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Skidmore College
Project on Restorative Justice


Restorative Justice for College Student Misconduct and Campus Community Building

Four practices best represent how RJ has been implemented on the college campus. What are Campus RJ Practices?  

  • 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 the dialogue.
  • 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 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. Circles are used for a variety of purposes beyond offender/harmed party dialogue and decision making. Often they are used for community building or discussion of difficult issues, particularly in Residential Life.
  • 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 parties.
  • 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

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 if you would like your school listed.

Campus RJ Presentations

Here are two presentations. The first is a short panel discussion at Dalhousie University in June 2016. The second is a full lecture at Occidental College in March 2017.

Campus RJ Publications

cover of The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities

The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities (2013)

An accessible, brief overview of how restorative justice is being implemented on college campuses. Includes practical tips, protocols, and a campus conferencing script.

cover of restorative justice on the college campus

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.

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 Publishers.

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: Project on Restorative Justice at Skidmore College.

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.

Karp, David R. 2013. The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities: Repairing Harm and Rebuilding Trust in Response to Student MisconductIntercourse, 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).

Kimball, Heather R. 2017. Adoption of restorative justice practices in student conduct (unpublished master’s thesis). University of Maryland, College Park, MD.  

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. 

LaCroix, Luke L. 2018. Restorative justice in higher education: a case study of program implementation and sustainability (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest LLC. (10746048).  

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.

McMahon,Sheila M., David R. Karp, and Hayley Mulhern. 2018. "Addressing individual and community needs in the aftermath of campus sexual misconduct: restorative justice as a way forward in the re-entry process."  Journal of Sexual Aggression. DOI: 10.1080/13552600.2018.1507488

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.

Russell, Thomas D. 2003. "Between Town and Gown: The Rise and Fall of Restorative Justice on Boulder’s University Hill."Utah Law Review. 91-136.

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).