Restorative Justice and Campus Sexual Misconduct
89 Temple L. Rev. 701 (2017) (Symposium)
43 Pages Posted: 10 May 2017
Date Written: May 9, 2017
In order to improve university responses to sexual assault, we must leverage university strengths—and realistically expand their capacities—to meet students’ needs. Restorative justice processes offer campus sexual misconduct victims and responsible parties a promising alternative to traditional disciplinary processes. Yet, while there is ample scholarship on campus sexual assault and on restorative justice but surprisingly little analysis on using the former to address the latter.
This Article provides a deeper, more expansive analysis of how universities may use restorative justice processes in campus disciplinary procedures that address sexual assault. I argue that restorative justice and universities may be uniquely suited to each other; using restorative justice may resolve many problems in the traditional campus disciplinary system, and the university setting may avoid several complications that restorative justice raises in the criminal justice system. At the same time, the university environment also provides unique challenges that can undermine the benefits of restorative justice. We should take seriously both the promises and perils of using restorative justice to address campus sexual assault.
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