Restorative Justice Project

Students in this clinic use restorative practices in both prisons and the community. They engage in victim-survivor initiated dialogue requests with offenders, typically in sensitive crimes and crimes of severe violence. Under the supervision of the project director, students help guide victim-survivors and offenders through the intensive preparation process culminating in one or more face-to-face meetings. This restorative process focuses on meeting victim-survivors’ needs and achieving offender accountability; the results can be transformative for all parties involved.

In addition to prison-based programming, students have the opportunity to address conflict and harm in neighborhoods and schools. By utilizing restorative practices, students provide positive alternatives to the criminal justice system and foster community.

Restorative justice acknowledges the depth and breadth of the harm caused by crime and violence, while seeking ways to address and repair it. Students choose project areas that they are passionate about, working with community members and organizations to respond to crime, violence and other issues.

Because of the complexity and duration of many victim-offender dialogue cases, the Restorative Justice Project requires a three-semester commitment.

Students begin their participation in the program at the beginning of the intersession near the end of May and work full-time (at least forty hours per week) for twelve weeks, receiving a stipend for half of their hours, and a total of 7 credits for the other half. Students also received a tuition remission for their summer credits. Students continue in the program during the academic year; the fall semester commitment is three to four clinical credits (twelve to sixteen hours per week), and the spring semester commitment is three to four clinical credits (twelve to sixteen hours per week).

For more information, contact Clinical Instructor Jonathan Scharrer at

Links to more resources:

Restorative Justice Online

Restorative Justice International (RJI)

The University of Minnesota Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking

Victim Offender Mediation Association

VOMA Recommended Ethical Guidelines (PDF)

The International Forgiveness Institute

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