This module is a resource for lecturers
This section provides suggestions for a post-class assignment for the purpose of assessing student understanding of the Module. Suggestions for pre-class or in-class assignments are provided in the Exercises section.
The written assignment (3-4 pages) allows students to reflect upon a scenario and apply knowledge of restorative justice approaches and their underlying values to a scenario.
Matt, a recovering methamphetamine addict, was coming down from a several days high. Desperate to keep the high going, and out of money, he went into a sunglasses store. In the process of stealing glasses he was confronted by a store clerk. Matt pushed the store clerk out of his way as he ran out of the shop, leaving the clerk terrified and angry.
Sarah was late taking her son to his preschool at church. She looked both ways while pulling out from her driveway, but somehow did not see Scott, who was cycling up the hill. Sarah hit Scott, fracturing his spine.
Students are asked to think of a restorative response to one of the cases and examine what a restorative justice process might entail. The assignment should include an analysis of the impact of the harm and the justice needs of the stakeholders involved, and how these needs could be met. Students are invited to think creatively about an outcome that would benefit all parties involved. The assignment allows students to explain core restorative values and principles that guide the restorative justice encounter. Students should demonstrate that they have considered the needs and rights of the victim, the alleged offender, as well as the various dimensions of the public interest.
Students are given the opportunity to watch a video about a restorative conference, after which they can write a critical reflection about what they learned about the restorative justice encounter (3-4 pages). Students should examine interactions between participants, the topics addressed, and the values undergirding the process. The assignment fosters students' understanding of the theoretical dimensions of restorative justice by experiencing a restorative justice dialogue in practice. Lecturers may choose to allocate (or allow students to choose) a video from the Video Materials section.