In some instances, conflicts may arise where a restorative practice may prove to be an appropriate response to the situation. The purpose of a restorative practice is to bring together all parties involved in an incident for the purpose of addressing harms associated with the given conflict. This process affords the opportunity for discussion of varying points of view, and an opportunity to gain a better understanding of those involved. For more information about restorative practices, please visit the judicial website at: http://www.jmu.edu/judicial/restorative/
Before parties come together for a restorative process, an intake meeting will be held in which a facilitator will determine whether the incident is a good fit for a restorative practice, and to determine the most appropriate response. There are numerous restorative practices, such as restorative justice and mediation that can engage all stakeholders. The context and the needs of those involved need to be taken into consideration when determining how best to repair and address the harms caused by a given circumstance.
The following applies to the intake process of a restorative practice:
- Any member of the university community may bring a conflict that negatively impacts their own status or that of other members of the university community, whether there is a policy violation or not, to an intake meeting for exploration of a restorative practice.
- If required by a university administratorís request, intake appointments may be mandatory. In cases in which students were referred for a restorative practice intake appointment by an administrator, and it was required, a charge of non-compliance could be filed for failing to show for the appointment.
- An intake meeting is a meeting to explore options for addressing concerns in a given situation. Having the intake does not necessarily mean a future process will be pursued, as restorative practices are voluntary.
- Details of the process are kept confidential except for a brief report from the facilitator to any referring party and the appropriate administrator(s) that the meeting took place. If, however, a threat to the health, safety, or security of self or others becomes a concern to the facilitator, he or she will inform the parties that appropriate authorities must be notified.
- A restorative practice process is not permissible for situations involving a possible violation of the Sexual Assault (J34-100) policy.
- A restorative practice process is not permissible for situations in which the process may result in a violation of the law or university policy.
If it is decided a restorative practice will be pursued, the following applies to the restorative practice process:
- In cases where there was or may have been a policy violation, the process is not intended to replace the judicial system. A restorative practice at times can happen concurrently, happen after, or be offered as an alternative to the judicial process, for the resolution of student conflicts.
- A participant of a restorative practice still maintains the right to press judicial charges.
- If a restorative practice is to be employed, all parties in conflict must agree to the process as an option for addressing their concerns.
- All parties taking part in a process will be allowed to bring a support person.
- All parties will have an opportunity to help develop ground rules for the process.
- Details of the process are kept confidential except for a brief report from the facilitator to any referring party and the appropriate administrator(s) that an agreement has been signed by the parties. The facilitator will also report to the above parties if an impasse is reached and no agreement is forthcoming. This permits further exploration of other options for resolution of the conflict. If, however, a threat to the health, safety or security of any member of the university community becomes a concern to the facilitator, he or she will inform the parties that appropriate authorities must be notified.