What Is A Restorative Justice Circle?


A Restorative Justice Circle is a process for bringing together those in conflict to examine the underlying causes of conflict and find mutually beneficial solutions.

Restorative Justice Circles are designed to enable people to discover their connection and to recognize their shared humanity. The final stage helps participants find solutions that allow them go forward together.

Restorative Justice Circles are used to address more serious conflicts, a process designed to get at root causes and promote accountability for lasting change.

Other Types of AUJ Restorative Circles

  • Restorative Community/Classroom Circles – To build relationships among people in communities and schools.

  • Restorative Group Circles – To address low-level harm and minor conflicts such as bullying, truancy, squabbles, etc.

  • Community Peace Circles - To address disruptions in a community, usually involving ten or more people.

How it works

Anyone impacted by a conflict can request a Restorative Justice Circle—teachers, students, employees, supervisors, faculty, community members, etc.  Restorative Justice Circles provide an opportunity for adults and/or youth affected by a conflict to:

  • Meet in a safe environment with a trained facilitator where all participants are equal to one another (no victim and offender)

  • Honestly discuss the conflict and how they were impacted

  • Listen and be heard using reflective listening practices

  • Together decide actions to resolve the harm and its consequences

  • Reflect the solutions developed by the participants in a written agreement