Restorative Justice Process Models: Applications

In this course, we will introduce you to models of restorative practices used in criminal justice, community, and social services contexts. Drawing on the latest research, you will explore and critique three core models—mediation, conferencing, and circles. We'll also discuss other models and restorative practices, using international examples to highlight the importance of a human rights culture.

Suggested prerequisite: Introduction to Restorative Justice: Concepts, Theory and Philosophy | CRJ315

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - - $990.00 8 Register

Schedule clarification: This course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. Between those times, you work at your own pace within the timelines set by the instructor.

What will I learn?

After completing the course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain, compare and critique three core models of restorative justice: mediation, conferencing and circles
  • Identify other variations of restorative practices, such as truth and reconciliation commissions and community panels
  • Compare best-practice models in the context of restorative justice values and principles
  • Apply specific skill sets around participant preparation, interviewing, cross-cultural considerations, expression and management of emotions, aftercare, support and mentoring
  • Incorporate evaluation components in program development or process creation that conform to restorative values and principles
  • Describe how various restorative processes are used globally in response to harm reparation
  • Analyze the promises and pitfalls of truth and reconciliation commissions
  • Organize and host a circle discussion and reflect on the process
  • Explain how communities can become a source for reform and change
  • Explain the differences between Western justice and Indigenous justice models, and how restorative justice might transform the criminal justice system
  • Characterize Indigenous healing philosophies and processes and relate them to restorative processes and truth and reconciliation commissions

How will I learn?

  • You will work within scheduled start and end dates, as well as assignment timelines.
  • Your study schedule will be entirely up to you. In some cases, we may ask you to meet online with your class and your instructor or a guest at a specific time, but these sessions will be recorded for future viewing if you are unable to attend.
  • Expect to spend approximately 10 hours per week on reading, online discussions, course work and supplementary activities, such as viewing assigned videos.

How will I be evaluated?

This course is assessed on a competency-based scale of Pass or Fail. You will be evaluated based on a variety of methods, such as online participation, individual assignments, journals, project-based work and course papers. Assignments build upon the significant level of real-world experience that most participants bring to the course. You must successfully complete all three required courses to receive a full program certificate.

Textbooks and learning materials

You are responsible for purchasing the required course texts and we recommend you obtain them as soon as you’ve registered. 

Required textbooks

Amstutz, L. (2009). The Little Book of Victim Offender Conferencing: Bringing Victims and Offenders Together in Dialogue. Skyhorse. (Older edition published by Good Books is acceptable.)

MacRae, A. & Zehr, H. (2004). The Little Book of Family Group Conferences: New Zealand Style. Intercourse, Pennsylvania: S&S. (Older edition published by Good Books is acceptable.)

Pranis, K. (2005). The Little Book of Circle Processes. Intercourse, Pennsylvania: S&S. (Older edition published by Good Books is acceptable.)

Ross, R. (2014). Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths. Toronto: Penguin. 

Lederach, J. P. (2011). When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys Through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation. Oxford University Press.    

Hardware and software requirements 

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

English language requirements

To succeed in our programs and courses, you will need an advanced level of written and spoken English. If you are unsure whether your English language skills are sufficient, we recommend you complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum overall band score of 6.5 (unless otherwise noted). If you have questions or concerns about your English language proficiency, we encourage you to contact your local IELTS Test Centre.


The Centre for Restorative Justice
School of Criminology
Simon Fraser University

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