Skip navigation

Engaging Ideas

Restorative Justice

Bringing healing to victims of crime

This Engaging Idea explores a different approach to justice, one which addresses not only punishment, but healing.


Shannon Sliva Shannon Sliva is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, where she conducts national and local research on the impacts of criminal justice policy with an emphasis on innovative justice alternatives. Dr. Sliva tracks state-level restorative justice legislation across the U.S., and is currently partnering with Colorado practitioners, policymakers, and advocates to document the impacts of leading-edge restorative justice laws and develop recommendations for policy transfer.

Most recently, she was funded by the National Institute of Justice to evaluate the impact of victim offender dialogue on victims of serious, violent crimes in Colorado. Dr. Sliva works with other social work researchers on the national Smart Decarceration Initiative, coordinating research and advocacy efforts to promote justice reinvestment.


 More on the Subject

 Questions for personal reflection or group discussion

  1. We often talk about the importance of “getting justice” in the wake of crime. What does “getting justice” mean to you?
  2. Consider a time when you’ve been harmed by another person’s actions. What were your needs during that time? What did you want to happen?
  3. In what ways does the criminal justice system support meeting the needs of victims, offenders, and society? In what ways does the criminal justice system fail to meet these needs?
  4. Given the limitations of the current system for applying justice through the courts, what keeps this system in place? What needs to happen to make meaningful changes?
  5. If you woke up tomorrow and found that society had an ideal way for responding to crime, how would you know? What would it look like?

We want to hear from you! We appreciate your comments and your perspective about the ideas video. Please click on the button below to submit your comments.

Submit Comments