Areas of Focus

The Restorative Justice workgroup’s focus is the social and emotional health of youth and adults, through Restorative Practices and prevention, intervention, and re-entry supports that are trauma and culturally-informed.

The Restorative Justice workgroup works  to address issues that impact youth’s physical, emotional, and mental health using restorative practices within the Santa Ana Unified School District.

The Restorative Justice in neighborhoods workgroup works to address issues that impact the communities physical, emotional, and mental health using restorative practices within Santa Ana.

Restorative Justice in Schools

A Comparison of Punitive and Restorative Justice Responses in Schools

  • Misbehavior defined as breaking school rules or letting the school down.
  • Focus is on what happened and establishing blame or guilt.
  • Adversarial relationship and process. Includes an authority figure with the power to decide on penalty, in conflict with wrongdoer.
  • Imposition of pain or unpleasantness to punish and deter/prevent.
  • Attention to rules and adherence to due process.
  • Conflict/wrongdoing represented as impersonal and abstract; individual versus school.
  • One social injury compounded by another.
  • School community as spectators, represented by member of staff dealing with the situation; those directly affected uninvolved and powerless.
  • Accountability defined in terms of receiving punishment.
  • Misbehavior defined as harm (emotional/mental/physical) done to one person/group by another.
  • Focus on problem-solving by expressing feelings and needs and exploring how to address problems in the future.
  • Dialogue and negotiation, with everyone involved in the communication and cooperation with each other.
  • Restitution as a means of restoring both parties, the goal being reconciliation and acknowledging responsibility for choices.
  • Attention to relationships and achievement of a mutually desired outcome.
  • Conflict/wrongdoing recognized as interpersonal conflicts with opportunity for learning.
  • Focus on repair of social injury/damage.
  • School community involved in facilitating restoration; those affected taken into consideration; empowerment
  • Accountability defined as understanding impact of actions, taking responsibility for choices, and suggesting ways to repair harm.