Restorative Approaches to Policing Institutes

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The National Center on Restorative Justice held our inaugural institute series in 2021, on the topic of restorative approaches to policing.

The series began in February 2021 with a virtual “think tank.” We invited restorative justice and policing experts from across the United States who use restorative approaches in policing in a variety of models to participate. These experts included police leaders, restorative justice nonprofit partners, and academics with a specialty in restorative approaches in policing. Participants identified the most pressing issues and questions nationally related to policing to help shape the following institute. From this inaugural institute, we produced a restorative policing reference list that links research, approach outlines, and practical guides to assist in continuing knowledge and practice of restorative justice and policing work. You can view the reference list here.

Additionally, in the lead-up to the event, representatives from each of the programs and police departments involved were asked to fill out a survey providing some basic information about their program or approach. This information was then distilled into the one-page descriptions of each program. You can view that report here.

The second Restorative Justice Institute, in October 2021, was open to the public and attended virtually by over 300 participants. This event included live-streamed keynote and panel presentations, break-out sessions for discussion, and skills-based workshops.

  • Police-nonprofit partnerships that enable police to directly refer cases to restorative justice programs
  • Police-community dialogues to rebuild trust in law enforcement
  • Restorative practices by police to take responsibility for current and historical harm caused by their departments

Photo courtesy Longmont Community Justice Partnership

Qualities of Effective Policing

During the two-day institute, Mike Butler delivered a keynote, “On the Qualities of Effective Policing,” William T. Jackson, Kathleen McGoey, Staci Stallings, and Raymond Wilkes formed a panel on “The Role of Restorative Justice in Policing,” Dr. Micah Johnson delivered a keynote on “Police Youth Dialogues: A Restorative Path Toward Justice,” and William T. Jackson and Captain Tysheika L. Shaw-Williams lead a presentation on Police Youth Dialogues. The recordings of the keynote addresses and presentations can be found below.

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