Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,965,000)
Through this project, “National Center on Restorative Justice - Expansion,” Vermont Law and Graduate School seeks to substantially expand the work of the National Center on Restorative Justice (NCORJ) in restorative justice education, training, research, and directly supporting the implementation of new restorative justice programs through offering competitive subawards. The NCORJ was established in 2020 through a collaborative agreement with the Bureau of Justice Assistance as a partnership between Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS), the University of Vermont (UVM), and the University of San Diego (USD). These core partners of the NCORJ are joined in this application by the Center for Justice Innovation (formerly the Center for Court Innovation), which will play a key role in providing intensive TTA for criminal justice agencies and supporting the subaward recipients to establish new restorative justice programs.
This project includes four key objectives. The first objective is to educate criminal justice stakeholders about restorative justice, the impact, and applicability to their role within the criminal justice system. This will be accomplished through the development of four online modules tailored to different system actor groups as well as through providing intensive TTA to criminal justice agencies in the form of a three-day in-person training. The second objective is to build on the NCORJ’s work advancing restorative justice in higher education to translate restorative justice curriculum to underserved communities. This will be accomplished through hosting summer gatherings to advance restorative justice education in tribal colleges and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and through developing an undergraduate certificate program in restorative justice and implementing it at community colleges around the country. The third objective is to provide subawards and implementation support to establish new restorative justice programs. This will be accomplished through developing a competitive subaward process and making awards to community-based organizations in partnership with criminal justice agencies to establish new restorative justice programs. The subaward recipients will be supported with intensive TTA provided by the Center for Justice Innovation. The fourth objective is to lead research activities focused on identifying prominent restorative justice applications being used in the justice system today and approaches to measuring efficacy. This will be accomplished through a community-based approach and expansion of the NCORJ’s Empirical Overview and Core Elements projects, with support and resources provided to ensure the development of accessible dissemination of findings to a wider public.