Restorative Justice Process

Disciplinary methods have often centered on educating the offending student or on punitive responses when someone has caused harm to other individuals or to the community as a whole. Restorative Justice (RJ) is an alternative approach that focuses on restoring right relationships from a state of brokenness. The aim of RJ is that those who cause the brokenness and those affected by it should be able to articulate each other’s point of view while demonstrating empathy and compassion in the process. Through this process, the individuals involved learn respect, responsibility, and forgiveness. Student Life staff will facilitate the RJ process. Providence staff as well as the offender(s) and the victim(s) need to agree to using this process for it to be implemented. If there is not a willingness from both the victim(s) and the offender(s) to use the RJ process, the Disciplinary/Accountability Process will be implemented.

  1. Student Life staff will meet with both the harmed party (victim) and the responsible party (offender) and any other involved parties to gain clarity regarding the situation and secure willingness from all parties in order to proceed with RJ;
  2. A meeting is organized involving the victim, the offender who takes responsibility for his/her actions, as well as at least one member of Student Life;
  3. Ground rules for the discussion are established in order to create a safe environment for all involved;
  4. An understanding of what happened (story) and the impact (harms) is reached between the parties. The questions asked are: “Who has been affected?” and “In what ways have they been affected?”
  5. Resolutions (repairs) are explored. The question is: “What do you think needs to happen next?”
  6. Agreement is confirmed between both parties and Student Life staff and documented. Each student receives a copy;
  7. Follow-up (agreement mentoring): A staff member is assigned to ensure that the agreement is acted upon.