Get to know a little about Lindsey Pointer, one of the core team members of the National Center on Restorative Justice!
What is your work at the National Center on Restorative Justice?
I am the Principal Investigator of the grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) that created the National Center on Restorative Justice. In this role, I am the point person for communication with and reporting to BJA and also facilitate the three partner organizations (Vermont Law and Graduate School, the University of Vermont, and the University of San Diego) working together on NCORJ initiatives. I also play an active role in several NCORJ education and research projects. I am a member of the Vermont Law and Graduate School community where I work as an Assistant Professor and teach in the restorative justice program.
What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had working in restorative justice so far?
My first job in the restorative justice field was as a Case Coordinator for a community restorative justice program. I loved that job because it involved talking with people all day, doing intake conversations to discuss with involved parties whether restorative justice was a good fit and could help meet their needs, and then facilitating restorative justice pre-conferences and conferences. In that role, I learned so much quickly about the needs people experience in the wake of significant harm and what restorative approaches can offer. It was wonderful to be in a role where I got to see the impact of restorative justice on peoples’ lives on a daily basis.
More recently, I wrote a children’s picture book on restorative justice, Wally and Freya. Sharing that book in different contexts has been very rewarding and I love seeing how quickly young children understand and internalize key restorative concepts.
What is your favorite Circle or icebreaker question?
Please share a story connected to your name. I love the range of stories people share!
What is a fiction movie, book, or TV show that you love and would point someone to as a good example of restorative justice practice or values?
Play the Game by Charlene Allen is an amazing young adult novel about restorative justice. It is excellent!
When you’re not at work, what is something you like to do that brings you joy and fills your cup?
I have two kids who love imagination play and living room dance parties. I love to play and dance with them! I also love being outside, especially in Colorado mountains.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received and how have you used it?
Early on in learning about restorative justice, someone gave me the advice to “trust the process.” I have found that advice really reassuring in practicing restorative justice and also more broadly in life. Sometimes it is hard to imagine how things will turn out well and all we can do is “trust the process” and know that the only thing we have control over is following restorative principles in our own words and actions. It is a helpful reminder for me.
Lindsey Pointer is an Assistant Professor at Vermont Law and Graduate School and Principal Investigator of the National Center on Restorative Justice. She has a PhD in Restorative Justice from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and is a former Fulbright Fellow and Rotary Global Grant recipient.
Lindsey has worked as a restorative justice facilitator, community program manager, educator, and researcher. She is the author of three books on restorative justice: The Little Book of Restorative Teaching Tools (Good Books, 2020), The Restorative Justice Ritual (Routledge, 2021), and a children’s picture book, Wally and Freya (Good Books, 2022).