National Center on Restorative Justice
NCRJ National Center on Justice Reform
The National Center on Restorative Justice (NCORJ) is a partnership between Vermont Law and Graduate School, the University of Vermont, the University of San Diego, and the U.S. Office of Justice Programs. The NCORJ is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to educate and train the next generation of justice leaders and to support and lead research focusing on restorative justice and addressing social inequities to improve criminal justice policy and practice in the United States.).
The existing criminal legal system replenishes itself regularly with newly minted graduates trained in an adversarial model. Educating undergraduate, graduate, and law students in the adversarial model perpetuates the use of the adversarial model. The NCORJ creates change through promoting restorative justice education in undergraduate, graduate, and law programs, equipping the next generation of criminal justice professionals to bring the restorative justice approach to bear in reforming a broken system.
Expansion of implementation of restorative justice in the criminal justice context hinges on greater buy-in from justice system actors (police, judges, lawyers, probation/diversion officers, etc.) who have the power to refer cases to restorative justice and the general public. Justice system actors and the general public need to know what restorative justice is and why they should care. The NCORJ offers trainings, events, a coaching program, and creative communication strategies to meet this need for public restorative justice education.
Restorative justice research has lagged behind practice. Where research does exist, it is often narrowly applicable to a specific program or context that is difficult to translate across settings. Foundational research such as shared language and definitions, assessment and fidelity tools, outcome instruments, and implementation approaches are notably lacking. In response to these needs, the Restorative Justice Research Community (RJRC) was established as an independent, interdisciplinary academic community that provides a platform for advancing and sustaining the field of restorative justice research. The RJRC prioritizes an approach to research that aims to empower community-based research partnerships and diverse voices.
To learn more about the National Center on Restorative Justice and access resources, visit NCORJ.org .