Dec 01, 2021  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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CRJS 4700 - Restorative Justice: Behind Bars

5 credit hours
The criminal justice system operates on a traditionally adversarial model that pits people who have committed crimes against people who have not (otherwise known as "law abiding citizens"). When a person commits a crime, the standard societal response involves arrest, prosecution, conviction, sentencing, followed by probation, jail, or prison, and (if in prison, usually) eventual release. This process is formal, adversarial, and rarely involves an opportunity for offenders, victims, and citizens who have a direct stake in a specific offense to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations to make things right (or better) in some meaningful way in the aftermath of crime. An alternative way of responding to crime -- restorative justice, has gained a great deal of attention in recent years. Restorative justice principles and practices coexist within the adversarial system. Restorative Justice is an alternative way of thinking about and doing justice with ancient roots in indigenous populations around the world. This course examines restorative justice in a prison setting from an encounter framework engaging students who are prisoners and students who are not in reading, discussion, and dialogue about restorative justice. The course format is based on a restorative justice practice called "encounter" which creates a safe space for offenders, victims, and citizens to talk about how crime has affected their lives and what they need to repair the harm resulting from crime in concrete ways that "restore justice." Students will be exposed to the academic literature on restorative justice within the framework of the encounter context. Students will be expected to discuss their own personal experiences with crime, to learn about historical and global practices, and to reflect, write, and discuss restorative ways of responding to crime, and to identify concrete ways to put this approach into action.



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