Dr. Marilyn Armour – Founder of IRJRD

Marilyn Armour, Ph.D.

Marilyn Armour, Ph.D.Marilyn Armour, Ph.D., is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and founder and former director of the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue (IRJRD), an internal institute within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The university of Texas at Austin. Armour holds a master’s and a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work. Prior to becoming an academic, she was a psychotherapist with an emphasis on violent death, trauma, and family relationships.

Armour’s work focuses on the healing of victims, offenders and the community related to crime and wrongdoing. In that regard, she has conducted studies on the effectiveness of restorative justice interventions for violent crime, in the prison system, in schools, for domestic violence and community restoration as well as the mechanisms of action in the interventions that lead to change. Armour’s research also emphasizes the experiences and healing of family members of homicide victims specific to meaning-making in the aftermath of tragedy, the impact of the offender’s sentence on survivor well-being, the remaining family members after domestic fatalities, and the process of meaning-making for Holocaust survivors during and after the war.

In addition to her research, Armour served as Director of Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO), a statewide program that provides a bridge between victim-survivors and defense teams, especially in capital cases. Armour is the author of books, journal articles and book chapters on these topics.  She serves as a consultant to numerous agencies and organizations that are developing and using restorative practices. She is a founding member of and officer for the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.

Dr. Armour is semi-retired as of summer 2018, but continues to serve as an invaluable asset for IRJRD as advisor and mentor.

Professional Interests

Family members of homicide victims, restorative justice implementation and evaluation, school-to-prison pipeline, restorative dialogue, qualitative research methods, violent death.


  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota

  • M.S.W., University of Minnesota

  • B.A., Bard College