The Restorative Justice (RJ) Workshop examines philosophical restorative approaches to address harm, support healing for victims and communities, and build relational health. Although RJ is increasingly being used in the American criminal justice system, as well in school and community disputes, its roots are found in various indigenous cultures and faith traditions. Through simulated problems and group projects, the students will explore examples of RJ processes that have been designed to help people heal from genocides, to address racial inequities, to ameliorate community conflicts, among others. The workshop will focus not only on the historical and philosophical roots of the movement, but also on widespread international use. By working in teams, students will design various RJ techniques, including victim/offender conferencing, victim/family conferencing, victim impact panels, and/or Native American based circles, among others. By creating a project for the course, the students will have the opportunity to examine the current trends in the integration of RJ into the American criminal and juvenile justice systems while examining both the Constitutional and practical barriers that might arise.
The Restorative Justice Clinic is the experiential component of Marquette Law School’s Andrew Center for Restorative Justice. This is an in-house Law School clinic for which academic credit is awarded and which is comprised of both an academic component and a fieldwork component.
The official course description is as follows:
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CLINIC: Under the direction of the professor, Restorative Justine clinical students will help design and implement restorative approaches to assist Milwaukee academic, governmental and/or community groups address specific conflicts or challenges. For example, students may work with prosecutors’ offices, judges, police, or teachers. Additionally, students will assist in the creation and implementation of specific victim/offender dialogues in serious crimes. Clinical students will also be responsible for researching some of the issues arising in the context of the clinic.