Governors State University offers a five-course certification program in restorative justice theory and practice. Restorative justice involves the utilization of collaborative, community-based or community-oriented techniques for responding to crimes and offenses. It relies less on traditional judicial processing and more on victim, community and offender-centered practices that hold offenders accountable for their actions. Restorative justice ensures that the consequences of harms and offenses meet the specific needs and desires of victims and community members, while attending to improvement in offender competencies so as to prevent future harmful behavior on the offender's part.
This certification program provides instruction in the historical, global and cultural influences on contemporary restorative justice programs and practices, on a range of evidence-based restorative practices and on restorative justice program planning and evaluation techniques. It includes several practice-oriented workshops through which students acquire hands-on practice and skill development in restorative justice techniques, enabling them, upon successful completion of the program, to confidently practice restorative justice in their families, communities and workplaces.