Here's a call to colleges and universities to consider implementing restorative practices on their campuses, ensuring fair treatment of students and staff while minimizing institutional liability, protecting the campus community, and boosting morale. From an associate dean of student affairs who has put these models to work on his campus. Restorative justice is a collaborative decision-making process that includes victims, offenders, and others who are seeking to hold offenders accountable by having them (a) accept and acknowledge responsibility for their offenses, (b) to the best of their ability, repair the harm they caused to victims and communities, and (c) work to reduce the risk of re-offense by building positive social ties to the community.
David Karp writes in his introduction, "As a student affairs administrator, I have become deeply committed to the concept and practice of restorative justice. I have experienced how it can work given the very real pressures among campus conduct administrators to manage high case loads, ensure fair treatment, minimize institutional liability, protect the campus community, boost morale in a division with high turnover, and help students learn from their mistakes without creating insurmountable obstacles to their future successes."
David Karp, PhD, is assistant professor of sociology at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where he teaches courses in criminology and criminal justice. He conducts research on community-based responses to crime and has given workshops on restorative justice and community justice nationally. Currently, he is engaged in a qualitative research study examining Vermont's community reparative probation boards and is a member of the New York State Community Justice Forum. He is the author of more than thirty academic articles and technical reports and two previous books--Community Justice: An Emerging Field and The Community Justice Ideal: Preventing Crime and Achieving Justice (with Todd Clear). He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.