Recent social movements such as Black Lives Matter have brought issues of social justice to the forefront of social responses to crime and offending. These social movements seek to develop and engage alternative practices at levels of policing and other front-line responses to social harms, the courts, corrections, and community-based responses to crime. Restorative justice has been widely touted as one such alternative. However, contrary to its development as an alternative to institutional criminal justice practices, today restorative justice is largely practiced as an alternative form of diversion or post-sentence option within criminal justice.
Held online with over 170 participants, this online event brought together practitioners, policymakers, and scholars to inquire into ways in which it may be possible to bring back the “alternative” in the use of restorative justice, and how both restorative justice and restorative practices can better address critical issues in the intersection of criminal and social justice.