Restorative Justice in Schools: Outcomes and Indicators

There has been a groundswell of interest around restorative justice and restorative practices in schools. There is a significant and growing body of evidence emerging with profound and desirable outcomes.

This one pager—references on page two—highlights selected outcomes and indicators associated with implementing restorative approaches in schools. It draws from reports published by schools, districts, and academics. It intends to guide readers toward the original sources. Please seek, read, and cite the original source to better understand the context, the limitations of the data, and for further analysis.

Page 1 is below the 2-gage PDF with references can be downloaded below.

RJ in School outcomes

Restorative Justice in Schools: Outcomes and Indicators

Restorative Justice Continuum: characteristics of practice


Restorative justice practices fall somewhere on a continuum of ‘restorativeness’. This ill-defined ‘continuum’ is often referred to but I’ve not found anything that clearly illustrates visually what practices might look like at different points along that continuum. Below, I have used Zehr’s (2009) three principles of Engagement, Accountability, and Restoration to create a continuum with indicators to help identify where a practice may fall. Since there are three principles, a practice may be fully restorative in terms of one principle, partially restorative in another, and have a bit of work to do in the third area.

TO-FOR-WITH and towards Agency

The principles of restorative justice apply to decisions and encounters beyond the murky and broad boundaries of crime and wrongdoing. In fact, the principles of engagement, accountability, and restoration (Zehr, 2009) are beneficial to consider in all of our interactions. They are relevant to individuals, groups, and nation-states.

Over time, I have come to realize the importance of engagement largely due to the challenges associated with facilitating it, but also due to its relationship to power. People are empowered when they are engaged; they are disempowered when they are not. Disempowerment is inherently un-just. Thus, restorative justice without engagement is not restorative justice at all.

Sometime in 2009, I adapted McCold and Wachtel’s Social Discipline Window (2003)—a tool used by many in the field to describe restorative justice and restorative practices—in a way that more fully captures restorative justice, in that it incorporates and focuses on involvement and engagement—a foundational principle of its theory and practice.

Here is the graphic I came up with: