Restorative Justice Articles

Published Articles about Restorative Circles by Elaine and Mikhail

Restorative Justice in Schools: Theory, Implementation, and Realistic Expectations (Lyubansky & Barter, 2019)

Peace Profile: Dominic Barter (Lyubansky, 2017)

Outcomes of a Restorative Circles Program in a High School Setting (Ortega, Lyubansky, et al., 2016)

Challenging Power Dynamics in Restorative Justice (Lyubansky & Shpungin, 2015)

The Fluidity of Victimhood (Shpungin, 2014)

Toward a Psychology of Nonviolence (Murray, Lyubansky, Miller, & Ortega, 2014)

Restorative Justice for Trayvon Martin (Lyubansky, 2013)

A Restorative Approach to Racial Conflict (Lyubansky & Barter, 2011)

Micro-Circles (Shpungin, 2011) A form of RC for little conflicts and/or little people
From Sibling Conflict to Sibling Camaraderie: Micro-Circles part 2 (Shpungin, 2011) FAQ written in response to article above

Pop Culture Anthologies (newer content at top)

Media Coverage and Blogs
(newer content at top)

Restorative Circle content by other writers

Online Presence

Academic Articles/Chapters

  • Dzur, A. (2017). Conversations on restorative justice: A talk with Dominic Barter. Restorative Justice: An International Journal, 5(1), 116-132. [Note: Article is behind a paywall].
  • Achutti, D., & Pallamolla, R. (2012). Restorative justice in juvenile courts in Brazil: a brief review of Porto Alegre and São Caetano pilot projects. Universitas Psychologica, 11(4), 1093-1104.
  • NESTA Report on Radical Efficiency (2010). For RC coverage, including evaluation data from Brazil, see pages 1-4, 8, 19 and 41-43

Theses and Doctoral Dissertations

  • Becker, M. (2017). Becker, M. (2018). Restorative circles and gender expression in three North American middle school environments (Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Full text.
  • Ortega, L. (2014). Examining restorative circles in a school setting: towards an understanding of participant experiences and perceptions (Doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Full text.
  • Vaughn, N.B. (2015). Magic in the circle: A process oriented inquiry into Restorative Circles (Doctoral Dissertation, University of West Georgia).
  • Larsson, B. (2014). Life pathways and narratives of young women who have offended and participated in restorative justice (Doctoral dissertation, University of East Anglia). Full text. Becker, M. (2018). Restorative circles and gender expression in three North American middle school environments (Doctoral dissertation). Becker, M. (2017).

Workshop Notes

Media Coverage and Blogs
(newer content at top)

Audio and Video

Local Resources (central Illinois)
Conflict180 Facebook page
Conflict180 on Twitter


Restorative Justice: The Evidence (Sherman & Strang, 2007; Smith Institute Report)

  • 92 pages; one page executive summary included
  • Reviews evidence for RJ in criminal cases in UK and other countries
  • “A review of research on restorative justice (RJ) in the UK and abroad shows that across 36 direct comparisons to conventional criminal justice (CJ), RJ has, in at least two tests each:
    • substantially reduced repeat offending for some offenders, but not all
    • doubled (or more) the offences brought to justice as diversion from CJ
    • reduced crime victims’ post-traumatic stress symptoms and related costs
    • provided both victims and offenders with more satisfaction with justice than CJ
    • reduced crime victims’ desire for violent revenge against their offenders
    • reduced the costs of criminal justice, when used as diversion from CJ
    • reduced recidivism more than prison (adults) or as well as prison (youths).
  • The evidence on RJ is far more extensive, and positive, than it has been for many other policies that have been rolled out nationally.”


Restoring Racial Justice (Davis, Lyubansky, & Schiff, 2017; Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences)

  • 15 pages
  • Reviews evidence for racial bias in criminal justice and school discipline
  • Suggests model for “racially just restorative justice practitioners”
  • Note: Fania Davis is founder and director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) – one of the longest running RJ programs in the U.S.

Outcomes Of A Restorative Circle Program In A High School Setting (Ortega, Lyubansky, Nettles & Espelage, 2016; Psychology of Violence)

  • 9 pages
  • Qualitative interviews with 35 students and 25 staff in high school which implemented a modified version of Dominic Barter’s Restorative Circles process
  • “…Both negative and positive outcomes emerged from the interview data. For negative outcomes, frustration and disappointment were key themes. For positive outcomes, ownership of the process, interrupting the school to prison pipeline, improved relationships, prevention of destructive ways of engaging conflict, meaningful dialogue, and academic and social achievements were key themes.”

The Promise of Restorative Practices to Transform Teacher Student Relationships and Achieve Equity in School Discipline (Gregory, Clawson, Davis & Gerewitz, 2016; Journal of Education and Psychological Evaluation)

  • 23 pages
  • Results from 412 high school students surveys across 29 schools that use restorative practices (RP)
  • Diverse students in high-fidelity RP classrooms reported better relationships with teachers, perceived teachers as more respectful, and perceived teachers as using fewer exclusionary disciplinary practices

Out of Schools and Off Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in American Middle Schools and High Schools (Losen & Martinez, 2013; UCLA Civil Rights Project Report)

  • 100+ pages; 5 page executive summary included
  • reviews evidence for how suspensions negatively affect both suspended AND non-suspended students
  • recommends RJ but does not review RJ outcomes

Restorative Justice and Its Effects on (Racially Disparate) Punitive School Discipline (Simson, 2012; UCLA School of Law: 7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper)

  • 50 pages
  • Reviews economic and academic costs of zero tolerance and out of school suspensions that began in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Reviews data on racial disproportionality in school discipline above and beyond socio-economic status and rates of “misbehavior”
  • Reviews RJ as possible response to racially disproportionate discipline practices
  • Shows significant positive results of large study of 143 middle and high schools using RJ vs. punitive discipline – in ability to reduce suspensions AND racial disparity in discipline practices

Professor Thalia Gonzalez’s page of research on RJ and school

  • Gonzalez is a nationally recognized expert in the field of school-based restorative justice, disproportionality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and restorative practices
  • This link leads to 11 scholarly papers as of April 2017


Integrating Bullying Prevention and Restorative Practices in Schools: Considerations for Practitioners and Policymakers (Molnar-Maine, 2014; Center for Safe Schools Brief)

  • 9 pages
  • From May 2012 to May 2014, the Center for Safe Schools convened the Bullying Prevention (BP) and Restorative Practices (RP) Workgroup, which included educators, mental health practitioners, experts in BP and experts in RP.
  • This brief describes:
    • Components of effective BP and RP in schools
    • Compatibilities between RP and the OBPP
    • Elements of effective and ineffective BP and RP integration

Restorative Justice and Bullying: A Missing Solution in the Anti-Bullying Laws (Duncan, 2011; University of Louisville Law School: Legal Studies Research Paper Series)

  • 32 pages
  • “… research confirms that ‘conventional discipline’ such as detention and suspension is ineffective and exacerbates the [bullying] problem… The bullies feel justified in retaliating against the school and also at the child they were initially bullying, and the bullying cycle continues.”
  • “Not many of the laws strive to help the victim and engage the school community in discussing the incident. Merely punishing the bully does little to heal the unhealthy atmosphere that exists for other members of the school community. Restorative justice helps change behavior, creating a healthier environment for all members of a community.”

Restorative Justice and School Violence: Building Theory and Practice (Morrison, 2001; Paper presented at the International Conference on Violence in Schools and Public Policies)

  • 14 pages
  • Reviews definitions and theories of bullying
  • Reviews evidence (mostly from Australia and New Zealand) for how RJ is an effective approach to bullying which combines “compassion” and “accountability” in the response
  • “…Restorative justice is about building communities of care around individuals while not condoning harmful behavior, in other words holding individuals accountable for their actions.”
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