Lunch and Learn Webinars

Lunch & Learn #13 (in English) – July 16, 2020: “Restorative Justice as an Alternative to the Criminal Justice System” by Dr. Abdy Javadzadeh

FIU Fellow Professor-Center for Labor Research & Studies and Professor at St. Thomas University

Dr. Abdy Javadzadeh is a Fellow FIU professor at the Center for Labor Research and Studies, an Associate Professor of Sociology/Criminology, and Director of Graduate Studies in Criminal Justice at St. Thomas University. For over 20 years he has taught many undergraduate and graduate courses in criminology and sociology at several universities. His current research includes Global Minimum Wage and the means of implementation around the globe.

In addition, Dr. Javadzadeh continues his research on the implementation of Restorative Justice state-wide and nation-wide. He has worked on many issues of social justice in South Florida and is currently on the board of directors at the Miami Workers Center and the board of directors at the Gun Violence chapter of PACT (People Acting for Community Together). He also works with the FIU Law Clinic on bringing an end to the Florida Death Penalty.

His expertise is on social movements, political and sociological theories, international criminology, sociology of terrorism, and Middle East politics. Dr. Javadzadeh has done extensive research on Iran and the Middle Eastern social and political movements and has published a book,”Iranian Irony”, and articles about American foreign policy in the Middle East and Postmodernism and Terrorism as contemporary social phenomena.

Webinar Abstract:
Our criminal justice system, arguably all three pillars of law enforcement, courts, and prison system, have failed in the United States. This miscarriage of justice has mostly affected blacks and browns in America with no serious critique or restructuring. The extent crime and punishment ethos is perpetuating a badly designed structure with no real consequences of reducing or deterring crime. Decades of failure should only suggest a serious overhauling of this arrangement.

Restorative Justice, as an alternative to such problems, brings back the hope and lays power in the hands of the those offending, those victimized, and their community. Restorative Justice programs usually focus on small groups that bring together members of the community, including offenders and victims, to talk about and share their problems. These programs are focused on teachers, counselors and the way they relate to victims and offenders. The trust that builds in that dynamic works both ways. It is about shifting the culture of punishment to restoration of the community.

Restorative Justice is a philosophy and practice based on the idea of taking responsibility for actions that have hurt or harmed someone else and/or him or herself. The goal of a restorative justice-oriented discipline approach is to keep communities safe and harmonious, while training the population to learn from their mistakes. It is based on the belief that wrongdoing is best addressed through group processes that allow affected and responsible parties to identify harm, take responsibility and come up with a plan to repair the harm.

Please find below the recording to the webinar: