Restorative justice is a dialogue between the people who were harmed by words, actions, or even criminal offenses and those responsible for creating this harm.

It is a safe and respectful process that holds people accountable for their choices and behaviors, while repairing the harm caused by these actions.

How is Restorative Justice Different?

Traditional Justice 

Restorative Justice

What rules were broken? What happened?
Who broke them? Who was harmed?
How should they be punished? How can this harm be repaired?
The Restorative Justice Process

Trained and experienced restorative justice facilitators will first conduct separate pre-conferences. At these pre-conferences, the facilitators meet with each of the participants to understand their individual perspectives about the incident, their needs, and their willingness and readiness to meet jointly with the other participants.

In the joint restorative justice conference, the facilitators help participants engage in a safe and confidential conversation about the incident of harm. They will assist the participants in constructing an agreement that repairs the harm (as much as feasible) and restore affected relationships.

Participation in a restorative justice process remains voluntary. You have the option of terminating the session at any time if you don’t feel that it is an appropriate venue for you.

How It Works

Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program
NVMS provides restorative justice processes upon request by appropriate officials in the Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations court, and Fairfax County Police Officers. If you were referred by any of the agencies above click here for more information about the Alternative Accountability Program.

NVMS Restorative Justice Facilitation
If you have not been referred by a Fairfax County agency, but think restorative justice would be helpful in your situation, please submit an inquiry form here.

Restorative Justice Training and Consultation
Are you looking to set up a restorative justice program in your community or school? NVMS trainers and facilitators are available for:

case facilitation
program design
training and mentoring new restorative justice facilitators

For information about training and consultation, contact us at civilmediation@nvms.us or (703) 865-7262.


Restorative Justice in Our Community and Yours – NVMS webinar presented as part of the ADRhub.org annual programs. The webinar gives an overview of best practices and lessons learned.

Contact us at (703) 865-7262 or civilmediation@nvms.us for details.