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Expanding the Use of Restorative Approaches in Schools

Launch date: January 2014 End date: N/A

Restorative approaches are an alternate discipline strategy that emphasize the reparation of harm and relationship-building over punitive discipline. Over the past two years, the Health Department (NOHD) has supported the Center for Restorative Approaches (CRA) in providing training to school staff and community members in restorative approaches. CRA has trained individuals as facilitators of restorative circles in schools, and CRA and CRA-trained volunteers have facilitated restorative circles at schools around New Orleans. As one of the top referring schools, Karr High School is receiving assistance in the implementation of whole school restorative approaches during the 2015-16 school year. An implementation guide was also developed and disseminated to assist schools in starting to use restorative practices. 

Why part of murder reduction strategy

Risk/protective factors addressed: Low commitment to school and school failure

Performance indicators and results

Number of suspensions and expulsions in schools receiving “whole school”  implementation support

Initiative partners

  • Operating Partner: Center for Restorative Approaches
  • Participating Schools: Andrew H. Wilson Charter School and Edna Karr High School (schools receiving “whole school” approach); Numerous other schools have participated in trainings and have referred conflicts to CRA for resolution
  • Funder: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention via the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention

Troi Bechet – Founder and CEO, Center for Restorative Approaches

NOLA FOR LIFE has allowed more New Orleans youth to learn peaceful conflict resolution skills and kept students off the School-to-Prison pipeline. With support from NOLA FOR LIFE and the New Orleans Health Department in 2015, CRA accepted 183 referrals for restorative circles, preventing 239 suspensions and saving over 1,400 hours of school instructional time. This comprehensive strategy to end violence is a catalyst for making our city safer and stronger. 

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