Restorative Rochester Presents the Film ‘Somewhere Beyond’

Includes discussion with screenwriter Gretchen Howard

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Gretchen Howard

The Restorative Rochester Film Series presents a wide range of productions focused on restorative justice practices. The series is designed to promote discussion and use of criminal justice programs that emphasize resolution between the victims and offenders of crime over punishment and incarceration.

The next presentation features the film Somewhere Beyond and will include a discussion with screenwriter Gretchen Howard. The event will be held 6 to 9 p.m. March 5 at Rochester Institute of Technology in Eastman Hall, room 2000.

In her early 20s, Howard was raped at knifepoint and has since committed her life to working with victims of crime. When she felt the need to go through the restorative justice process and confront her attacker, she found that he was unwilling to participate. To deal with her need for restorative justice, she wrote a screenplay about a woman who chooses to go to prison and meet with the man who sexually assaulted her 23 years earlier. The encounter changes both of their lives, and the lives of others.

“The work of restorative justice is vital to restoring individuals and communities,” notes Judy Porter, professor of criminal justice at RIT and co-director for the series. “It provides a less costly and more humane alternative to traditional criminal justice practices that rely on incarceration.”

Howard will tell her story beforehand and facilitate discussion after the film, which has been featured in festivals across the country.

Restorative Rochester is a collaboration of RIT’s Department of Criminal Justice, the University of Rochester’s M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, SUNY Brockport, the Center for Dispute Settlement and Partners in Restorative Initiatives. For more information, go to