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James Madison University embraces restorative justice

August 22, 2011

Here’s how Bacon himself came to RJ:

After more than a decade of ushering misbehaving students at JMU through hearings on their conduct, sanctions, and other legalistic steps, Josh Bacon was ready for a change in 2009.

“I went into educational leadership and student affairs because I cared about young adults and their futures,” he says. “But that’s not how they perceived me – they saw me as the ‘bad guy,’ somebody there to enforce the university’s rules, somebody who wasn’t on their side.”

So he took a course at EMU with restorative justice pioneer Howard Zehr. Before the semester was even over, he started applying Zehr’s teachings to his student judicial work.

“One of the biggest oversights in my [previous] work was not engaging the victim; my office was almost entirely offender focused,” recalls Bacon.

Read the whole article.


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