We are highlighting a handful of restorative practices research reports done over the last decade, some of which we have been involved with closely. Please let us know if there are other reports you would like us to include so that others may be aware of them. We strongly support evidence based programs and believe restorative practices should have some kind of evaluation component as part of a healthy and sustainable implementation effort.
Note: Click on links (in bold) to go to view/download PDF document.
Building a Positive School Climate Restorative Practices Research Brief
Learning Policy Institute Research Brief October 2021
Widespread efforts to curb exclusionary and discriminatory discipline in schools have led to a growing focus on restorative approaches, a set of practices aimed at building strong in-school relationships and attachments, rather than pushing students out of school. This brief reviews research illustrating the benefits of these practices for improving student behavior, decreasing the use of exclusionary discipline, and improving school climate. This brief can be found online at: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/ product/wce-positive-school-climaterestorative-practices. The full report on which it is based is at https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/educating-whole-child-report.
This report presents information garnered from a comprehensive review of the literature on restorative justice in U.S. schools. The purpose of our review is to capture key issues, describe models of restorative justice, and summarize results from studies conducted in the field. We first conducted and published a literature review on this topic in early 2016, covering research reports and other relevant literature that had been published or made publicly available between 1999 and mid-2014 (Fronius, Persson, Guckenburg, Hurley, & Petrosino, 2016). This report expands on that earlier review, updating it to include publications available through July 2018.
Taking Restorative Practices School-wide: Insights from Three Denver Schools
A report of the Denver School-Based Restorative Practices Partnership, Anyon, Y. 2016
Through interviews and focus groups with staff members at three Denver schools that have successfully implemented restorative practices (RP), four essential strategies for taking this approach school-wide were identified: strong principal vision and commitment to RP; explicit efforts to generate staff buy-in to this conflict resolution approach; continuous and intensive professional development opportunities; and, the allocation of school funds for a full-time coordinator of RP at the site. Additional approaches that supported school-wide implementation of RP are described in the full report.
Denver Public Schools Restorative Justice and Disciplinary Reform Project
First Year Report 2006-2007, September 20, 2007. Coordinated by Restorative Solutions. (PDF, 249k)
In May 2006, Denver Public Schools (DPS) proposed to implement a Restorative Justice (RJ) Program within three middle schools and one high school. The overall goal of the project and the district-wide reform is to reduce the number of suspensions, expulsions, and police intervention incidents in each school. Read the first year findings of this program coordinated by Restorative Solutions.
Denver Public Schools Restorative Justice and Disciplinary Reform Project Second Year Report 2007-2008, August 31, 2008. Coordinated by Restorative Solutions. (PDF, 257k)
Read the second year findings of this program coordinated by Restorative Solutions.
Restorative Measures: School District Policy Examples, February 2009. Minnesota Department of Education. (PDF, 69k)
Restorative Practice: History, Successes, Challenges, & Recommendations, June 2017. Valerie Marsh, University of Rochester
Restorative Practice (RP) is an increasingly acknowledged and employed approach to school discipline, behavior, and relationships. Operating with an underlying thesis that “human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to or for them” (Payne & Welch, 2017, p. 3), RP lies at the intersection of criminal justice, school culture, and professional development. Each of these fields has played a role in the rise of RP as a viable alternative to punitive measures to address student misbehavior and school culture. Today, the RP conversation is also reaching mainstream media (Stern, 2016; Dawson, 2017; Winter, 2016), indicating a societal openness to such alternative forms of school discipline. This brief takes these multiple perspectives into account as it provides a research review. It is organized into five sections: the first two focus on punitive discipline, providing 1) a history of the practice, and 2) documentation of its disadvantages; the third 3) introduces the RP approach; followed by 4) a review of research on RP, including implementation, successes, and challenges; and lastly 5) a summary conclusion.