Governors State University offers a five-course certification program in restorative justice theory and practice. Restorative justice involves the utilization of collaborative, community-based or community-oriented techniques for responding to crimes and offenses. It relies less on traditional judicial processing and more on victim, community and offender-centered practices that hold offenders accountable for their actions. Restorative justice ensures that the consequences of harms and offenses meet the specific needs and desires of victims and community members, while attending to improvement in offender competencies so as to prevent future harmful behavior on the offender's part.

This certification program provides instruction in the historical, global and cultural influences on contemporary restorative justice programs and practices, on a range of evidence-based restorative practices and on restorative justice program planning and evaluation techniques. It includes several practice-oriented workshops through which students acquire hands-on practice and skill development in restorative justice techniques, enabling them, upon successful completion of the program, to confidently practice restorative justice in their families, communities and workplaces.

Required Preparation

Admissions Requirements

To enroll in this program, you must have a successful record of upper division college course work and an interest in working collaboratively in your community and work place on restorative approaches to conflict resolution and peacemaking.

Entrance requirements for this certification program include the following:

  • For GSU students: successful completion of 15 hours of upper division course work with an overall C+ (2.7 GPA) average or better for all courses taken at GSU.
  • For non-GSU students, or for GSU students with fewer than 15 hours of upper division course work: demonstration of an interest in restorative justice and completion of 15 hours of upper division course work at another college or university with a 2.7 GPA or better, or a written petition describing life and work experience that demonstrates sufficient ability and interest to complete a 15-credit upper-division certification program in restorative justice. 

These entrance requirements are slightly more stringent than the general entrance requirements for the criminal justice program because they include successful completion of upper division courses (or demonstration of life or work experience indicative of the ability to complete the upper division courses in this program) prior to enrolling in the certification program.

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the certificate in restorative justice practice requires successful completion of the following courses with a GPA of 3.0 or better across all five courses.

CJUS 4140  Restorative Justice (3)

CJUS 4350  Victims and the Justice System (3)

CJUS 4351  Restorative Justice Practices I (3)

CJUS 4352  Restorative Justice Practices II (3)

CJUS 4420  Planning and Evaluation Practicum for Restorative Justice (3) 

Total - 15 Hours

Graduation Requirements

Students must meet the university requirements for a certificate found in the GSU catalog. Please meet with your faculty or academic advisor after admission to complete your study plan.

Advisor Information

Brian Vivona
Assistant Professor
Academic Program Coordinator
708.235.2161
bvivona@govst.edu