Restorative Practice

The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.

The field of restorative practices has significant implications for all aspects of society — from families, classrooms, schools and prisons to workplaces, associations, governments, even whole nations — because restorative practices can develop better relationships among these organizations’ constituents and help the overall organization function more effectively. For example, in schools, the use of restorative practices has been shown to reliably reduce misbehavior, bullying, violence and crime among students and improve the overall climate for learning. Everyone who finds themselves in positions of authority — from parents, teachers and police to administrators and government officials — can benefit from learning about restorative practices.

Restorative practices include but are not limited to restorative circles, family group conferences, and informal practices such as affective questioning.

Defining Restorative

(2013) International Institute for Restorative Practices

This document defines restorative practice, its history, and describes types of restorative practices.

Building & Repairing Relationships the Relationships the Restorative Way

(2007) The presentation identifies both the advantages and challenges of restorative practices and how restorative practices build social capital

San Francisco Unified School District Restorative Practices

(2009) The presentation defines the effects of and need for restorative practice in the San Francisco Unified School District

Improving School Climates: Findings from schools implementing restorative practices

(2009) The document is composed of excerpts from articles, reports and disciplinary data from individual schools and school districts. The data was collected to provide the a snapshot of findings related to restorative practices.

SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change Program

(2014) A cost-effective way to achieve lasting change that enhances and builds relationships between students, staff and parents, improves student behavior, reduces violence and bullying and creates a sense of community.

Restorative Practices: Fostering Healthy Relationships & Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools

(2014) This restorative practices toolkit focuses on strategies to build healthy relationships between students and adults in educational settings

Restorative Classroom Practices

A community of teachers using Restorative Practices in their classrooms, this website features a number of resources such as a slideshow on how to start a restorative circle and a list of restorative questions.

SaferSanerSchools: Whole-School Change Through Restorative Practices

In this 45-min. webinar, learn about the International Institute for Restorative Practices’s SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change program, a proven effective way to achieve lasting whole-school culture change. Discover how to achieve school climate change with our intensive, cost-effective two-year implementation program that includes:

  • a strategic organizational change process
  • comprehensive on-site training & consulting
  • built-in assessment mechanisms
  • an effective sustainability approach

Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for Our Schools

(2011) Alameda County School Health Services Coalition

Merced County high schools: the benefits of restorative justice discipline model

(2014) According to a new report, high school officials at Merced County are taking a new approach at improving discipline policies on campuses, and that approach is showing a significant improvement in student participation and wellness.

Chicago mayor advocates restorative school communities

(2015) Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s Commission for a Safer Chicago operates from a belief that violence is preventable, not inevitable. The commission has created a Strategic Plan for Youth Violence for 2015, which includes recommendations to create restorative school communities and build bridges between youth and police.

Restorative practices data from Hampstead Hill implementation

(2012) Hampstead Hill Academy, a public charter school for elementary age students in Baltimore, Maryland, adopted the use of restorative practices school-wide beginning in January 2008 and the document identifies improvements in suspension data and family and community engagement.