CONSTITUTION (Revision 1.0)
ARTICLE I – ORGANIZATION NAME
The name of this organization shall be the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice. The acronym for this organization is NACRJ.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSES
This non-profit organization shall foster excellence in the practice, education, research, and training of restorative and community justice. This will be accomplished by providing a professional association for educators, practitioners and others interested in these fields. The primary means to fulfill this purpose are educational and will be carried out through the bi-annual (or annual) the National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice (previously the National Conference on Restorative Justice; hereafter referred to as “The National Conference”), a membership accessible website, and access to relevant information sources. The Association will use principles of social justice, restorative justice and community justice to assist educators, practitioners and others to seek transformation in the ways that justice questions are addressed within the United States. The Association will promote effective forms of justice that are equitable, sustainable and socially constructive.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The membership of the NACRJ shall include the following categories: (1) regular members, (2) student members, (3) institutional members, (4) sustaining members, (5) honorary members, and (6) life members.
Section 2. REGULAR MEMBERS: Regular membership shall include any individual paying regular or sustaining membership dues or designated as a regular member by an institutional member, who supports the purposes of the NACRJ as outlined in Article II, and does not fall within, or chooses not to identify with any other categories of membership as defined in Sections 3-6, below.
Section 3. STUDENT MEMBERS: Student membership shall be open to any full time or part time student who is currently enrolled at an institution of higher education who supports the purposes of the NACRJ as outlined in Article II, and whose enrollment is certified or documented by the institution.
Section 4. INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERS: Institutional membership shall be available to any public or private institution which supports the purposes of the NACRJ. An institutional member may designate up to five of its personnel as regular members for a single institutional membership. Where there are multiple locations of the institution in different cities, states on nations), each location must apply individually for institutional membership.
Section 5. SUSTAINING MEMBERS: Sustaining membership shall be open to any person, company, corporation, or partnership interested in or supportive of community justice, restorative justice and the purpose of the NACRJ. The purpose of the sustaining membership is to provide financial support to the NACRJ through the membership fee.
Section 6. HONORARY MEMBERS: Any individual who has served the NACRJ or the fields of community and restorative justice with honor and distinction may be elected an honorary member upon nomination by the Executive Council and unanimous vote of the Board of Directors of the NACRJ.
Section 7. LIFE MEMBERS: Lifetime memberships shall be open to any regular member.
Section 8. APPLICATION PROCEDURES: Application for membership in the NACRJ shall be submitted on the form prescribed by the Executive Director.
Section 9. DUES: The annual dues for all categories of membership shall be set by the Board of Directors upon recommendation by the Advisory Council and the President. Dues are payable annually to the Treasurer by a date approved by the Board of Directors upon recommendation by the President. Nonpayment of dues constitutes termination of membership, and such individuals or institutions must reapply for membership. Reduced membership rates or free memberships and trial memberships may be offered during recruitment drives if recommended by the President and approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 10. VOTING PRIVILEGES: Only regular members of the NACRJ who have paid dues for the current year shall have voting privileges on all matters presented to the membership for a vote. Life members, honorary members and regular members affiliated with an institutional member are included among those who have voting privileges.
Section 11. RESIGNATIONS: Resignations of membership shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Director.
ARTICLE IV - OFFICERS
Section 1. The officers of the NACRJ shall be a President, a First Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and Immediate Past President. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by this Constitution and By-Laws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the NACRJ, as prescribed in Article IX. Other officers may be added upon amendment of the constitution and by-laws for the NACRJ.
Section 2. The officers of the NACRJ must be regular members eligible to vote and shall be elected in accordance with the rules of election contained in the NACRJ by-laws.
Section 3. No officer except the Treasurer may serve consecutive terms in the same office.
Section 4. Nothing in Article IV, Section 3 shall preclude a person elected to fulfill the unexpired partial term of another officer from running for election to a full term.
Section 5. Officers of the NACRJ shall hold office until their successors shall be duly elected and qualified.
Section 6. The President shall preside at the General Meeting of the membership at the National Conference or at any special meeting of the NACRJ. The President shall work with the Executive Director to manage the day to day activities of the NACRJ and ensure that required reports by the Secretary and Treasurer are prepared in a timely manner. The President serves as the Chairperson for the Board of Directors. The President is responsible for identifying future conference sites and recruiting Lead Organizers. The next conference site and Lead Organizer are to be announced at the National Conference.
Section 7. The First Vice-President shall preside at the General Meeting of the membership at the National Conference or any special meetings of the NACRJ in the absence, disability, suspension or removal of the President. The First Vice-President shall automatically succeed to the office of President should the President be unable to complete the elected term of office. The First Vice-President shall serve as an Ex-Officio (non-voting) member of the Board of Directors. In addition, the First Vice-President shall serve as President for the term following promotion to the office of First Vice-President.
Section 8. The Secretary shall record the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and the General Meeting of the NACRJ membership; forward such minutes to the President and Executive Director for distribution to the officers and the Advisory Council members; prepare a summary of the minutes for the meetings of the Board of Directors and the General Meetings for publication on the NACRJ website. In addition, the Secretary will conduct an annual online search to update the recruitment data base with websites and practitioner organizations oriented toward restorative and community justice; as well as with higher education institutes and degree programs or certificate programs related to these areas of interest. The Secretary will annually contact these organizations and entities by email with information about the NACRJ, membership and upcoming events.
The Secretary shall also: (a) prepare annual reports for the Executive Director and the Board of Directors; (b) prepare electronic ballots; (c) report balloting results to the Board of Directors, President and the membership; (d) serve as board liaison to standing and ad hoc committees as necessary; and, (e) perform all duties as assigned.
Section 9. The Treasurer shall receive, transfer, and disperse all monies; maintain fiscal records for the NACRJ; and provide periodic financial reports as determined by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall prepare and submit all yearly tax statements, as well as an annual written report on the financial status of the NACRJ for President, Board of Directors and the membership. The Treasurer shall also present a financial report at the General Meeting during the National Conference.
Section 10. The Advisory Council shall be composed of at least five members, elected at large, but representing various subfields of community and restorative justice and any regional organizations of the NACRJ. Advisory Council members serve as advisors to the President, Board of Directors and the Executive Director. Advisory Council members shall select a Chair (or Co-Chairs) and a Secretary. The Chair (or Co-Chairs) attend meetings of the Board of Directors as ex-officio members. Advisory Council members communicate with the membership; serve on committees; recruit new members; assist in NACRJ operations; and perform other duties that may be assigned.
Section 11. The Immediate Past President shall chair the Nominations and Elections Committee, select the members of the committee, solicit nominations from the membership, prepare a slate of candidates for bi-annual elections for officers and Board of Directors, oversee the election process, verify election results, report the outcome of the vote to the Board of Directors, and perform all other duties that may be assigned.
Section 12. Any officer may be suspended from office by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors and may be removed from office by two-thirds vote of the regular members in a recall election conducted electronically or conducted at the General Meeting held at NACRJ national conferences.
ARTICLE V – MEETINGS
Section 1. GENERAL MEETING: The site of the General Meetings is tied to the location of the National Conference and shall be identified by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. General Meetings may be scheduled several years in advance. Exact dates may be set by the host institution(s) as approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS: The President shall have the power to call a Special Meeting of the Officers and Board of Directors upon reasonable notice and in date, place or in a manner mutually acceptable to those involved. The Board of Directors shall have the power to call a Special Meeting of the membership during the National Conference with a minimum of 30 days advance notice through the website.
Section 3. A quorum for membership meetings shall be the number of regular members present and voting. However, no decisions at membership meeting that affects official policies of the NACRJ shall become operative until that decision has been reported to the Board of Directors, referred by the Board of Directors for an electronic vote of the full membership and approved by a majority of the members who vote.
ARTICLE VI - THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. The members of the Board of Directors of the NACRJ include the President, Executive Director, Immediate Past President and four regular members of the NACRJ elected at large. The First Vice-President shall be an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the Board of Directors.
Section 2. The Board of Directors shall have general supervision of the affairs of the NACRJ between General Meetings. The Board of Directors shall set the date, hour, place or a mutually acceptable manner for each meeting, make recommendations to the membership, and perform such other duties as are specified by the Constitution and By-Laws. The Board of Directors shall be subject to the constitution, by-laws and decisions of the membership; and, none of its acts shall conflict with these governing structures.
Section 3. The President of the NACRJ shall serve as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors.
Section 4. The Board of Directors shall be the policy-making body of the NACRJ subject to the provisions of Article VI, Section 2. It shall fill all offices vacated between elections by using procedures consistent with those defined in Article 1, Section 9 of the By-Laws. It shall prepare an annual budget for the NACRJ. It has the power to appoint, hire, fire and evaluate the Executive Director. The Chairperson shall provide general oversight and assistance to the Lead Organizer and host committee for each National Conference.
Section 5. The NACRJ Board of Directors shall bring together a Council of Elders from the fields of community and restorative justice comprised of pioneers and senior practitioners, academicians and researchers in these fields. A seat on the Council of Elders is an honor based on the respect earned and wisdom gained through that elder’s career. The Council of Elders ensures that the history, core values, principles, lessons learned, and best practices are retained and passed to the next generation of leaders, researchers, academics and practitioners in the fields of community and restorative justice. Sitting on the Council of Elders does not preclude holding other positions of leadership within the NACRJ.
Section 6. Any regular member may submit a proposed resolution, in writing, to the Board of Directors, and it shall be mandatory that the Chairperson include it as an agenda item for consideration at the next meeting of the Board of Directors. Such a resolution must be received at least thirty (30) days prior to a scheduled General Meeting of the membership.
Section 7. Minutes shall be kept of all meetings of the Board of Directors, and its actions shall be reported to the membership at each General Meeting of the membership.
Section 8. A quorum of the Board of Directors shall consist of one-half of the voting members plus one.
ARTICLE VII – SECTIONS, CHAPTERS AND AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS
Specialized sections, regional chapters and affiliate organizations may be established upon approval by the Board of Directors. Before sections, chapters and affiliate organizations may be officially established, policies and procedures for their formation, governance and relationship to NACRJ must be developed and approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 1. SPECIALIZED SECTIONS: Specialized sections are composed of NACRJ members with particular areas of interest or specialization in common (e.g., school based restorative discipline, community justice practices, circle processes, victim-offender mediation/conferencing, etc.). Sections are a creation of the NACRJ and all section members must be current members of the NACRJ.
Section 2. CHAPTERS: Chapters are creations of the NACRJ and are geographically related (county, state, region). All active chapter members must be current members of the NACRJ.
Section 3. AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: Affiliate organizations are not creations of the NACRJ. They may be any organization with a compatible mission, interests and values seeking a formal relationship with the NACRJ. Affiliate organizations are not “Institutional” members. Each affiliate organization must maintain one active “Regular” membership for a person in a key leadership position (i.e., officers, board of directors, etc.) each membership year. Through individual membership(s) an affiliate organization may access member web-based resources and express its point of view on governance issues. An affiliate organization may enroll as an “Institutional” member at any time.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Section 1. The NACRJ will maintain the following Standing Committees:
a. Constitution and By-Laws
c. Nominations and Elections
d. National Conference Oversight.
f. Budget, Finance, and Audit
g. Assessments & Evidence Based Practices
Section 2. The President may establish various Ad Hoc Committees and appoint their members and chairpersons.
Section 3. The President shall appoint the chairpersons of all Committees.
Section 4. The Immediate Past President shall serve as Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee.
Section 5. The First Vice-President, in conjunction with the chair of each standing committee, shall appoint the members of the respective standing committee.
Section 6. Any member of any standing or ad hoc committee must be a regular member of the NACRJ.
ARTICLE IX - PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The preferred approach to decision making within the NACRJ is consensus whenever possible as it is consistent the values and principles of both restorative and community justice. When needed, the NACRJ will employ the rules contained in the latest edition of Robert’s Rule of Order as the guiding framework for decision making. The NACRJ may adopt different decision making rules upon proper amendment of the constitution and by-laws.
ARTICLE X - AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the active members of the NACRJ voting on the amendment. This vote must be taken in accordance with election policies specified in the By-Laws and adopted by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XI - INTERPRETATION OF CONSTITUTION
In case of a question on the meaning of any language in this document, the questions shall be referred to the Chair, Constitution and By-Laws Committee for interpretation of the language and/or provision in question. An interpretation of the provision in question shall be documented in writing and included in the official records of the NACRJ. Additionally, if the Board of Directors deems it appropriate or necessary the written interpretation shall be formally filed with Secretary as an appendix to the Constitution and By-Laws.
ARTICLE XII – DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS
In the case of dissolution of the NACRJ any remaining assets after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the corporation, the remaining assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. In the spirit of the purpose of the NACRJ assets should be distributed to a public university, college, or private non-profit organization engaged in the education or practice of community and/or restorative justice in order to continue advancing the development of theory, research and practice of these related fields of justice.