Case Study

Introduction to Restorative Justice for Reed College

Icon: Context

Educational institutions across the US are recognizing the need for transforming their responses to misconduct, conflict, and harm – and restorative justice provides a framework for doing so. The Restorative Justice Coalition at Reed College is a “student-led organization seeking to transform the power dynamics perpetuated by traditional justice processes at Reed.” Just Outcomes was invited by the coalition to provide an introductory restorative justice training at Reed College with the expressed purpose of gaining an understanding of how and why restorative justice is a legitimate response to harm and violation, and how to incorporate its practice into everyday campus scenarios.

Icon: Approach

This training was particularly exciting for us as it was initiated and organized by a diverse student coalition providing voice for change within their context. Throughout the 12-hour training, participants were actively engaged in uncovering the shared human values that uphold restorative justice and exploring the benefits and risks of its application. Participants gained a deeper understanding of how forces such as power and shame play a role in harmful behaviors, and how equity, empathy, community, curiosity, and genuine accountability can move us toward the safe and equitable campuses we seek to rebuild and maintain.

Icon: Outcomes

Participants’ average satisfaction with the training was rated at 8.6 out of 9 in the post-training evaluations. One training participant explained that their understanding and perspective of restorative justice was expanded “through the openness of the conversation, how everyone participated or engaged in conversation together, and the trainer’s openness to us changing topics or engaging in specific issues of interests. This training became a dialogue between everyone.”

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