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Center for Justice Reform

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The Center for Justice Reform at Vermont Law School is a statewide, regional, national, and international educational and training location for justice reform efforts including restorative justice. The center trains law and graduate students, community members, criminal justice professionals, educators, social service providers, and policy makers in the value of restorative and innovative criminal justice programs.

Center for Justice Reform Logo, VLSThe current criminal justice system is financially and ethically untenable. Plagued by the unsustainable cost of incarceration, high recidivism rates, the devastating impact on children of incarcerating parents, the burden and collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, a “school to prison” pipeline borne out of excessively harsh academic disciplinary measures, and racial, economic, and geographic inequalities, our communities need alternatives to the traditional criminal justice model.

The Center for Justice Reform is uniquely positioned to address deficiencies in our justice systems and to train the next generation of justice leaders. With residential and online educational programs including a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ), joint JD/Master of Arts in Restorative Justice, Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice, and experiential learning opportunities, students gain the skills to become agents for change within the justice system.


Center for Justice Reform

Vermont Expungement Law Bill Signing, Center for Justice Reform

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, signing an expungement bill originally created by Vermont Law School graduates, Nessabeth Rooks and Karen Oelschlaeger, former students in Professor Robert Sand's Criminal Law Class. They envisioned an Earned Expungement program to encourage ex-offenders to engage in prosocial activities and reconnect with their community.