Implementing Restorative Processes to Mediate Conflict and Transform Urban Schools

Implementing Restorative Processes to Mediate Conflict and Transform Urban Schools

Anthony H. Normore (California State University – Dominguez Hills, USA) and Brian Jarrett (California State University – Dominguez Hills, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2209-6.ch012
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Drawing on restorative processes research (e.g., Braithwaite, 1999) and research on social justice (e.g., Evans, 2007; Furman & Gruenewald, 2004; Murrell, 2006; Normore & Brooks, 2014) this chapter is organized in the following manner: First, the authors provide a brief history of the administration of justice. Secondly, the authors discuss the global rise of restorative justice in the education context. In order for a program to be completely restorative it must include several educational components as part of restorative processes. Towards this end, the chapter then situates these components in the context of social justice and explore how school systems use them - with specific emphasis on victim-offender conferencing. Next, authors share examples of international initiatives pertaining to restorative practices. Conclusions summarize the significance of restorative practices in school settings in order to prevent violence, reduce rates of expulsions and suspensions, and create a safe and secure teaching and learning environment for all.
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Brief History Of Administration Of Justice In The Western World

Based on Normore’s (2015) research, prior to our modern system of state centered public justice, the administration of justice was not simply about applying rules. Instead, it was a mediating and negotiating process known as community justice. Community justice grew out of the need for communities to resolve disputes, reconcile harm, and to maintain relationships. The use of retributive justice, or forced resolution, were seen as a last resort. As governments grew they began the process of replacing community justice with courts. Courts established rules of law and applied these rules, established guilt, and set penalties. Victims, offenders, and the community lost control of disputes; instead, punishment did very little to address the harm caused by the wrongdoing (Llewellyn & Howse, 1999).

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