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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International Conference Comes to Minnesota

save the date wp e1530558612748 800x891On August 9-11, 2018, the 7th Restorative Practices International (RPI) Conference will be held in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. RPI is primarily an Australian-based organization that is now partnering around the globe in the effort to promote restorative practices in all realms of societal life, including schools, communities, and criminal justice systems. NACRJ is glad to promote this conference as one of many sponsors, since RPI is a membership-based organization with similar vision and mission to NACRJ. View the keynote sessions and program listings for this conference at this webpage. There is still time to register, too.

Results - 2018 Board of Directors Election


Over the last month NACRJ Members voted on candidates for two open "At Large" positions on the Board of Directors.  It was a historical election because it was the first one where we had a slate of competitive candidates competing for the open positions. 

We congratulate Teiahsha Bankhead and Lee Rush who were elected.  Their three year term of office begins on June 15, 2018.   

While Morris Jenkins, Jalyn Roe and Joe Brummer were not elected we are deeply grateful to them for their service and their willingness to stand for election.  We know that each of them will continue to serve the mission and vision of NACRJ as we develop the association.

Morris Jenkins has served on the Board since the founding of the association.  For the last five years, he has been a thoughtful and steady voice on the Leadership Team.  He is deeply respected and valued. He will be missed. 

Morris - for all you have done to guide and develop NACRJ into the vibrant association we have become - THANK YOU!!   

Condolences to Victims of Recent Mass Shootings

Buffalo, NY & Uvalde, TX - Devastating Mass Violence and Loss

 Our Deepest Condolences

Buffalo, NY - On Saturday (May 14, 2022), an 18 year old white male, motivated by "white supremacist" beliefs killed 10 people and wounded 3 others in a mass shooting at a grocery store in East Buffalo, NY. The neighborhood was targeted because it has a significant African American population and the store served as a focal point for the attack. Over months of preparation, he had written a long personal manifesto expressing ardently held white supremacist beliefs. He obtained weapons, ammunition and body armor. He developed the capacity to live stream the attack as he carried it out. On the day of the attack, he drove 200+ miles to a specific store for a specific purpose. This was a hate-driven act of domestic terrorism. Our heart breaks for the families of these 13 people.

Uvalde, TX - On Tuesday (May 25, 2022) a lonely and misled 18 year old male, armed with a legally-purchased rifle and body armor, entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX and opened fire in a classroom killing 19 children and 2 adults, and wounding many others. In addition to having been bullied over a childhood speech impediment, he came from a troubled home life and lashed out violently against peers and strangers in recent years. Prior to the shooting at Robb Elementary, he shot and critically wounded his grandmother at home. Police intervened in the shooting, and the he was fatally shot on site. We express great empathy for the families of the students and teachers that we lost.

These were deliberate, well-planned, and horrific acts of violence. We stand in solidarity with these communities against hate in all forms. We call on community leaders and legislators to take action in advocating for laws and policies that improve gun control, access to mental health services, and anti-bullying and anti-violence interventions. In the face of such tragedies and immense human loss we offer our thoughts, prayers and deep condolences to the victims, their families, and their communities. 

Night Demonstration Against Hate Charlottesville Cropped 8 12 2017

Mapping US Peacemakers

Mapping US Peacemakers

usa mapIn an effort to understand our collective power as peacemakers the United States, Communities in Transition (CIT) and PeaceTech Lab are mapping the location of conflict transformation practitioners, mediators, dialogue facilitators, circle holders, religious peacemakers, non-violent communication, interest-based negotiators, restorative justice practitioners and other practitioners and peacemaking organizations residing in the U.S. If you, or your organization, work in the United States to guide processes that bring people together to resolve any matter through dialogueplease consider adding your information to the online map.


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  1. Our Condolences