Restorative Justice in Schools: An Upstream Approach for Addressing Inequities in the Risk of Incarceration

December 30, 2021

Adverse Childhood Experiences are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood (0-17 years), resulting in an increased risk of adverse health outcomes and decreased personal well-being. Related, school discipline policies can be associated with a child’s risk of future incarceration. Using exclusionary discipline practices (e.g., suspension or expulsion) as a form of punishment increases a student’s risk for arrest. In contrast, policies that keep students in a learning environment may reduce the risk of incarceration. This report discusses school restorative justice practices as a potential protective factor and an alternative to exclusionary discipline policies in K-12 school settings.

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