Diverse Approaches for Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools in the US

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Contribution to Book

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Source Publication

Restorative Justice: Promoting Peace and Wellbeing

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Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-13101-1_1


This chapter describes three ways that restorative justice practices have been introduced in a large Midwestern urban school district in an effort to create more empathic and peaceful relationships among students and between students and teachers: (1) training teachers in restorative justice principles, (2) developing a formal class to teach students about restorative practices (RPs), and (3) integrating RPs for the whole school and teaching both students and teachers about restorative justice. The goals and potential benefits of and the obstacles to each approach and mixed-method data on program implementation and impact will be discussed. Study I surveyed teachers following training in RPs during required professional development. Study II evaluated the RP course using student self-reports, student focus groups, teacher focus groups, and classroom observations across seven schools. Study III examined RP implementation in a charter school using teacher and self-report measures and focus groups with staff and students. The data highlight the importance of administrative support for RP efforts, comprehensive training for teachers, and continuity in enrollment for successful RP implementation. Integrating restorative justice principles in schools can promote the development of trusting relationships and peaceful, supportive climates and has the potential to reduce the use of punitive forms of punishment. Diverse approaches to introducing restorative justice principles in a large urban school district underscore the potential benefits of RPs as well as the obstacles to their effective implementation.


"Diverse Approaches for Implementing Restorative Practices in Schools in the US" in Restorative Justice: Promoting Peace and Wellbeing. Eds. Gabriel Velez and Theo Gavrielides. Cham: Springer, 2022: 3-22. DOI.