The Restorative Justice Center

Location: Oakland, CA
Status: Design complete 2013

The Restorative Justice Center explores alternative forms that mirror and replicate the way participants in restorative or peacemaking processes organize themselves: a non-hierarchical circle. It also takes advantage of the opportunities to access the natural world to modulate fight and flight responses to conflict by reducing stress at the emotional and physiological level.

In the imagined iconic prototype alternative forms stand against the backdrop of the traditional courthouse. It is sited on a water body to take advantage of the necessity for restorative justice spaces to have direct and integrated access to nature. Its porosity and openness provide access to nature. Spaces for inner reflection, gardens, kitchens for breaking bread, multiple entrances, and nested peacemaking spaces support the peacebuilding process with spaces for the three primary parties in restorative processes: (1) those who have committed harm, (2) those who have been harmed, and (3) the larger community.

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