Vermont Law announces Center for Justice Reform

  • Vermont Law School (Photo: Michelle Grimord Eggers)

Vermont Law School launched a new Center for Justice Reform that will address deficiencies in the criminal justice system and other responses to harm and conflict. 

The Center will serve as the school’s training ground for professionals working within the criminal justice system, child protection services, educational institutions and human resources. The Center will offer a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice (MARJ), a joint J.D./MARJ degree program and a Professional Certificate in Restorative Justice.

Vermont Law will also extend its current curricular offerings in this practice specialty, providing a wealth of new opportunities for students to learn about restorative justice. The Center will host conferences and speakers and promote the use of Vermont’s expungement laws to help citizens remove old convictions from the public records.


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“We need new ways to think about and respond to crime and other conflict,” said center founder Professor Robert Sand. “Harm affects individuals and relationships, not just the state or some higher authority, and those individuals need a meaningful voice in shaping the response. Moreover, people who cause harm have an obligation to make things right. Punishment alone does not create an adequate voice for those harmed or an adequate opportunity for those who create the harm.”

Students completing the MARJ program will take a total of 30 course credits, which will be offered through a hybrid online/on-campus format. Law students completing the joint J.D./MARJ degree can earn both degrees in just three years. The Professional Certification in Restorative Justice is a 12-credit hybrid summer program.

“Vermont Law School has long led the field in pioneering law and policy programs, and our uniquely positioned Center for Justice Reform continues that leadership,” said Vermont Law President and Dean Thomas McHenry. “Our restorative justice students will have an opportunity to study this field surrounded by legal and environmental experts committed to social and environmental justice."

More information about the program can be found here.


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Tyler Roberts is an editor for The National Jurist. You can follow him on Twitter at @wtylrroberts