism, and systemic harm within the restorative justice movement.

CRJ FINAL.WEBFrom the introduction by editor Edward C. Valandra: “The twenty authors of color in this book raise unsettling issues about restorative 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

Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Relaties is now available from Living Justice Press, bookstores and other outlets.

Mark Umbreit Receives Social Work Award

Umbreit MarkDr. 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.

Denver Conference Audio Recordings

Motus FullColorVariant1 1One of the 'moving' highlights of the NACRJ Conference in Denver, Colorado, was a set of dramatic readings put on by Motus Theater. A group of seven people who experienced the harshness of our criminal justice system paired up with professionals in the justice system, jointly reading true life stories written by the 7 participants. Listen to a downloadable audio version of this presentation, and stay tuned for a forthcoming video version.

We now have 18 audio recordings from our Denver Conference!

Also featured during the conference was plenary speaker Adam Foss, a prosecutor from Boston who has also spoken in TED Talk circuits. Christina Swarns presented on "Us" As Victims, Survivors & Offenders: Strategic Advocacy with Restorative Justice Practices.

7th NACRJ Conference in Denver!

Denver NACRJ COnference LogoThis conference registration information is not active. Our 2022 Conference website is live here.

The 7th NACRJ Conference in Denver is upon us! We have already maxed out our attendance at 1500, but we hope to find ways to share the wealth of offerings to all NACRJ members throughout the summer.

Highlights of the conference include:

Opening address: Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis will welcome everyone on Friday, sharing about the increasing acceptance of restorative practices within justice systems, education and communities across Colorado.

Motus Theatre: On Saturday, in a theater piece called Restorative Stories, formerly incarcerated leaders will share their stories of justice system involvement and the impact on their lives as law enforcement leaders join them on stage for the reading.

The Flobots: A free evening concert Friday, provided by one of the most popular rock and hip-hop bands based in Denver.

Interview: In honor of Howard Zehr, Sheryl Wilson will share a video interview and reflection on the past, present and future of restorative justice practices.

Key note addresses from Adam Foss, Christina Swarns, Edward Valandra, Jasmyn Story and Juana Bordas and entertainment from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and Playback Theater West promise to inspire us all.

Look over this conference program (PDF) to see everything that will be happening.

Statement on Historical Harm Produced

Equal Justice Initiative Lynching Memorial in AlabamaLast 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.

Florida Holds Inaugural RJ Conference

DSC 0201The Florida Restorative Justice Association held its inaugural statewide conference on September 28th and 29th on the campus of USF-Sarasota. This endeavor was largely funded through a generous mini-grant from NACRJ. The 108 attendees included significant numbers of educators and students, law enforcement and judicial system folks, public administrators at state and local levels, community resource providers (in mediation, trauma informed care, etc) and racial/social justice organizers – from many parts of Florida.

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