Dr. Mark Umbreit is a Professor and founding Director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota, School of Social Work.
He serves as a Visiting Professor at the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee. Dr. Umbreit has also served as a Fellow of the International Centre for Healing and the Law, and a Fellow of the Center for Contemplative Practice in Society. He is an internationally recognized practitioner and scholar with more than 40 years of experience as a mediator, peacemaker, trainer, teacher, researcher, and author of eight books and more than 200 other publications in the fields of restorative justice, mediation, spirituality, forgiveness, and peacemaking. Dr. Umbreit has conducted training seminars and lectures throughout the world, in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Mideast, and North and South America. Mark has been a consultant and trainer for the U.S. Department of Justice for the past 30 years. Dr. Umbreit also serves on the faculty of the Center for Spirituality & Healing in the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota, teaching courses on Peacemaking & Spirituality, and Forgiveness & Healing.
As a practitioner, he facilitates peace-building circles in the community between members of diverse cultures and restorative dialogues between family survivors of homicide and the offender in their quest for healing and strength. Mark initiated the first Palestinian-Jewish dialogue group in the Minneapolis/St. Paul community, as well as a Muslim Restorative Justice Engagement Project in the Twin Cities and beyond. He is working with colleagues in Northern Ireland, Italy, Liberia, and Israel/Palestine on peace building initiatives. He has helped establish restorative justice programs in hundreds of communities, including in nearly every state of the U.S. and numerous other countries. Dr. Umbreit's multi-site and multi-national research has contributed significantly to restorative justice policy development in the U.S. and other countries, as well as providing resource materials and guidance to practitioners. Mark is currently working as a Senior International Consultant with the United Nations Development Program and the Ministry of Justice in Turkey to support their legislative efforts to implement victim offender mediation throughout the country.
When it was first introduced, the restorative justice movement was met with widespread resistance and skepticism. Now, more than twenty-five years later, the movement has flourished and continues to make great strides in reforming the traditional justice system. Today the restorative justice movement is endorsed by many former skeptics.
-Excerpt from the Introduction to The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation by Dr. Mark Umbreit