With generous funding from The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, the Criminal Justice Program is launching the Research for Change Project in Fall 2022. The Project harnesses the power of University-based research to inform real-world criminal legal topics. The initiative will bring together community and government stakeholders to advance policy change and transformation in the criminal legal system.
Our 2022-2023 Research for Change Project is focused on Restorative Justice in California. Restorative justice (RJ) is a practice and theory rooted in and developed from indigenous practices. At its core, RJ is about relationships: how you create them, maintain them, and mend them. It is based on the philosophy that we are all interconnected, that we live in relationship with one another, and that safety and justice exist at the level of healthy relationships. Grounded in this idea of interconnectedness, restorative justice can prevent harm from occurring and provide an alternative way of addressing harm. When harm happens, it is seen as a wound in the community and a tear in the web of relationships. Because we are all interconnected, harm ripples out to disrupt the whole web—a harm to one is a harm to all. Restorative justice practices provide an opportunity for people most directly impacted by an incident of harm to voluntarily and collectively determine a path forward to begin the journey of healing, transforming relationships and accountability.
This year, CJP will work in collaboration with Impact Justice, Community Works West, and The Ahimsa Collective to conduct research and analysis on prospective RJ legislation in California. We will also host a convening on the topic in Spring 2023.