Restorative Justice for College Student Misconduct
David Karp, of Skidmore College and Josh Bacon of James Madison
University seek insight from the "grandfather" of Restorative
Justice, Howard Zehr.
What are Campus RJ Practices?
Four practices best represent how RJ has been implemented on the college campus.
- Restorative Justice Conferences. This model focuses on the facilitated dialogue between offender and harmed parties.
After a discussion of the harm, the parties (rather than the hearing officer or board)
decide what steps the offender can take to repair the harm. Trained facilitators guide
- Restorative Justice Circles. These are similar to RJ conferences, but borrow practices from indigenous traditions,
especially the Native American practice of using a "talking piece." This is a symbolic
or sacred object that is held by the speaker, indicating that no one else should speak.
The talking piece is passed clockwise around the circle, creating a different rhythm
of the dialogue. A traditional talking piece is a feather, but at Skidmore College
our Hockey coach uses a puck when he hosts a circle with his team. Circles are used
for a variety of purposes beyond offender/harmed party dialogue and decision making.
Often they are used for discussion of difficult issues, particularly in Residential
- Restorative Justice Boards. These have a structure of a "model code" conduct board with standing board members
that may be drawn from faculty, staff, and students. But they focus on RJ principles
of identifying and repairing harm and rebuilding trust. Harmed parties are invited,
but are not needed for the board to proceed. While RJ boards retain the ability to
have private deliberations and make their own determinations about sanctions, these
practices are avoided to increase the active participation of offenders and harmed
- Restorative Justice Administrative Hearings. Because most campuses rely on one-on-one administrative hearings to manage their caseloads, many have incorporated restorative practices into their hearings. Typically, this would include an emphasis on identifying what harm was caused by the offense and how the student can repair it. But it can also include inviting harmed parties to participate in the hearing, essentially transforming the hearing into a RJ conference.
Campus RJ training at Carleton College, March 2015
Campus RJ Google Group
Join this community of practice for discussion: Campus RJ Google Group
Campus RJ Programs
Many campuses have implemented RJ in a variety of ways. Download a list of schools. Contact us at RJproject@skidmore.edu if you would like your school listed.
Campus RJ Training Resources
This training resource page provides role play materials and video clips we often use in our Campus RJ trainings.
Campus RJ Publications
An accessible, brief overview of how restorative justice is being implemented on college campuses. Includes practical tips, protocols, and a campus conferencing script.
Restorative Justice on the College Campus: Promoting Student Growth and Responsibility,
and Reawakening the Spirit of Campus Community. (2004)
An edited volume examining restorative practices on campus with detailed case studies and a variety of applications including academic integrity, bias incidents, alcohol violations, and sexual misconduct.sdfsdfasdf
Ahlin, Eileen, Jennifer C. Gibbs, Philip R. Kavanaugh, and Joongyeup Lee. 2015. "Support for Restorative Justice in a Sample of U.S. University Students."International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology DOI: 10.1177/0306624X15596386
Blas Pedreal, Marlenee Lizeth. 2015. "Restorative Justice Programs in Higher Education." The Vermont Connection 35, Article 5.
Brenner, Alletta. 2013. "Transforming Campus Culture to Prevent Rape: The Possibility and Promise of Restorative Justice as a Response to Campus Sexual Violence." Harvard Journal of Law & Gender.
Clark, Karen L. 2014. “A Call for Restorative Justice in Higher Education Judicial Affairs.” College Student Journal 48: 707-715.
Darling, Justine. 2011. "Restorative Justice in Higher Education: A Compilation of Formats and Best Practices." University of San Diego.
Gallagher Dahl, Meghan, Peter Meagher and Stacy Vander Velde. 2014. "Motivation and Outcomes for University Students in a Restorative Justice Program." Journal of Students Affairs Research and Practice. 51: 364-379.
Goldblum, Andrea. 2009. "Restorative Justice from Theory to Practice" Pp. 140-154 in
Reframing Campus Conflict: Student Conduct Process through a Social Justice Lens, edited by Jennifer Meyer Schrage and Nancy Geist Giacomini. Sterling, VA: Stylus
Kara, Farzana and David MacAlister. 2010. "Responding to Academic Dishonesty in Universities: A Restorative Justice Approach." Contemporary Justice Review 13: 443-453.
Karp, David R., Julie Shackford-Bradley, Robin J. Wilson, and Kaaren M. Williamsen. 2016. Campus PRISM: A Report on Promoting Restorative Initiatives for Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses. Saratoga Springs, NY: Skidmore College Project on Restorative Justice.
Karp, David R. and Olivia Frank. 2016. “Restorative justice and student development in higher education: Expanding ‘offender’ horizons beyond punishment and rehabilitation to community engagement and personal growth.” Pp. 141-164 in Offenders No More: An Interdisciplinary Restorative Justice Dialogue, edited by Theo Gavrielides. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Karp, David R. 2015. "Restorative Justice at Dalhousie: A Reasoned Alternative to the 'Rush to Judgment." Association for Student Conduct Administration Law and Policy Report. January 29.
Karp, David R. and Casey Sacks. 2014. "Student Conduct, Restorative Justice, and Student Development: Findings from the STARR Project (STudent Accountability and Restorative Research Project)." Contemporary Justice Review. 17: 154-172.
- STARR INSTRUMENTS
- Student Offender
- Other Participants
- Case Administrator
- Case Administrator (One Year Follow Up)
Karp, David R. 2013. The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities: Repairing Harm and Rebuilding Trust in Response to Student Misconduct. Intercourse, PA: Good Books.
Karp, David R. and Casey Sacks. 2013. “Student Conduct, Restorative Justice, and Student Learning: Findings from the STARR
Project (STudent Accountability and Restorative Research Project).” Association for Student Conduct Administration Law and Policy Report March 28.
Karp, David R. and Casey Sacks. 2012. “Research Findings on Restorative Justice and Alcohol Violations.” NASPA Knowledge Community Alcohol and Other Drug Newsletter Fall 2012.
Karp, David R. 2011. “Spirit Horse and the Principles of Restorative Justice.” Student Affairs eNews. December 20.
Karp, David R. 2009. "Reading the Scripts: The Restorative Justice Conference and the Student Conduct Hearing Board." Pp. 155-174 in Reframing Campus Conflict: Student Conduct Process through a Social Justice Lens, edited by Jennifer Meyer Schrage and Nancy Geist Giacomini. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishers.
Karp, David R. 2009. "Not with a Bang but a Whimper: A Missed Opportunity for Restorative Justice in a Plagiarism Case." Journal of Student Conduct Administration 2(1):26-30.
Karp, David R. and Kyle Shum. 2009. Conflict Resolution Practices Member Survey.Association for Student Conduct Administration. College Station, TX.
Karp, David R. 2005. “Campus Justice is Behind the Times.” Op-Ed in Inside Higher Ed. October 28.
Karp, David R. and Suzanne Conrad. 2005. "Restorative Justice and College Student Misconduct." Public Organization Review 5:315-333.
Karp, David R. and Thom Allena (eds.). 2004. Restorative Justice on the College Campus: Promoting Student Growth and Responsibility, and Reawakening the Spirit of Campus Community. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.
Karp, David R. 2004. "Integrity Boards." Pp. 29-41 in Restorative Justice on the College Campus: Promoting Student Growth and Responsibility, and Reawakening the Spirit of Campus Community, edited by David R. Karp and Thom Allena. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.
Karp, David R. 2004. "Introducing Restorative Justice to the Campus Community." Pp. 5-15 in Restorative Justice on the College Campus: Promoting Student Growth and Responsibility, and Reawakening the Spirit of Campus Community, edited by David R. Karp and Thom Allena. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.
Karp, David R., Beau Breslin, and Pat Oles. 2002. "Community Justice in the Campus Setting." Conflict Management in Higher Education Report 3(1).
Kirven, Stephane Jasmin. 2014. "Isolation to Empowerment: A Review of the Campus Rape Adjudication Process." Journal of International Criminal Justice Research 2:1-15.
Koss, Mary P., Jay K. Wilgus. and Kaaren M. Williamsen. 2014. "Campus Sexual Misconduct: Restorative Justice Approaches to Enhance Compliance with Title IX Guidance." Trauma, Violence & Abuse 15: 242-257.
Koss, Mary P., and Elise C. Lopez. 2014. "VAWA After the Party: Implementing Proposed Guidelines on Campus Sexual Assault Resolution." CUNY Law Review December 19.
Llewellyn, Jennifer J, Jacob MacIsaac, and Melissa Mackay. 2015. Report from the Restorative Justice Process at the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: Dalhousie University.
Llewellyn, Jennifer J., Amanda Demsey and Jillian Smith. 2015. An Unfamiliar Justice Story: Restorative Justice and Education. Reflections on Dalhousie’s Facebook Incident 2015. Our Schools/Our Selves 25:43-56.
McDowell, Lana A., Virginia L. Crocker, Emily L. Evett, and Damian G. Cornerlison. 2014. "Perceptions of Restorative Justice Concepts: An Evaluation of University Housing Residents." Contemporary Justice Review 17: 346-361.
Meagher, Peter J. 2009. A Phenomenological Study of the Experience of Respondents in Campus-Based Restorative Justice Programs. Ph.D. Dissertation, Bowling Green State University.
Rinker, Jeremy A. and Chelsey Jonason. 2014. "Restorative Justice as Reflective Practice and Applied Pedagogy on College Campuses." Journal of Peace Education 11: 162-180.
Sebok, Tom and Andrea Goldblum. 1999. "Establishing a Campus Restorative Justice Program." California Caucus of College and University Ombuds 2:12-22.
Sebok, Tom. 2006. "Restorative Justice on Campus: Repairing Harm and Building Community." Pp. 63-76 in Exercising Power with Wisdom: Bridging Legal and Ethical Practice with Intention, edited by James M. Lancaster and Associates. Asheville, NC: College Administration Publications.
Wachtel, Joshua and Ted Wachtel. 2012. Building Campus Community: Restorative Practices in Residential Life. Bethlehem, PA: IIRP.
Wachtel, Ted and Stacey Miller. 2013. "Creating Healthy Residential Communities in Higher Education Through the Use of Restorative Practices". Pp. 93-99 in Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications, edited by Katherine S. van Wormer, and Lorenn Walker. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Warters, Bill, Tom Sebok, and Andrea Goldblum. 2000. "Making Things Right: Restorative Justice Comes to Campus."Conflict Management in Higher Education Report 1(1).