A primary point of departure in Catholic social doctrine is the dignity of the human person. This, too, is a core understanding in restorative justice, which seeks to promote approaches to justice rooted in human dignity, relationship and healing. As a community of faith that shares these ideals, we can help be part of that movement to shift our criminal legal system from one of retribution to one of restoration and transformation. This lunch hour presentation will look at Catholic social doctrine and restorative justice, as well as the very real impact restorative approaches can have in our criminal legal system.

Our Guest Speakers

Caitlin Morneau is the Director of Restorative Justice for Catholic Mobilizing Network. Caitlin is responsible for program development that increases understanding of restorative justice and use of restorative practices in Catholic contexts. Caitlin holds an MA in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. She co-authored the preface of Redemption and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Restorative Justice with Howard Zehr and adapted this work into the faith formation guide Harm, Healing and Human Dignity: A Catholic Encounter with Restorative Justice.

Dr. Elizabeth Beck is a professor in the School of Social Work at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Her major research interests are in the areas of mass incarceration, forensic social work and restorative justice. Dr. Beck has authored 26 peer-reviewed articles, one law review article, numerous book chapters and three books. From 2006-2010 she was principle investigator (PI) to the Georgia Council for Restorative Justice, examining Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach, a restorative justice strategy often used in death penalty cases. She has consulted on numerous capital cases, served as an expert in state and federal cases and provided training to hundreds of capital defense teams.