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Book Chapter

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Publisher PDF: the final published version of the article, with professional formatting and typesetting


restorative justice, sexual assault, Title IX


Criminology | Higher Education | Law | Sociology


Sexual assault policy on college campuses in the United States is a complex system guided by federal policy, state policy, and local mandates. When students violate sexual misconduct policies, campuses primarily rely on suspensions and expulsions, paralleling the criminal justice system’s reliance on incarceration as a solution based on stigmatization and separation. Since the 1990s, restorative justice has made inroads as an alternative response to student misconduct, but application to sexual misconduct is rare. The Campus PRISM Project (Promoting Restorative Initiatives on Sexual Misconduct) is a network of academics and practitioners exploring a restorative approach within a responsive regulatory framework. This chapter describes the current web of policy as an example of regulatory formalism, which follows from the federal Title IX legislation on sexual harassment. Then it explains the restorative approach promoted by the Campus PRISM Project. This approach embraces a “whole campus” response including restorative circles for sexual assault prevention efforts, restorative conferencing in response to misconduct, and reentry circles for students returning from suspension.


Originally published in: Burford, G., Braithwaite, J., & Braithwaite, V. (Eds.). (2019). Restorative and Responsive Human Services (1st ed.). Routledge.