Restorative Justice: Healing Relationships in Community

Episode Four


Too often wrong-doing is dealt with punitively and unproductively. Relationships torn asunder by violence, trauma, or harmful speech are left in tatters, offenders and victims alike left to live with the consequences of broken relationships. Restorative justice brings healing by repairing harm, rebuilding relationships, and strengthening communities.


About our guests

Amber Harris, who spent 20 years abusing drugs and living on the streets, now dedicates her life to battling addiction and homelessness on those same streets in St. Louis. She and her husband DeAndre Harris-Bey are cofounders of the Restorative Justice Movement Center, St. Louis, where they work to create a brighter future for others by healing the wounds of trauma and violence and returning offenders to the community.

Michael Carlson is principal of St. Patrick Catholic School, Springfield, Ill. His broad experience includes study at Trinity College Dublin; refugee resettlement work, prison ministry, and palliative care. He has a Masters of Religion and the Arts from Yale with a concentration in literature. He came to Springfield in 2017 to teach theology and philosophy at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.



  • Restorative justice addresses perpetrators and victims of harm in a way that repairs the harm, rebuilds the relationship, and strengthens the community.
  • We are called to community by God.
  • The Trinity is a model for relationship in community and makes the case for the use of restorative justice practices in Catholic school systems.
  • The goal of restorative justice in education is to return the student to the learning community.



St. Patrick School

Restorative Justice Movement Center

More about restorative justice circles

SDART, the Springfield Dominican Antiracism Team


Michael's Playlist

Birdland - Buddy Rich

Watermelon Man- Herbie Hancock

Out of the Frying Pan - Meatloaf



Tag St. Patrick School at @stpatrickcatholicschoolspfld

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