Restorative Justice and Transformative Justice

Restorative Justice & Transformative  Justice

Restorative and transformative justice approaches are most commonly applied in criminal justice reform, but they have also been applied to academic and healthcare institutions to help units navigate how to address differences, disagreements, conflicts, and harm.

Restorative justice (RJ) is a participatory, community-based approach to preventing and addressing harm, affirming the role of relational well-being in health and safety. RJ is an approach to justice that gives voice and agency to those most affected and centers the dignity of all people involved to acknowledge and address harms, identify resulting needs, and help rebuild relationships and trust for impacted parties and communities. RJ asks: Who has been hurt? What are their needs? How and by whom can these needs be met?

Transformative justice (TJ) builds off of RJ but explicitly goes beyond the interpersonal to address the broader systems that contributed to harm. TJ adds the questions: What socio-political, economic, and cultural context caused or promoted the harmful behavior? What broader contextual conditions need to be transformed to prevent future occurrences?

Learn more about restorative justice and transformative justice in higher education.

Karp, D. R., & Armour, M. (2019). The little book of restorative justicefor colleges and universities: Repairing harm and rebuilding trust in response to student misconduct. Good Books.