Some disciplinary systems take a legalistic approach to justice, upholding the rule of law or a code of conduct by focusing on how to correct wrongful behavior and prevent its recurrence. In that approach, key tasks are to determine which rule or law was broken, who broke it, and what punishment is deserved.
Restorative justice focuses instead on how to repair the harm that wrongful behavior does—to the other, to the self, and to the fabric of community. In this approach, correction and prevention are best accomplished through relationship-building, meaningful accountability, and amends. The focus here is on the common good, seeking a resolution that will be just and productive for all parties involved and for the community as a whole.
For us at Loyola, relationship-building is a key foundation to this work of restorative justice. In building community and making meaningful connections, one becomes significantly less likely to harm those with whom they’ve built a relationship. And when harm has been done, restoring that relationship and rebuilding trust becomes a priority for all those involved.
Please reach out to the Office of Student Conduct if you would like to learn more about our restorative practice services and alternative resolution pathways including:
- Community-building circles
- Restorative circles
- Restorative conferences for addressing harm
- Conflict resolution – for groups, roommates, and/or friends