At JMU, OSARP utilizes practices derived from Restorative Justice principles, referred to as Restorative Practices. Restorative Practices are used to address instances of conflict that arise in the community, but may not align with typical Restorative Justice Procedures. The purpose of Restorative Practices is to bring together all parties involved in an incident for the purpose of addressing the harms associated with the conflict. This affords the opportunity for discussion of varying points of view and an opportunity to gain a better understanding of those involved. Beneath the umbrella of Restorative Practices are a variety of Restorative Processes offered by OSARP. For more information about Restorative Practices, please visit our website at: jmu.edu/osarp/restorative.  

Restorative Practices can be requested by students, faculty/staff, organizations, community members, Harrisonburg Police Department, or sanctioned as a result of the Accountability Process. Before parties come together for a Restorative Process, an Intake Meeting will be held in which a facilitator will determine whether the conflict, and the participant(s), are a good fit for Restorative Practices and if so, the most appropriate method of response. However, the facilitator(s), in consultation with the Director of OSARP or designee, reserve the right to alter this procedure in order to uphold the intent of Restorative Practices. 

Restorative Processes offered can include Apology Letters, Reflection Papers, Restorative Consultation, Conflict Coaching, Facilitated Dialogues, Restorative Conferences, Restorative Circles, and Shuttle Processes. The context and the needs of those involved will be taken into consideration when determining how best to repair and address the harms caused by a given conflict. 

OSARP uses Restorative Process to address incidents of sexual harm through the Adaptable Resolution process. For more information on this process, see the "Adaptable Resolution" section of the Handbook. Restorative Practices may be used for cases that involve sexual harm if the Formal Complaint was dismissed by the Title IX Office. These cases are considered Restorative Practices cases; not Adaptable Resolution cases. 

The following applies to the Intake Meeting (s) of a Restorative Process: 

  • Any individual may schedule an Intake Meeting to discuss harm caused or experienced, and to explore the opportunity for a Restorative Process in response to any conflict, whether there is a policy violation or not. Either the individual who caused harm or experienced harm must be a JMU student. It is not required that all involved parties are JMU students. Restorative Processes are voluntary and, as such, may only be pursued if all participants are available and willing. 

  • An Intake Meeting is designed to explore options for addressing concerns in a given situation. Having the Intake Meeting does not necessarily mean a future process will be pursued, as Restorative Processes are voluntary unless sanctioned as a result of a policy violation through the Accountability Process. 

  • If sanctioned as a result of the university Accountability Process, Intake Meetings are mandatory. In such instances, an alleged policy violation of Failure to Comply with a Disciplinary Decision could be filed for failing to schedule and/or attend the Intake Meeting.  

  • While Restorative Processes are generally not available when a protective order is in place, a Restorative Process may be permissible in situations when parties have university no contact orders or court protective orders when appropriate circumstances apply.    

If it is decided a Restorative Process will be pursued, the following applies to the Restorative Process: 

  • In cases where there was, or may have been, a policy violation, a Restorative Process is not intended to replace the criminal, civil, or OSARP Accountability Process. A Restorative Process at times can happen before, after, concurrently, or as an alternative to the Accountability Process for the resolution of student conflicts. 

  • If a Restorative Process is to be utilized, all parties in conflict must agree to the process as an option for addressing their concerns.  

  • All parties will have an opportunity to help develop expectations and agreements for the process.  

  • Restorative Processes where participants meet face-to-face will include time for all parties to collaborate in order to determine what the Responding Party needs to do to address the harms and restore the needs of those involved, to the best extent possible. This results in a formal written agreement between all parties of the Responding Party’s obligations. If the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding outcomes and obligations, the Reporting Party may pursue the OSARP Accountability Process if alleged policy violations existed prior to the Restorative Process.  

  • Participants have the right to withdraw their participation in a Restorative Process at any time prior to a written formal agreement being signed by all parties.   

  • Reporting parties maintain the right to withdraw their participation in a Restorative Practices Process and pursue alleged policy violation(s) through the OSARP Accountability Process at any time prior to a formal written agreement being signed, if potential policy violation(s) existed prior to the start of the Restorative Process.  

  • Upon signing the formal written agreement regarding the outcomes and obligations required by the Responding Party, the Reporting Party may not pursue alleged policy violations through the Accountability Process unless the Responding Party does not fulfill the outcome(s) and obligation(s) stated in the formal written agreement.   

  • All parties taking part in a process may request to have other individuals participate in the process. The request will be reviewed by the OSARP case organizer and will be denied or approved based on the needs of the process and potential for harm to be created. 

  • If sanctioned as a result of the OSARP Accountability Process, Restorative Practices are mandatory for Responding Parties. In such instances, an alleged policy violation of Failure to Comply with a Disciplinary Decision could be filed for failing to schedule, attend, and/or complete the outcomes of the Restorative Process. 

Details of the Restorative Process are kept confidential by OSARP staff members and volunteers to the extent permissible by law, 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. However, if a threat to the health, safety or security of any member of the university community becomes a concern to the facilitator, they will inform the parties that appropriate authorities must be notified. 

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