Restorative Justice

Transforming individuals, victims, and communities divided by the criminal justice system


Restorative justice is an alternative to traditional means of rehabilitation and punishment which brings together returning citizens and community members, focusing on conversation and understanding as the first steps on the path to healing.

Art education, paired with personal and professional development, and hands-on assistance on mural projects forge the growth of strong, positive bonds among individuals who are incarcerated, returning citizens, justice-impacted individuals and communities. We place a strong emphasis on work readiness within our Guild program and give creative voice to people who have been disconnected from society.

Restorative Justice participants feel empowered by their accomplishments and emerge with a newfound sense of pride in their own abilities and enhanced employment readiness skills. 

The Restorative Justice department facilitates projects at Mural Arts that amplify the creative voices of people who have been disconnected from society. From our Reimagining Reentry Fellowship and the nation’s first Artist-in-Residence program at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, now in its second year, artists are bringing light to issues to inspire change. Our latest End the Exception project joined a national campaign and engaged a network of incarcerated artists to share their experiences with prison labor, drawing attention to the persistence of legal slavery in our country.

Our reentry work came out of our work at SCI-Graterford, now SCI-Phoenix, where Jane Golden and founding Restorative Justice Director Robyn Buseman began producing murals inside the prison. Still to this day, Mural Arts supports the Artists and Art Room at SCI Phoenix by providing supplies, mural projects, and visiting artists. To learn more about our programming at SCI Phoenix, please visit: 

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If I were to give back anything to the people around me, it would be that, art.

Life After the Guild, with Shaun Durbin Read More

92%% of graduates in our Guild re-entry apprenticeship program are not reincarcerated within one year of program completion


78% of Guild graduates are employed or in school after program completion

44.7 million

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections could save approximately $44.7 million annually by reducing its one-year reincarceration rate by 10 percentage points


City of Philadelphia Youth Violence Reduction Partnership
City of Philadelphia Office of Reentry Partnerships
City of Philadelphia Office of Violence Prevention
Pennsylvania Prison Society
State Correctional Institution at SCI Phoenix
Philadelphia Probation Department
Philadelphia Department of Prisons
Home for Good Reentry Coalition of the City of Philadelphia
Numerous community organizations throughout the City of Philadelphia

Art for Justice Fund
City of Philadelphia
PA Department of Community and Economic Development
PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency
Fierce Advocacy Fund
Eagles Social Justice Fund
City of Philadelphia Office of Violence Prevention
Philadelphia Works


more events

The Guild

Women’s Reentry Pilot Program

Art for Justice

Restorative Practices Youth (Art Ed)