Shannon Sliva

Shannon Sliva

Associate Professor with Tenure

  • Faculty

What I do

I believe in the power of dialogue and shared experiences to transform people and systems. Through meaningful relationships, we gain a new understanding of ourselves and the world. I am most interested in what this means for the way we do justice in the United States. I challenge our reliance on courts and prisons, and I lead community-based research teams in understanding how restorative, collaborative, and creative approaches can facilitate both justice and healing. In my classroom, students learn through dialogue, the arts, and experiential activities.


civic and community engagement, community organizing and community development, criminal justice, public policy, violence

Professional Biography

Assistant Professor Shannon Sliva conducts leading research on restorative and collaborative approaches to justice which challenge current criminal legal models. Her work considers the role of dialogue and shared experiences in transforming people and systems.

Sliva tracks state-level restorative justice legislation across the U.S., and is currently partnering with Colorado practitioners, policymakers and advocates to document the impacts of leading-edge restorative justice laws and develop recommendations for policy transfer. In 2017, she was funded by the National Institute of Justice to measure the impact of victim offender dialogue on victims of serious, violent crimes in Colorado. Most recently, Sliva's interdisciplinary research team at DU was funded by the Urban Institute through the Prison Research Innovation Network to conduct community-based participatory research designed to improve the prison environment at Sterling Correctional Facility in Colorado.

Sliva is also the Director of Research for the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative, where she oversees evaluation of DU PAI’s arts-based workshops and public performances. Sliva teaches macro practice, policy and restorative justice courses at GSSW.


  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington, 2015
  • MSW, Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington, 2007
  • BS, Social Work, Texas Christian University, 2005

Licensure / Accreditations

  • High-Risk Victim Offender Dialogue Facilitation
  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

Professional Affiliations

  • Other
  • Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Other

Media Sources


Sliva, S. M., Katie, G., Han, T. M., & Samimi, J. C. (2019). Implementation matters: Minding the gap between the aspirations and impact of restorative justice. . National Association of Community and Restorative Justice Conference. Denver, CO: National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.
Sliva, S. M., & Plassmeyer, M. P. (2019). Effects of Restorative Justice Diversion Legislation on Juvenile Filing Rates: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis. American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA: American Society of Criminology.
Samimi, C., & Sliva, S. M. (2019). Circles as pedagogy for a conscious classroom. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Denver, CO: Council on Social Work Education.
Sliva, S. M., & Samimi, C. (2018). It's all about relationships! Exploring outcomes in university-community partnerships. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Orlando, FL: CSWE.
Sliva, S. M. (2016). Restorative justice legislation: A viable solution to overincarceration or a symbolic gesture? . ACJS Annual Meeting. Denver, CO: American Criminal Justice Society.