University News Service

Five Howard Payne University students and two faculty members recently attended the Restorative Justice Conference in Kerrville.

Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work, and Lynn Humeniuk, assistant professor of criminal justice/sociology and director of the criminal justice programat HPU, participated in seminars and workshops addressing the area of social justice.

HPU seniors Ricky Gonzalez, of Amarillo, and Stacey Swatzel, of Conroe, were chosen as interns for the conference. Also in attendance were HPU students Crystal Blair, of Brownwood, Phillip Cruts, of Brady, and Bradley Deramus, of San Antonio.

The conference featured international speakers and attracted many attendees from around the world. The focus of restorative justice is to bring victims, offenders and communities together to discuss the effects of the crime from each side’s perspective. It provides an opportunity for offenders to openly discuss their crimes and understand the impact on their victims, families and society.

Many communities are implementing restorative justice in lieu of incarceration and it appears to be saving tax payers money while holding offenders accountable.

Several courses have been taught at Howard Payne University in the area of restorative justice with more planned for the future. As a result of this conference, planning is under way to try to bring the practice of Restorative Justice to the Central Texas area.