Publication Date

Spring 2017

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Ryland White

Abstract

How can communities and law enforcement embrace a cultural shift to address conflict in a way that restores relationships and makes amends instead of one that punishes and criminalizes certain behaviors and individuals? How can we create spaces where those who commit harm, those who are impacted by harm, and other affected parties can come together with equal voice, have their needs met, and communicate in healthy ways? This Course-Linked Capstone in Training, situated in Brattleboro, Vermont, looks at the power of restorative justice and restorative processes to heal relationships and empower communities to care for one another and address the impacts of harm together. The paper begins the practitioner’s own journey to and through SIT by focusing on the connection between the fields of peacebuilding and social justice training and revisiting key competencies and learnings from training courses. Through an introduction to the philosophy of restorative justice, a brief history of restorative justice in Vermont, an overview of the work of one community justice center in Brattleboro, Vermont, and findings from interviews with restorative justice practitioners from Vermont community justice centers and Vermont Department of Corrections, this paper examines the benefits and challenges of restorative justice, both on a larger level and within Vermont, and what Vermont can teach other states and communities about implementing restorative practices. This paper concludes with a final analysis through a trainer’s lens that connects the fields of restorative justice, peacebuilding, and social justice training.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | Criminology | Inequality and Stratification | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Policy | Social Work | Sociology