Restorative Justice In Schools

Schools are seeking ways to create a safe environment for their students, but incidences of bullying and violence still pervade. Student suspension rates are still high and many argue that forbidding students from coming to school exacerbates, rather than remediates, the problem. Suspension and expulsion may also lack effectiveness since they deny conversation between involved parties about underlying issues and unmet needs. Nor do they offer alternative strategies for handling behavior issues effectively or navigating conflict tactfully; nonviolently. Basically, suspension and expulsion skip over the teaching point.

Enter Restorative Practices in Schools, which have been shown not only to decrease suspension rates anywhere from 40% to 80%, but also resulted in a nearly 50% drop in absenteeism and a 60% decrease in tardiness. Restorative Practices in Schools have the potential to offer negative leaders reason enough and structure enough to step into positive leadership roles inside and outside of the classroom.

Restorative Justice In Schools

In Colorado Restorative Practices in Schools are on the rise. The RJ Council is making a concerted effort to support the development of Restorative Practices in Schools that train, implement and practice with fidelity and consistency over the long term. There is evidence, through Implementation Science that a minimum of 3-5 years is needed to shift a punitive school climate to a restorative one.

It is a worthy endeavor as those who stick to it have seen students become leaders of restorative practices side by side with the adults in their buildings.

For more information contact: Deb Witzel at deb.witzel@judicial.state.co.us or (720) 625-5964.

Colorado Restorative Practices in Schools Guidelines Colorado Restorative Practices in Schools Guidelines (560 KB)


Restorative Justice In Schools Works