NEWS

Mount criminology course examines restorative justice on campus

December 15, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

Mount students taught by Kate Burmon, assistant professor of Criminology (left), recently discussed how restorative justice practices could enhance the Mount’s existing conflict resolution policies.

Mount students taught by Kate Burmon, assistant professor of Criminology (left), recently discussed how restorative justice practices could enhance the Mount’s existing conflict resolution policies. 

 

The students of Mount Saint Mary College’s Conflict and Resolution course, taught by Kate Burmon, assistant professor of Criminology, recently discussed how restorative justice practices could be incorporated on campus.

Restorative justice focuses on relationships between community members. It theorizes that when conflict occurs, stakeholders must join together to find a means of restoring balance to the community as a whole. 

“In a criminal context, this means that the victims, offenders, and members of the community work together to find a solution that repairs, as much as possible, the harm done,” Burmon explained. “Restorative practices use dialogue, mediation, and other means to hold offenders accountable for their actions, while also helping them to reintegrate into the community after their responsibilities to the victims and community have been met.”

Presenters Nikolai Marzouka of Marlboro, N.Y. and Simone Marshall of Fayetteville, N.C., noted that restorative justice is not meant to replace existing discipline policies, but to enhance them. 

The students’ research shows that other colleges that have introduced restorative justice practices have seen a reduction in recidivism (reoffending), said Marzouka. 

The Mount launched its Criminology major in the Fall 2016 semester. Formulated by Mount Associate Criminology Professor Jenifer Lee-Gonyea, PhD, the major explores the varied aspects of crime, from victimization and the criminal justice system to exploring society’s response to criminals and the reasons people break the law. Those who complete the Criminology program will have many career options, including positions in law enforcement, corrections, community service agencies, child welfare programs, adult protective services, mental health, and more.