Donna Decker Morris, J.D.

Donna Decker Morris Headshot
Professor Emeritus

Department of Human Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences

J.D., Yale University School of Law, 1979

B.S., Psychology, Tufts University,  magna cum laude , 1972

About Donna

Professor Morris is Director of the Legal Studies Program at the University of New Haven and teaches law, law & policy, dispute resolution, and restorative justice courses. Her research interests focus on alternative forms of dispute resolution and restorative justice, their impact on participants and the justice system, and international conflict resolution.  Currently, she is a co-principal investigator on a COPS grant project to implement and evaluate the impact of police referrals of cases to community mediation and is also working on a restorative justice undergraduate textbook for Sage Publishers.

Before joining the University of New Haven faculty in 1999, Professor Morris was an attorney in the New Haven area focusing on civil litigation, civil rights, employment law, and appellate advocacy.  As a mediator, she has served as a Special Master in the U.S. District Court, a volunteer community mediator, a pro bono mediator for the EEOC, and conducted mediation and conflict management trainings for adults and students.  Active in several legal and ADR organizations, she has also served as Editor for Dialogue, the newsletter for the Restorative and Community Justice Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Professor Morris also is the Director of the University of New Haven Center for Dispute Resolution and enjoys training students to be peer mediators.  She is also adviser to the Legal Society, assisting students with bringing law-related speakers and programs to campus as well as off-campus trips.

Long hikes in the woods, travel – especially adventure travel, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying being at the family lakeside cottage in Maine are a few of her favorite things.

University Awards

University of New Haven's Excellence in Student Advisement Award, May 2011.

Selected Publications

Morris, D.D. (2014). Restorative Justice. In S.L. Mallicoat and C.L. Gardiner (Eds.), Criminal Justice Policy (pp. 241-260). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. (2014). 

Morris, D.D.. "Choosing the Best Mediation Style," Connecticut Law Tribune, February 19, 2001.

See More See Less
Selected Recent Conference Presentations and Invited Lectures

Morris, D.D., Jenkins, M., Sedelmaier, C., and DeCarlo, J. (2013).  Enhancing Community Policing Through Community Mediation.  Presented at Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences 50th Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, March 21, 2013.

Morris, D.D.  Restorative Justice is Sustainable Justice: But is Restorative Justice Sustainable? Moderator and Discussant for Featured Roundtable, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, New York, NY, March 15, 2012.

Morris, D.D.  Setting Course Goals and Objectives, Presentation at American Association for Paralegal Education National Conference, November 4, 2011

Morris, D.D.  Terrorism and the Law:  Post-9/11 U.S. Response, Presentation to European Police Executives, West Haven, CT, October 6, 2011.

Morris, D.D.  Evaluation of Juvenile Offender-Victim Mediation’s Impact on Recidivism and Perceptions of Procedural Justice, Presentation at 3rd National Conference on Restorative Justice, Raleigh, NC, June 9, 2011.

Morris, D.D. Restorative Justice in Criminal Cases. Panel presentation for Accessing Justice through Mediation: Innovative Responses to Unmet Legal Needs and Juvenile Crime, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution National Conference, April 14, 2011.

Morris, D.D., Sidle, S., & Basista, A.  Perceptions of Procedural Fairness in Restorative Dialogue Process. Presentation at ACJS  Conference,  Toronto, Canada, March 4, 2011.

Morris, D.D.  Workshop on the Village Courts.  Stanford-Papua New Guinea Conference on Development, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, February 27, 2010.

Morris, D.D.  Evaluation of Restorative Justice Dialogue in Juvenile Courts Using a Matched Sample Comparison Group.  Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) Conference, February 25, 2010

Morris, D.D.  Restorative Justice In Papua New Guinea: The Village Courts.  Presentation at the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), February 25, 2010

Morris, D.D. Restorative Justice Dialogue: Improving Outcomes for Juvenile Offenders and Victims.  Presentation at the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development & Social Policy at Yale University, Social Policy Lecture Series, November 12, 2010

Morris, D.D.  Reconciliation in the U.S., The Village Courts, and Conflict Resolution.   Lectures Presented at Divine Word University, Madang, Papua New Guinea, August 8-14, 2008

Professional Affiliations

Connecticut Bar Association:Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Vice-Chair 2005-2011, Executive Committee, 2004-present

Paralegal Section, Executive Committee, 2005-present

American Association for Paralegal Education, 2005-present

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Section on Restorative & Community Justice,  

Community Mediation, Inc.:  Volunteer mediator, 1998-present; Board of Directors (2008-2012)

Experiential Education Academy/Society for Experiential Education

See Full Resume Details See Less Full Resume Details