Book Review: Restorative justice on the college campus: Promoting student growth and responsibility, and reawakening the spirit of campus community
by David R. Karp and Thom Allena. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Ltd
In the last two decades or so, the modern notion of restorative justice has advanced and gained attention in juvenile justice and criminal justice spheres in many countries around the world. Some have seen potential for restorative justice theory and practice in other areas of life as well, including schools at all levels. According to David Karp and Thom Allena, while some colleges and universities have adopted restorative justice approaches to conflict and wrongdoing on their campuses, very little has been written about the use of restorative justice in the college setting.
Overall, colleges and universities lag behind others in exploring, researching, experimenting with, and adopting restorative justice. Karp and Allena each have practical experience with restorative justice in the college setting. Karp helped Skidmore College in upstate New York adapt Vermont’s Reparative Probation Program for its Integrity Board. Allena assisted the University of Colorado put into place the first restorative program in a large university. With all of this in view, Karp and Allena assembled a group of scholars and student affairs professionals to examine the problem of student discipline and the potential of restorative justice as a proactive, educational response.
This book is the result. Consisting of essays by academics and professionals, the book is organized into four sections:
- Part I, an introduction to restorative justice and overview of contemporary practice in student judicial affairs;
- Part II, restorative practices (accountability boards, conferencing, and mediation);
- Part III, campus disciplinary issues and restorative responses;
- Part IV, a conclusion looking ahead to prospects for restorative justice on campuses.
Articles in the volume include:
- Introducing restorative justice to the campus community
- Contemporary practice in student judicial affairs: Strengths and weaknesses
- Integrity boards
- Integrity board case study: Pellet gunshots in the night
- Restorative conferences: Developing student responsibility by repairing the harm to victims and restoring the university community
- Conferencing case study: “Kenny’s celebration.”
- Conferencing case study: The lounge, leg hair, and learning
- Applications of mediation in the campus community
- Mediation case study: From burnt bridges to good neighbors – transforming off campus neighbor relations through mediation and dialog
- The impact of alcohol on campus life
- Conferencing case study: Community accountability conferencing with a recalcitrant Jonathan
- Academic integrity: How widespread is cheating and plagiarism?
- Integrity board case study: Sonia’s plagiarism
- Fraternity and sorority culture: A guide to implementing restorative processes in the Greek community
- Conferencing case study: Hazing misconduct meets restorative justice – breaking new reparative ground in universities
- The off-the field deviance of college athletes: Problem or hype?
- Conferencing case study: Applying restorative justice in a high-profile athletic incident – a guide to addressing, repairing, and healing widespread harm
- Hate crimes and bias-motivated harassment on campus
- Policy case study: Responding to hate speech – the limitations of speech codes and the promise of restorative practices
- Crime and sexual victimization on college and university campuses: Ivory towers or dangerous places?
- Program case study: Campus-based sexual assault services – on the cutting edge
- Restorative justice: An institutional view