Restorative Justice Scope and Benefits

Benefits of Restorative Justice Dialogue
(When harm has been caused)

Students who were impacted by harm have the opportunity to:

  • express themselves about their experience and perspective,
  • get answers,
  • have a vital role in the participatory justice process, and
  • be an integral part of the collaborative decision-making, leading to renewed empowerment and feelings of safety. 

“This meeting gave me tools to better express myself and communicate how I’m feeling, which will help me throughout my life. I feel hopeful that things will change after having this meeting.”
- UCSC Student

Students who have caused harm have the opportunity to:

  • learn how their actions effect others,
  • develop accountability and remorse,
  • repair relationships,
  • rebuild trust,
  • give back to their community, and
  • make more informed decisions in the future, thereby lowering recidivism and increasing safety on campus. 

“I was unaware of how violated my roommate felt and how uncomfortable I made her. I’m glad I know what I did wrong so I can remedy it.”
- UCSC Student

Support people can also participate in the dialogue to:

  • share their experiences and thoughts,
  • be integral, valued members of the community, and
  • be part of making decisions about how the harm can be repaired

“This session was extremely helpful. We were able to discuss every topic that had caused an issue in the past. That allows the group to start with a fresh slate and a deeper understanding and to hopefully avoid similar issues in the future. This meeting will change the way I look at issues and encourage me to solve them rather than prolong them.”
- UCSC Student

Everyone at the dialogue can:

  • feel heard, validated and included in a community-oriented process,
  • benefit from the meeting by learning effective communication and conflict, resolution skills, which can be carried out into every area of life, both during college and beyond,
  • experience a sense of belonging and mattering as they contribute to the overall wellness of their community, and
  • be empowered through their involvement in an inclusive justice process.

Benefits of Conflict Resolution/Mediation
(When conflict exists between people, such as roommates)

Students who are in conflict with each other can:

  • safely express themselves and be heard,
  • reach common understanding,
  • brainstorm creative ideas for addressing the issues, and
  • participate in finding mutually agreeable solutions.

Benefits of one-on-one coaching

One-on-one coaching is offered for students who would like to learn the skills for peacefully resolving their own issues. Perhaps you have a challenging situation with your roommate that you want to handle yourself, but you don’t quite know how to approach the conversation. In just one meeting, you can learn some effective communication and conflict resolution skills, and practice them, so that you feel ready to talk with your roommate on your own.

Additional Program Offerings:

Along with offering dialogues between students, and providing coaching in communication skills, the program also offers the following services:

Community Building Circles bring groups together to discuss how they want to collaborate and grow; to enhance their effectiveness and cohesiveness; to make plans; or to address other issues they want to discuss and act upon. For example, new groups that are forming can participate in a Restorative Circle process to begin establishing how they want to collaborate and grow.

Restorative Circles are effective for small or large groups that want to discuss difficult issues or resolve conflict. The intention of this circle process is to provide a safe format for expression, give equal voice and acknowledgment to everyone, build understanding, improve constructive communication, strengthen relationships and, when appropriate, to find resolutions that serve all equally.

One-on-one anger management sessions help people learn to recognize that no one ‘makes’ them angry, and that they can thoughtfully respond, instead of impulsively react. By understanding and controlling anger, people feel empowered to make better choices, which can improve their relationships, their moods and their self-esteem.

Restorative Justice & Student Conduct
In some cases, Restorative Justice can be offered, in conjunction with, or as a diversion from, Student Conduct, for students who have been involved with University policy violations. Examples may include: theft, vandalism, hate/bias issues, noise, etc.

Restorative Justice Training is offered for staff and students who want to learn more about the philosophy and practice of this approach.

Vicki Duval, M.A.
Masters in Restorative Justice & Conflict Resolution
UCSC Restorative Justice Program Coordinator
(831) 459-3451