Mission, History, Goals & Partners
The National Center on Restorative Justice (NCORJ) improves criminal justice policy and practice in the United States through supporting education, research, and training to further restorative approaches.
In 2018 the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) issued a solicitation for congressional funding, championed by Senator Patrick Leahy, to launch a National Center on Restorative Justice. In response, Vermont Law and Graduate School (VLGS) submitted a proposal in collaboration with the University of Vermont (UVM) and the University of San Diego (USD). In March of 2020, the BJA awarded the grant to VLGS and its partners. Soon thereafter, the BJA announced additional grant funding was appropriated by Congress to manage the NCORJ. VLGS and partners submitted two more competitive applications and, in February 2021 and September 2023, received a second and third BJA award to manage and expand work of the NCORJ.
1. Promote and resource the teaching of restorative justice in universities and law schools in order to educate future justice system actors in restorative approaches.
2. Provide effective restorative justice education and training for criminal justice system actors and the general public.
3. Support and lead research focusing on restorative justice and addressing social inequities in the U.S. criminal legal system.
4. Offer intensive training, technical assistance, and competitive subawards to criminal justice agencies interested in partnering with community-based organizations to implement restorative justice programs.