Restorative Justice Project
About The Restorative Justice Program Heading link
The Restorative Justice Project (RJP) trains law students in the philosophy and practice of restorative justice so that they become better lawyers. Guest lecturers provide concrete examples of how restorative justice can be used to resolve disputes in both civil and criminal cases. Students learn different restorative techniques and how to become effective circle keepers. Students are encouraged to observe proceedings in the federal and state courts, and especially those courts that are directly implementing restorative justice. The students also work to implement restorative justice and to learn about the problems faced every day by persons in low-income communities and communities of color.
Through the Restorative Justice Project, students:
- Visit courts and observe the differences between judges who utilize Restorative Justice practices and those who use only punitive models.
- Visit corrections facilities and local schools to implement Restorative Justice principles. They instruct students, teachers, and administrators on peaceful ways to resolve conflicts, including the practice of self-reflection.
- Use restorative chats and peace circles to induce behavioral change. Additionally, students may utilize peer juries for fact-finding purposes and to avoid arrest records for youth.
- Lobby legislators and public officials to enact laws and policies that enable Restorative Justice to thrive in all communities.
Restorative Justice Courses at UIC Law Heading link
The Restorative Justice Project provides students with an overview of restorative justice concepts and how they can be applied in specific areas of the law, including the treatment of persons who have been convicted of crimes, the mentally ill, drug and alcohol abusers, and juvenile offenders. Students are taught effective techniques on how to interview and counsel both victims and perpetrators. When appropriate, outside lecturers are invited to discuss subject areas requiring specialized knowledge and skill. The courses are taught by Professor Michael P. Seng.
Students engaging with the Restorative Justice Project for the first time must enroll in Basic Restorative Justice and must register for both the class and placement components. Students who have previously taken Basic Restorative Justice can register for Advanced Restorative Justice.
Only credits earned in Restorative Justice TADR 477 and Advanced Restorative Justice TADR 478 count toward the experiential learning requirement. Credits earned in Restorative Justice TADR 476 do not count toward the experiential learning requirement.
Basic Restorative Justice
- Externship: Restorative Justice Class (TADR 476, 2 Credits)
- Externship: Restorative Justice Placement (TADR 477, 1 Credit)
Advanced Restorative Justice
Related Resources Heading link
- Article: “Expungement as a Tool of Restorative Justice”
- Article: “A Historical Perspective on the Juvenile Court Movement in Chicago (1890-1930), and Its Impact and Continuing Social and Legal Implications”
- Book: Restorative Justice in Practice: A Holistic Approach
- Video: Restorative Justice’s Impact on Students: A Holistic Approach
- Video: Restorative Justice Practices: Ear Acupuncture