RJ Practices and Values in State Legislation

When: April 15, 2020, 4:30 – 6 P.M. EST

Guest: Thalia González, Sydney Vermilyea, Claire Krelitz

Host: Carl Stauffer



What does restorative justice legislation look like across the United States? Traditionally conceived as a social service adjunct to public systems to address the needs of victims, restorative justice has increasingly been operationalized into multiple stages of formal legal processes. This is represented in diverse forms of restorative practices utilized from diversion to post-sentencing. Drawing on an original 50-state dataset (state statutes, court rules and regulations), the presenters will discuss general findings, key trends, and potential limitations of restorative justice legislation specific to the juvenile and criminal justice systems. They will also highlight emerging areas, including ethical and constitutional considerations. Their research is part of a larger project that seeks to increase public awareness, provide technical assistance to policymakers, communities and individuals, and reconcile restorative values and principles with the formalization into state law.

Guest Bios

Dr. Thalia GonzalezThalia González is a sociolegal scholar who explores contemporary theoretical and empirical questions at the intersection of restorative justice, society, inequality, and public systems. In these areas, she pays particular attention to equity with regard to race and gender. Her research has been characterized as foundational in developing this connection in the field and featured in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the Huffington Post, as well as on NPR and in an American Public Media documentary. Thalia holds appointments as a tenured faculty member at Occidental College (Political Science) and Senior Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown Law, she leads the Center on Poverty and Inequality’s national research on restorative justice. 


Claire KrelitzClaire Krelitz recently graduated from Occidental College with degrees in political science and sociology. She spent her senior year as a research assistant, assessing Occidental's residential education restorative justice initiative. Claire is passionate about the intersection of social justice and academia. Currently, she works at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council where she helps create public educational programming about politics and international affairs. 




Sydney VermilyeaSydney Vermilyea is a senior at Occidental College majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs and minoring in Spanish Language. Sydney is a lead student researcher working in collaboration with Thalia investigating the formalization and operationalization of restorative justice in state law across multiple indicators and dimensions.