Restorative Justice

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
FRI 9:00 am - 6:00 pm SW 1.214


This is a School of Social Work course cross-listed with the Law School.

Restorative justice is a social movement and set of practices that aims to redirect society’s retributive response to crime. Crime, in the context of restorative justice, is not considered just an offense against the state but rather is viewed as a wrong against another person and indicative of a broken relationship between the offender, victim, and community. Accordingly, restorative justice seeks to elevate the role of crime victims and community members; hold offenders directly accountable to the people they have violated; and restore, to the extent possible, the emotional and material losses of victims by providing a range of opportunities for dialogue, negotiation, and problem solving. This course provides an introduction and exposure to the principles of restorative justice and its application to the treatment of human suffering from crime and related social problems. It explores the needs and roles for key stakeholders (victims, offenders, communities, justice systems), examines the values and assumptions of the movement, including its spiritual and religious roots, and introduces students to some of the current programs at community, state and international levels. The framework of the course is, in part, based on social work values and the ethical decision-making process. Besides discussing its policy implications, students will evaluate the potential of restorative justice to address social problems marked by human conflict, oppression, power and harm, e.g. partner abuse, hate crimes. Finally, students will examine the empirical evidence for restorative justice, identify critical issues including gaps in theory or practice, and critique its integrity and overall direction.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


Headshot of Busch-Armendariz, Noel B Busch-Armendariz, Noel B
Log In to View Course Evaluations

Important Class Changes

Date Updated
01/11/2023 Course date range updated