Skip to main content

Restorative Justice

**Oakland Unified School District. (n.d.). Whole school Restorative Justice. Oakland, CA: Author. Available at Restorative_Justice_info_sheet_FINAL.pdf

This two page document outlines Oakland Unified School District's (OUSD) approach to implementing restorative practices in support of its Full Service Community Schools and, in particular, its efforts to reduce racially disproportionate discipline.  The document provides a brief overview of Restorative Justice and its departure from traditional zero tolerance policies.  It also summarizes how the district tailors its restorative practices to support the needs of different subsets of the student population, as well as the resources it aligns to support the implementation of these practices.

Zehr, H. (2002). The little book of Restorative Justice. Intercourse, PA: Good Books. Available for purchase at

This book provides an introduction to the philosophy, principles, and practices of Restorative Justice.  Viewed through the lens of Restorative Justice, crime is a violation of relationships between people and creates obligations to repair harm.  Restorative Justice practices require the victim, offender, and relevant community members to collaboratively address causes and effects of the harm.  By allowing those most affected by the crime to make key decisions, Restorative Justice practices aim to make the justice process more healing for the victim, offender, and community and to reduce the likelihood of future crime.  After discussing these key tenets of Restorative Justice, the author describes various types of Restorative Justice practices, such as victim offender conferences, family group conferences, and circles.  

Oakland Unified School District. (n.d.). Peacemaking circles: A process for solving problems and building community. Oakland, CA: Author. Available at Centricity/Domain/97/PeacemakingCircles.pdf

This two page document summarizes peacemaking circles, a restorative practice used by OUSD to build community and respond to conflict. Circles can be used to build relationships, surface root causes of conflict, empower participants, and foster dialogue and collective problem-solving.  They can be used in a variety of settings, such as conflict transformation, trauma healing, community management, social service, or judicial proceedings.  Peacemaking circles offer all participants an equal opportunity to participate; address emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual concerns; encourage the exploring of differences; and invite participants to hold themselves accountable to others.

Oakland Unified School District. (n.d.). Restorative Justice bibliography. Oakland, CA: Author. Available at Justice_Bibliography(RA).pdf

This annotated bibliography lists additional resources on restorative practices such as peacemaking circles, restorative conferencing, peer juries, and peer mediation.  It also provides literature on the identification of need for, and implementation of, restorative practices in schools.

**This document is considered a priority reading.