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Developing new ways to address harm and conflict

The current criminal justice system is financially and ethically untenable. Plagued by the unsustainable cost of incarceration, high recidivism rates, devastating impact on children of incarcerating parents, the burden and collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, a “school to prison” pipeline borne of excessively harsh academic disciplinary measures, and racial, economic, and geographic inequalities, our communities need alternatives to the traditional criminal justice model.

  • Learn to transform criminal justice using more restorative practices.

  • Experiential learning opportunities in restorative justice methods and innovative criminal justice approaches.

  • Graduates will be prepared to become leaders and advocates in restorative justice.

  • Courses include Principles of Restorative Justice, Race and the Law, Race and the Criminal Justice System, Juvenile Justice, Global Restorative Justice, Restorative Justice in Educational Institutions, and more.

  • New lowered tuition for Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice.

  • Scholarships available.

"Punishment alone does not create an adequate voice for those harmed or an adequate opportunity for those who create the harm."

-Robert L. Sand, Founder, Center for Justice Reform

The Adirondack Foundation Restorative Justice Scholarship funds a year-round resident of the Adirondacks to earn a Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice through the Vermont Law School Center for Justice Reform. Restorative justice creates less punitive responses to harm and builds and strengthens communities and organizations through relational practices and inclusive participation. Restorative justice practices are expanding in the criminal justice, child protection, and educational fields. The Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice is available fully online or residentially. A strong priority will be given to applications from first-generation college graduates with an interest in working in justice systems, education, or with underserved populations.

The scholarship recipient will have two years to complete the three course, nine credit certificate program. Credits earned for the certificate may be transferred to the 30 credit Master of Arts in Restorative Justice. The recipient will be asked to make a presentation upon completion of the Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice and may be featured in publications by Vermont Law School or the Adirondack Foundation.

Application Requirements:

  • Completed Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice application
  • Short scholarship essay not to exceed 500 words that discusses your interest and commitment to improving the justice system and the experiences that have most significantly influenced your goals

Application Deadline:
July 15, 2021

The Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice is a unique 9-credit program for undergraduate and graduate students, restorative justice leaders, state and non-profit managers, and other professionals who wish to develop a career focusing on restorative justice or gain skills in restorative practices.

  • 9-credit program.
  • Complete the program online, on-campus, or a hybrid of both.
  • Required foundational courses: Choose from Principles of Restorative Justice (3); Restorative Justice Theory and Practice (2); Origins, Evolution, and Critical Issues in Restorative Justice (3).
  • Elective courses: Choose from Restorative Justice in Educational Institutions (3); Juvenile Justice (3); Adversity, Trauma, and Victimization (3); Clemency, Pardons, Expungement (3); Legislation Regulation (3); Communication, Advocacy, and Leadership (3); Ethics and Restorative Justice (3); Global Restorative Justice (3); Advanced Victim Rights Seminar (3); and more.

Vermont Law School's flexible JD program offers an opportunity for concentration in restorative justice. Students may specialize in Restorative Justice or may combine the JD with a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ).

  • JD specialization in Restorative Justice
  • Joint JD/Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ)

The Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ) degree program is for students who want to address deficiencies in our justice system and become the next generation of justice leaders.

  • 30-credit program.
  • Complete the program in as little as 12 months residentially or 18 months online.
  • Experiential learning opportunities expose students to actual cases and controversies handled through a restorative response.
  • Graduates are prepared to become leaders and advocates in the field of restorative justice at a national and regional level.
  • Courses include Principles of Restorative Justice, Race and the Law, Race and the Criminal Justice System, Restorative Justice in Educational Institutions, and more.

Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice

The Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice is designed for those who wish to develop a career focusing on restorative justice or gain skills in restorative practices. The curriculum will change how students think about harm and social inequality, altering how they lead organizations and communities to become a more just place.

WHY RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?

Because justice requires a new way to think about and respond to harm, conflict, and crime. Responding to harm requires more than punishment — more than retribution — the response requires an opportunity for acceptance of responsibility, amends to the aggrieved parties, and the creation of an environment that promotes healing.

BECOME AN AGENT FOR RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CHANGE

By bringing together students committed to developing new ways of thinking about harm with national and international restorative justice leaders, VLS will educate the next generation of justice reformers; leaders who understand the workings of the existing legal system and are equipped to infuse communities with principles of inclusion, tolerance, equity, compassion, and positive change.

Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ)

The Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ) degree program is for students who want to address deficiencies in our justice system and become the next generation of justice leaders. Students gain an in-depth understanding of restorative justice domestically, internationally, and cross-culturally.

A statewide, regional, national, and international educational and training location for justice reform efforts including restorative justice.

Vermont Law School is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-988-6738.

Accreditation

Vermont Law School's master's program is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).