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Restorative justice has experienced strong growth in practice, diverse applications, and public interest and support. However, restorative justice research has lagged in comparison. Although the need for research in the field is frequently referenced, restorative justice research has not yet gained the momentum that is vital to the future of the movement.



The RJRC will develop a collaborative agenda to help guide and advance restorative justice research in the context of the US criminal legal system. The research agenda will serve as a resource for informing funders, advocates, practitioners, researchers, and other stakeholders about priority topics for research and for coordinating efforts among these groups. The development of the research agenda will be multifaceted, seeking broad engagement from a variety of stakeholders. Moreover, the agenda will be developed as a living document that is adapted as new knowledge and shared learnings emerge.


Activities include:

  • Comprehensive literature review: This resource will identify key concepts, gaps in the research, and types and sources of evidence to inform practice, policy, and research.

  • Roundtable discussions: Drawing on experiences, community input, published literature, and lessons from other fields a cohort of 4 RJRC fellows, identified through a competitive request for applications, will engage in an in-depth focus group style exploration of selected restorative justice research issues to identify emergent patterns, strengths, and needs in the field. Each session will be summarized on a public blog post for broad community input and reflection.

  • Community gathering:  An in-person agenda setting retreat in Burlington VT to reflect on shared learnings from the literature review and round-table discussions. This event will support community voices and student participation, providing a collaborative opportunity for the restorative justice research community to come together, fostering relationships to grow the field. 

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