Restorative Justice Applications

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Portfolio Project: Restorative Justice Applications

Compare and contrast, within a chosen subset of criminal justice, the traditional criminal justice response to crime with a restorative response to similar crimes.


  1. Choose a subset of criminal justice in the United States, including, but not limited to: juvenile justice; criminal or discipline issues in institutions of higher education; parole, probation, or other areas of corrections; gendered violence response; or other crimes of severe violence.
  2. Within your chosen subset, research the traditional retributive response to crime. Present the typical processes and consequences that an offender may experience through the mainstream criminal justice system. Also, detail the roles that the victim and community play in these proceedings. You may use your pre-existing knowledge of or experience with the criminal justice system to inform your account, or you may locate an actual case study or published account and draw from that for your project.
  3. Research ways in which communities are applying restorative responses in similar cases occurring in the area you have chosen. Find at least two specific cases of restorative responses in the literature and describe the methods used to address harm. Provide a detailed account of each of these responses. Detail the role and importance of the offender, victim, and community in the process. If you have personal knowledge of a specific restorative program, you may substitute that for one of the restorative response accounts.
  4. After presenting the retributive justice response to a crime and fully exploring at least two restorative justice responses to similar incidents, draw your own conclusions regarding the end results for each example. Consider some of the following points in your evaluation:
    • Zehr’s current position that western justice systems and restorative processes are not in competition, but can work in concert with each other
    • The importance of protecting civil rights in western justice systems and how these protections fit into a restorative process
    • The importance of community safety, and the ability of restorative processes to attend to the safety of victims and communities
    • Issues involving disparity of responses affecting communities of color
    • The wide array of outcomes that are possible when communities exert ultimate control over responses to wrong-doing, without any standardization that currently exists in our court system
  5. Discuss how restorative justice might grow or change in the future for the area you are researching. How do you see that particular area changing in the future with regard to how criminal behavior is addressed? Given what you have learned through your research, what role do you think restorative justice should or will play in the criminal justice system?
  6. In closing, present your ideas about the ways in which restorative justice will impact the justice system as a whole.

**** You are required to submit an outline in Week 4, which is worth 50 points toward the final project (see the Portfolio Outline Rubric).Submit a one-page outline of your Portfolio Project. Your outline should contain at least five headings and three of the citations you have identified so far. Provide some detail on the two programs or responses you have identified, which will be the basis for your comparison. ******This outline will be on a separate page.


  • Your well-written paper must be 6 to 8 fullpages in length (not counting the required title and references pages).
  • Format your paper according to the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA Requirements.
  • Incorporate at least eight sources related to your topic area. You may use any of the three textbooks as primary references, and glean other sources from the reference section Umbreit provides at the end of each chapter of Restorative Justice Dialogue.

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