Student Projects

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IsidoraErrazurizEmployment of Ex-Offenders as a Restorative Practice
By
Isidora Erråzuriz, LL.M.

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This work describes and discusses a proposed employment program for recently released ex-offenders, which complies with the fundamental principles of Restorative Justice. It defines and differentiates the concepts of release, reentry, rehabilitation, and reintegration, and discusses the role that the rehabilitation of offenders plays under the three classical theories of criminal punishment: retribution, deterrence, and reformation. The concept of Restorative Release is then defined and discussed, and the basic characteristics that a reintegration program must have in order to be considered a restorative practice are exposed. Finally, this work proposes an employment program for ex-offenders, analyzes if it fulfills the requirements necessary to be considered restorative, and exposes the reasons why a program of this nature would be successful at achieving the ultimate goal of reintegration.

Isidora  Errazuriz is a Chilean lawyer from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Masters in Law (LL.M.) from The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently working as a mitigation specialist in capital punishment cases in Texas.

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Restorative Justice in School Communities: Successes, Obstacles, and Areas for Improvement
By
Heather T. Jones
A critical analysis of school-based restorative justice programs.

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Heather Jones is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin completing a Master's degree in Social Work with a focus on juvenile justice reform. She holds B.A. degrees in Comparative Literature and French from Oberlin College, and worked for two years in publishing before coming to social work. She has co-facilitated writing workshops at Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center and Turman Halfway House (TJJD), and currently interns in the field of truancy prevention.

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A Cultural Critique of the Globalization of Restorative Justice
By
Heather Jean Kirkwood, M.A., J.D. Candidate 2011

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Restorative justice is a major international movement that is currently pursuing a more extensive globalization of its philosophy and practice. This work provides an overview of restorative justice and a number of theoretical and practical considerations surrounding the efforts to globalize the movement. There is a regional focus on Latin America, but examples from other parts of the world are also included. The paper first critiques some of the Eurocentric assumptions within restorative justice philosophy that can affect its international practice and implementation. Secondly, a list of cultural and institutional distinctions are presented and explored as necessary considerations for the exportation of the movement to individual countries. The final body chapter includes an analytical case study of Costa Rica. Each consideration is explored in the context of Costa Rica, and through this, a systematic process is developed that can be applied to any country. The intent of the work is to provide the basis for an improved approach to the globalization of restorative justice.

Heather Jean Kirkwood is a native of Harford County, Maryland and a graduate of McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College).  She completed her Masters degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and is currently studying international law at the University of Maryland.  Heather has spent considerable time studying abroad in Cuba, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Brazil, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese .

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"Restorative Justice:Is Austin, Texas Ready for an Alternative Approach to Domestic Violence?"

By
Andria Salucka Sindt, MA, MEd

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What are the practical and theoretical arguments surrounding the application of restorative justice to domestic violence?  What are the most critical factors to consider when deciding whether or not to develop, and how to develop, a successful restorative justice initiative for domestic violence cases within a specific community?  What are current restorative justice programs in the United States and Canada doing to address these issues? This thesis engages these questions, and, drawing on 18 in-depth interviews with stakeholders and program experts, uses the information gathered as a framework for evaluating the position of the Austin, Texas community to successfully develop, implement, and support a restorative justice initiative for domestic violence.

Andria Salucka Sindt earned her B.A. in psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. In 2006, she completed her master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. A strong believer in the power of education to transform lives, Sindt recently completed a second master's degree in education and currently works as an eighth grade English teacher for the Austin Independent School District.

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A Cultural Critiqu e of the Globalization of Restorative JusticeBy HeatheKirkwood  picturer Jean Kirkwood, M.A., J.D. Candidate 2011