Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice, a program offered by Consensus Council since 2021, has been providing statewide services to people involved in and impacted by crime and other harms since 1998. Consensus Council employs a dedicated team of trained professionals across North Dakota to work with individuals referred to the program.

Restorative Justice aims to provide a respectful, compassionate, and healing response to crime and conflict by seeking to restore, to the extent possible, those harmed by an offense. The program encourages accountability from the person(s) responsible and promotes safe, secure, and peaceful communities.

Our statewide Restorative Justice staff team discusses shared values in a Peacemaking Circle.


Restorative Conferencing is a process that provides an opportunity for a face-to-face meeting, in the presence of a trained facilitator, between the victim of an offense and the person(s) responsible.

Participation is voluntary for all participants. Careful preparation is done with each participant individually to ensure a safe and neutral setting for the parties to come together to discuss what happened and the impact it has had on their lives. A signed agreement, reached by consensus, is often an outcome. If a face-to-face meeting is not desired or appropriate, other options may be available to the parties.


Our four-hour, virtual Victim Empathy Seminar is geared to promote empathy and understanding by identifying and discussing the impact an offense has on victims, families, and communities. The seminar provides a supportive environment where people responsible for causing harm are encouraged to understand and take accountability for their actions.

As part of the seminar, participants are supported in writing a letter of apology to the victim and/or others impacted by the offense. The seminar is interactive and does not directly involve the victims of those in attendance.


Peacemaking Circles provide an opportunity for people experiencing conflict to come together with the intent of reaching a resolution and repairing harm. With a strong emphasis on establishing shared values among participants, this highly structured process is led by a trained facilitator (“Circle Keeper”). Participants are invited to share their perspectives through a series of guided quesitons, with the goal of broadening understanding of each other’s experiences and the conflict. Participants are supported in creating an agreement, reached by consensus, by which harm can be repaired.


Consensus Council accepts referrals from partner and contracted agencies such as justice systems and schools. Typical legal harms include theft, vandalism, burglary, trespassing, assault, and vehicular offenses, while school-based referrals often stem from bullying or ongoing student conflict.

Referrals may also be considered from other organizations or community members in certain cases. Please contact us with any questions.

125 Slate Drive, Suite 6
Bismarck, ND 58503

(701) 224-0588

Consensus Council