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Restorative Justice University of Wyoming

Restorative justice is a set of practices and philosophy that reframes how we address and respond to harm while building community. It is indebted to Indigenous peacemaking practices from across the globe. Listen to Chief Justice Emeritus Robert Yazzie, a leading voice in restorative justice, speak "About Peacemaking". The emphasis in restorative justice lies in considering the impacts of harm on people and relationships, and in offering active accountability for those who have caused it. Restorative justice considers the role of community involvement as these elements come together in order to make things right. At Restorative Justice University of Wyoming, we strive to create a restorative justice program that emphasizes the importance of diversity, strives for processes built on equity, and ensures that inclusivity is built into the framework of our program. The likelihood of all members of the campus community to consider working with the RJ program is a benchmark of our success.

In our first year, we have begun offering support for expanding Community Circles as a means of building community and using restorative approaches to repair harm. Additionally, we offer a Restorative Circle and/or RJ Conference, for students or student groups who wish to repair relationships and tend to community when harms have arisen.

Interested in discussing a restorative process, or simply wanting to get in touch with RJUW? Email Connor Novotny, the Restorative Justice Program Manager - cnovotn1@uwyo.edu.

You may also schedule a meeting with RJUW by clicking this link  https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/RestorativeJusticeProgramMeeting@uwy.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/


  “Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in the specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.”  - Howard Zehr

 

What does restorative justice look like?

  • Utilized in response to harm focusing on a smaller set of directly impacted parties
  • Harmed party centered
  • Participants include
    •  harmed party, party that caused harm, support people, facilitator and co-facilitator, and community members
  • Several preparatory meetings to ensure understanding, accountability, and a desire to repair harm.
  • Facilitated dialogue and collaborative agreement building.
    • Agreement designed to repair harm in meaningful ways.
  • Follow through with facilitator on agreement completion.
  • Restorative Circles
    • Utilized in response to harms experienced by communities on campus. They’re a structured space that allows members to be open and honest about their experiences of harms, be engaged in listening and understanding one another, and finally, collaboratively determine solutions for how to repair harm. Support people and community members may also participate.
    • Best for: addressing broader community harms, addressing microaggressions and other forms of bias, navigating miscommunications within the group.

  • Community Circles
    • An approach for building community that entrenches conversation, sharing values and mutual understanding around topics that the group chooses.
    • Best for: groups looking for ways to build community, provide space for all voices, and to come to 
    • Working with community groups on campus to use a restorative model to consider issues of structural harm, campus climate, and collaboratively decide who needs to hear the members’ voices as well as make agreements for how to address harm.
    • Though utilizing the restorative circle approach, community matters is designed to positively impact change in our community by providing a space for truth, listening and action.
    • Facilitator shares RJ skills with members of the group, and then moves into a support role, emphasizing subsidiarity amongst the group members.
Restorative Justice Resources

FAQ

At this phase of our launch, we are working with situations that do not rise to the level of a conduct violation. Expect this component of our program to launch in the 2022-2023 school year.

We can work in collaboration with your group to hold a restorative process that would fit the needs of the community, while centering discussions pertaining to harm and how to repair it. Please book a meeting with the RJ program manager here to discuss-

https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/RestorativeJusticeProgramMeeting@uwy.onmicrosoft.com/bookings/

Restorative justice is a growing global-social movement with a deep seated connection to Indigenous peoples across the globe. As a social service, RJ is offered in response to crime, in education, and in communities. RJ may have particular interest to educators, social workers, community organizers, criminal justice and mental health professionals. Because restorative justice emphasizes collaboration, community, and tending to relationships, it is a meaningful way to connect people to one another and build our ties through getting together and listening to and learning from one another.

Who We Are

 

A man speaks to students who sit in a circle, outside on a sunny day

Restorative Justice Program Manager- Connor Novotny

Hello! I was initially trained in restorative justice in 2017 in Casper, Wyoming, volunteering with Natrona County Restorative Justice to serve as a co-facilitator and community member volunteer. In this work I served to help find restorative approaches to repair harms in cases of juvenile offenses. After serving for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UW as Director of Restorative Justice Practices Initiative at UW, a position was created in the Dean of Students office to begin implementing a restorative program to serve students and their communities across campus.  I believe in RJ’s capacity to empower those who have received harm, and to support those who cause harm to become agents of active accountability in doing what they can to repair it. Community, collaboration, and context are key elements of restorative approaches. For me, the creation of any program must consider how it can best serve those who are typically underserved by our institutions. 

Contact Us

Dean of Students Office

Knight Hall 128

Dept. 3135, 1000 E. University Dr.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3296

Fax: 307-766-3298

Email: dos@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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