Who We Are and What We Do


"IBARJ has done a tremendous job of spreading the word about Restorative Justice. Because of this network, I am connected to statewide leaders who are shifting the way we see how we treat each other. Thank you IBARJ for all you do!"
Robert Spicer, Culture and Climate Specialist Christian Fenger High School

From more than 20 years of experience in many thousands of cases and more than 42 empirical studies, it has clearly been found to be a practical and time tested approach that results in many positive outcomes for victims, offenders, family members, and the larger community.
Mark Umbreit
Restorative measures in schools provides a framework for administrators to address true accountability for offenders, the needs of victims ... and a process to develop a supportive learning community, recognizing that by taking the time to do that, we improve academics, strengthen school connectedness and increase safety.
Nancy Riestenberg
Research on family group conferences demonstrates that they can contribute to lessening the chance of re-offending even when other important factors such as adverse early experiences and subsequent life events are taken into account.
Gabrielle Maxwell
I am continually humbled by human capacities for openness, heart-centered connecting, humility, compassion, understanding, and love. I find that restorative justice in general and peacemaking circles in particular help us connect with our deepest and best selves and bring these dimensions of ourselves to some of the hardest challenges we face.
Kay Pranis


The Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice Project (IBARJ) is a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to expand and sustain the availability of balanced and restorative justice practices and programs for citizens of Illinois through leadership, education, and promotion. We are a vibrant network of professionals, volunteers, and organizations working locally, regionally, and statewide to create safer communities and schools, support victims, and improve pro-social skills and positive outcomes for Illinois youth. Our collaborative network includes leaders in juvenile justice, schools, social services, corporations, small businesses, communities, and faith-based organizations.

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  • Introduce the public to interventions that assist restoration of harm, change delinquent behaviors, and create safe communities
  • Provide training in restorative justice (RJ) practices and sustain them with ongoing coaching and technical assistance
  • Improve outcomes for youth who are involved with delinquency, from prevention to early intervention, sentencing, and reentry
  • Collaborate with schools to implement RJ practices that create relationships and improve discipline measures and school climate
  • Develop and apply assessment tools for evaluation
  • Provide technical assistance for professionals and communities that use restorative practices
  • Provide information and educational opportunities through this website, social media sites, and a listserv representing a statewide network of restorative practitioners