SU Professors Take Students Behind Bars

By Stacy Howard
Photo Credit: Courtesy, The Seattle Times

Seattle University graduate students will take their summer quarter course, out of the classroom and into prison cells. SU’s criminal justice chair and a sociology professor have teamed up to create a new pilot course that will provide a unique learning experience for students.

The “Restorative Justice Behind Bars” 8-week session will blend 10 SU students with 16 inmates who are part of the University Beyond Bars program. The format is based on a restorative justice program called encounter, which places a high value on having the victim and offender encounter one another. The focus is on its five interwoven elements:  meeting, narrative, emotion, understanding and agreement.

This course is intended to create a safe place for offenders, victims and citizens to talk about how crime has affected their lives, and what they need to repair the harm resulting from crime. The students will spend the summer on teams, creating ideas for concrete ways to implement restorative justice principles within the prison system and throughout the community.

WHEN: Sunday, August 5, 2012 (Final presentations)
12-3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Washington State Reformatory
               16700 177th Ave SE
Monroe, WA 98272

For more information on SU’s criminal justice program, visit:

For more information on the University Beyond Bars program, visit:

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