Robert L. Sand (he/him)

Get to know a little about Robert. L Sand, 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’m an advisor and I’m involved with restorative justice and law school education.

What has been the most rewarding experience you’ve had working in restorative justice so far?

When students realize there is an entire philosophy and field of practice that aligns with their values.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about restorative justice, and how do you address it in your work?

People perceive RJ as a slap on the wrist rather than the hard work of actual accountability that it actually entails. Creating side by side comparisons of responses can drive home how challenging RJ really is.

How would you describe restorative justice in five words or less?

A relational response to harm.

If you could sit in Circle with three present-day, historical, or fictional figures, who would you choose and why?

Nelson Mandela: Remained hopeful in the face of incredible hardship
Ernest Shackleton: Antarctic Explorer who kept his entire crew alive after a ship wreck
Jesus: I would love to understand his vision and gain his thoughts on how he has been interpreted in contemporary society.

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?

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman, a Young Adult novel about a fatal car crash and an attempt at repair.

When you’re not at work, what is something you like to do that brings you joy and fills your cup? 

Hiking with my daughter.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received and how have you used it?

Accept good advice no matter the source. I try to get past any personal feelings about the deliverer of the advice and just listen to its substance.

What is your favorite type of cuisine, and what is your go-to dish at a restaurant that serves it?

Tacos, tacos, tacos!