Additional Resources

Reading Resources

Resources from the Dignity in Schools Campaign

School District Resources

  • Oakland, CA Unified School District Program Overview and Information
    & Board of Education Resolution on Restorative Justice

    Restorative Justice (RJ) is a set of principles and practices employed in the Oakland Unified School District to build community and respond to student misconduct, with the goals of repairing harm and restoring relationships between those impacted. The RJ program in OUSD pilots a three-tiered model of prevention/ intervention/ supported reentry in response to conflict/harm. The RJ program works to lower our rate of suspension and expulsion and to foster positive school climates with the goal of eliminating racially disproportionate discipline practices and the resulting push-out of students into the prison pipeline.

  • San Francisco Unified School District Overview and Implementation Guide

  • “Findings From Schools Implementing Restorative Practices”by the International Institute of Restorative Practices


  • Youth Justice Coalition (LA) "Know Justice, Know Peace" Slideshare Presentation
    THIS PRESENTATION IS DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS: (1) CITY OF LOST ANGELS explains why the Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) was forced to address violence and crime, and why transformative justice was the only logical path for us to take towards peace. (2) ROOTS OF THE SCHOOL-TO-JAIL TRACK, YOUTH CRIMINALIZATION AND MASS INCARCERATION covers some of the history that led to America’s addiction to prisons. (3) BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR YOUTH JUSTICE describes the YJC’s Transformative Justice Process and includes comparisons with the traditional U.S. court system and Restorative Justice.

  • Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for our Schools
    Jon Kidde and Rita Alfred, 2011
    Excerpt: Restorative Justice is not unstructured; but the structure is different from what we have learned to expect from our systems. Restorative Justice encourages us to be constantly present, attending to needs as they arise. It exercises our ability to be dynamic rather than static in our responses. It also creates
    a safe space for people to express themselves—their strengths, assets, responsibilities, and also, their vulnerability. As a result, it humanizes all those involved and promotes connection and healing.

  • Parent-to-Parent Guide on Restorative Justice
    COFI / Power PAC, 2012
    Excerpt: Restorative justice teaches children ways to handle conflict without violence. It’s a way to build better and safer schools right now—and to create hope and change in our neighborhoods. It might look different across communities, settings, or situations, but there are key ideas.

  • Know Your Rights When Facing a Suspension
    New York Civil Liberties Union
    About: In new York State, everyone Younger than 21 who does not have a high school dIploma has the rIght to attend a publIc school.This right is protected by our state constitution. When your school wants to suspend you, it is taking away that right for a period of time. But there are rules that the school must follow where your rights are concerned. This guide will help you understand the rules, and protect your right to an education.

  • The Knotted Line
    Evan Bissell, 2012
    The Knotted Line is an interactive, tactile laboratory for exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the geographic area of the United States. With miniature paintings of over 50 historical moments from 1495-2025, The Knotted Line asks: how is freedom measured? Just as importantly, The Knotted Line imagines a new world through the work of grassroots movements for self-determination.


  • Restorative Practice and Special Needs: A Practical Guide to Working Restoratively with Young People
    Nick Burnett and Margaret Thorsborne, 2015
    Restorative Practice (RP) is being used increasingly in different settings, but using RP with those who have Special Needs requires a different approach. This practical guide explains how RP can be adapted for those with additional needs and to see real improvement in behaviour and learning.

  • "Prison Town" Zine (PDF)
    The Real Cost of Prisons Project, 2005

  • Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling
    Sabrina Jones and Marc Mauer, 2013
    The United States’ rate of incarceration is the highest in the world. Why and how did this happen? Marc Mauer’s Race to Incarcerate, first published in 1999, has become the essential text for understanding the exponential growth of the U.S. prison system and a canonical work for those active in the U.S. criminal justice reform movement. Now, Sabrina Jones, a member of the World War 3 Illustrated collective and an acclaimed author of politically engaged comics, has collaborated with Mauer to adapt and update the original book into a vivid, engaging comics narrative designed to reach new audiences. Jones’s dramatic artwork adds passion and compassion to the complex story of four decades of prison expansion and its corrosive effect on generations of Americans. In this highly accessible format, Race to Incarcerate: A Graphic Retelling presents a compelling argument that mass incarceration has replaced the kind of civic institutions and economic welfare crucial to creating a just society.

  • Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California
    Ruth Wilson Gilmore, 2007
    Excerpt:The practice of putting people in cages for part or all of their lives is a central feature in the development of secular states, participatory democracy, individual rights, and contemporary notions of freedom... Prisons depersonalized social control, so that it could be bureaucratically managed across time and space, and satisfied the demands of reformers who largely prevailed against bodily punishment, which nevertheless endures in the death penalty and many torturous conditions of confinement. Oddly enough, then, the rise of prisons is coupled with two major upheavals-- the rise of the word freedom to stand for what’s desirable, and the rise of civic activists to stand up for who’s dispossessed.

  • Toward Transformative Justice: A Liberatory Approach to
    Child Sexual Abuse and other forms of Intimate and Community Violence

    generationFIVE, 2007
    -Section One explains Transformative Justice and argues the need for liberatory approaches to violence, in particular child sexual abuse. This section speaks to the urgency of addressing child sexual abuse as part of our liberation struggles, both as a specific form of violence that reflects and perpetuates multiple forms of oppression and as one that is exploited by the Right. A liberatory approach to child sexual abuse uniquely positions us to resist this exploitation. Section Two describes in detail the core principles of a Transformative Justice model. These include: liberation, shifting power, safety, accountability, collective action, honoring diversity and sustainability. Section Three proposes a set of practices to address child sexual abuse in a transformative way. Practices of Transformative Justice include: building a Collective, preparation and capacity building, naming and defining child sexual abuse, conducting assessment, developing a safety strategy, supporting healing and resilience, holding accountability, working for community transformation as well as strengthening collective resistance. The Conclusion offers next steps toward integrating Transformative Justice into intimate, activist and community networks, as well as mass- base and community organizations and the sexual and domestic violence sectors.

  • Circle Forward: Building A Restorative School Community
    Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis, 2014
    A resource guide designed to help teachers, administrators, students and parents incorporate the practice of Circles into the everyday life of the school community. This resource guide offers comprehensive step–by-step instructions for how to plan, facilitate and implement the Circle for a variety of purposes within the school environment. It describes the basic process, essential elements and a step-by-step guide for how to organize, plan, and lead Circles. It also provides over one hundred specific lesson plans and ideas for the application of Circles in several areas of school life.

  • Circle in the Square: Building Community and Repairing Harm in School
    Nancy Riestenberg, 2012
    Excerpt: Restorative justice is a set of principles and practices that sees crime and harm as violations of people and relationships. Instead of asking the questions, “What was the rule? Who broke it? What is the consequence per the student handbook?” a restorative school’s students and staff ask instead, “What was the harm? Who are all the people affected by it? What needs to be done to repair the harm and set things right so everyone can get back to learning?" ...Restorative measures in schools build community, civic engagement and relationships. These practices provide structure to problem solving. In a restorative school, people who harm others are held accountable to to the person they hurt as well as to the school community, not just to a student handbook. Students are actively involved in fixing the problems they make.

  • The Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking
    Kay Pranis, 2005
    Our ancestors gathered around a fire in a circle, families gather around their kitchen tables in circles, and now we are gathering in circles as communities to solve problems. The practice draws on the ancient Native American tradition of a talking piece and combines that with concepts of democracy and inclusivity. Peacemaking Circles are used in neighborhoods to provide support for those harmed by crime and to decide sentences for those who commit crime, in schools to create positive classroom climates and resolve behavior problems, in the workplace to deal with conflict, and in social services to develop more organic support systems for people struggling to get their lives together. The Circle process hinges on storytelling. It is hard work, but it is an effort bringing astonishing results around the country.

  • The Little Book of Restorative Justice
    Howard Zehr, 2002
    Vengeance and bitter violence have had their turns—without redemptive results. How should we as a society respond to wrongdoing? When a crime occurs or an injustice is done, what needs to happen? What does justice require? Howard Zehr, known worldwide for his pioneering work in transforming our understandings of justice, here proposes workable Principles and Practices for making restorative justice both possible and useful. First he explores how restorative justice is different from criminal justice. Then, before letting those appealing observations drift out of reach, into theoretical space, Zehr presents Restorative Justice Practices. Zehr undertakes a massive and complex subject and puts it in graspable form, without reducing or trivializing it.

  • And many other great "Little" Books!
    The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding present, in a highly accessible form, key concepts and practices from the fields of restorative justice, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding. Written by leaders in these fields, they are designed for practitioners, students, and anyone interested in justice, peace, and conflict resolution.

  • Unfinished Business: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap in Our Schools
    Pedro A. Noguera & Jean Yonemura Wing, 2008
    Exerpt: As we approach this topic, we also take a critical look at the expectations held by others-- teachers, administrators, parents, security guards-- who are implicated in the failure of black students. We ask why, in a community that is widely known as politically progressive, BHS produces racialized patterns of discipline and achievement that are identical to what we see in schools throughout the country... In addressing this question, we focus on the role of ideology in producing, sustaining, and legitimizing these outcomes. In other words, we look at assumptions and beliefs that are ingrained in our cultural landscape-- so ingrained that we often fail to recognize them... After all, the school’s approach to punishment and its racialized academic outcomes conform to broader societal patterns that have been in place for so long in many parts of the United States that failure becomes normalized.

  • Police in the Hallways: Discipline in an Urban School
    Kathleen Nolan, 2011
    Through in-depth interviews with and observations of students, teachers, administrators, and police officers, Nolan offers a rich and nuanced account of daily life at a Bronx high school where police patrol the hallways and security and discipline fall under the jurisdiction of the NYPD. She documents how, as law enforcement officials initiate confrontations with students, small infractions often escalate into “police matters” that can lead to summonses to criminal court, arrest, and confinement in juvenile detention centers.

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
    Michelle Alexander, 2012
    Excerpt: If someone were to visit the United States from another country (or another planet) and ask: Is the U.S. criminal justice system some kind of tool of racial control? Most Americans would swiftly deny it. Numerous reasons would leap to their minds why that could not possibly be the case. The visitor would be told that crime rates, black culture, or bad schools were to blame. “The system is not run by a bunch of racists,” the apologists would explain. “It’s run by people who are trying to fight crime.” That response is predictable because most people assume that racism, and racial systems generally, are fundamentally a function of attitudes. Because mass incarceration is officially colorblind, it seems inconceivable that the system could function much like a racial caste system. The widespread and mistaken belief that racial animus is necessary for the creation and maintenance of racialized systems of social control is the most important reason that we, as a nation, have remained in deep denial.

  • Transforming the School to Prison Pipeline
    by Debra M. Pane (Florida International University, USA) and Tonette S. Rocco (Florida International University, USA)
    About: This book is a scholarly study, presented as a readable story, and practical guide for walking teachers, administrators, and teacher education programs through the process of transforming traditional ways of thinking about classroom discipline and teaching in order to create student-centered, creative, non-punitive classrooms that authentically engage the most alienated and oppressed students in our schools and society.

  • A Free Range Childhood: Self Regulation at Summerhill School
    Matthew Appleton, 2000
    Excerpt: The popular image of Summerhill has always been a controversial one. In the media it is often depicted as the “school for scandal,” the “do-as-you-like school,” the “school with no rules.” The idea of children regulating their own lives free from adult interference is foreign to most people and is easily dismissed as a “trendy” or “cranky” irrelevance, especially when the language of the media is the only language by which the majority of people get to hear of Summerhill... But serious attempts to come to terms with the deeper processes of Summerhill life or what they might have to tell us about child nature, are few and far between.

  • Picturing Restorative Justice: A Vision of the World We Want to Live In
    Joan Kresich, 2012
    About: WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE? Using a clear format with principles and concepts illustrated, Picturing Restorative Justice will quickly help the reader become familiar with the foundations of restorative justice and how it can serve both individuals and communities. Examples from everyday life are used to show how the use of restorative justice in responding to conflicts can transform painful separation into re-connection, healing broken relationships, and ultimately, building of stronger communities.

  • Heart of Hope Resource Guide:
    A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing and Build Healthy Relationships
    By Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis, 2010
    This resource guide is designed for practitioners who work with youth, young adults, and their families within social services, violence/pregnancy prevention, education, and positive youth development programs. It offers a flexible set of tools that can be applied to a range of settings and for a variety of purposes. We believe that any caring and responsible individual can learn to use these practices safely, creatively, and effectively: the peacemaking circle; the practice of mindfulness/meditation; and exercises and concepts derived from Power Source, an emotional awareness/emotional literacy program for at-risk youth and young adults.

  • Safe and Peaceful Schools: Addressing Conflict and Eliminating Violence. (Chapter 2, A Case Vignette)
    By John Winslade and Michael Williams


  • Dozens of downloadable PDFs on Restorative Justice from the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice

  • How High Stakes Testing Feeds the School to Prison Pipeline Infographic

  • Stop the School-to-Prison pipeline Rethinking Schools Editorial, 2012

  • "Restorative Justice Practices of Native American, First Nation and Other
    Indigenous People of North America: Part One"

    International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), 2004
    Excerpt: In Native American and First Nation Justice Philosophy and practice, healing, along with re-integrating individuals into their community, is more important than punishment. The Native peacemaking process involves bringing together victims, offenders, and their supporters to get to the bottom of a problem. While contrary to traditional Eurocentric justice, this parallels the philosophy and processes of the modern restorative justice movement. In the Native worldview there is a deep connection between justice and spirituality: in both, it is essential to maintain or restore harmony and balance.

  • "To Keep Kids Out of Trouble—And Prison—Teach Them to Understand Their Emotions"
    Yes! Magazine, July 2013
    Excerpt: "The iron-fisted disciplinary practices employed in many public schools can be traced back to another school shooting: the 1999 rampage in Columbine, Colo. In the aftermath, school districts influenced by the “broken windows” policing philosophy popular in the mid-1990s—which clamped down on minor crimes in hopes of preventing major ones—instituted get-tough approaches to student misbehavior. The result has been a major increase in disciplinary action that disproportionately affects students of color.

  • “Thinking About Aboriginal Justice: Myths and Revolution”
    Patricia Monture-Okanee, 1993
    Additional articles here.
    Excerpt: Perhaps we need to change the dialogue by interjecting some new language and rejecting some old ideas. It is time to firmly reject the suggestion that alternative dispute-resolution practices mirror Aborignial reality. Alternatives are merely that, small add-ons to the existing system, which stands ready with the full force of its adversarial and punishment-oriented values if the ‘nice’ solution does not work. The path that I am advocating is a path on which revolution is possible... Existing law is not the solution. Tradition is the solution. Recovering our distinct ways of being is a solution. That recognition is merely a philosophical statement, and bringing it down to the daily experience of all people in our communities is a monumental task.

  • Rethinking Schools Magazine: "STOP the School-to-Prison Pipeline" Issue
    Rethinking Schools Magazine, Volume 26, Issue 2: Winter 2011/12
    Excerpt: Mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline are among the primary forms that racial oppression currently takes in the United States. As such, they deserve a central place in the curriculum. As Alexander begins to explore in our interview, it is a challenge to engage students in these issues in ways that build critical thinking and determination rather than cynicism and despair, but it is a challenge we urgently need to take on...The school-to-prison pipeline is really a classroom-to-prison pipeline. A student’s trajectory to a criminalized life often begins with a curriculum that disrespects children’s lives and centers on things that do not matter.

  • “The School to Prison Pipeline” Zine
    Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, 2011
    Exerpt: If you get expelled or suspended you may not be allowed to return to your regular school. You may be forced to attend an alternative disciplinary center where you will probably fall behind in your school work... You may get so discouraged that it is easier to drop out than stay in school...Once you have been in the system, it is hard to get out... you might find yourself incarcerated over and over. One day you might realize you are more comfortable behind bars than in your own community.

  • “The Promise of a Teacher Professional Development Program in Reducing the Racial Disparity in Classroom Discipline Referrals”
    Anne Gregory, Joseph P. Allen, Amori Yee Mikami, A. Hafen, Robert C. Pianta, 2013
    Advocates call for schools with high suspension rates to receive technical assistance in adopting “proven-effective” systematic supports. Such supports include teacher professional development. This call is justified given evidence that good teaching matters. But what types of professional development should be funded? Increasingly, research points to the promise of programs that are sustained, rigorous, and focused on teachers’ interactions with students.

  • “Exile Has Its Place: A High School Principal Reflects on School Discipline”
    T. Elijah Hawkes, Schools: Studies in Education, Spring 2011 and Rethinking Schools
    Excerpt: Exile has its place. As an age-old human response to conflict, its potential value to the healthy maturation of students and the school community should not be discounted... Exile or ostracism goes by various names in school. Students are told: Move your desk. Leave the classroom and wait in the hall. Go to the office. Go to detention. You’re suspended... There are those in progressive education circles who dismiss suspension as a careless traditional response to a situation better addressed by counseling and alternative, restorative justice methods. Others aptly note that the power to suspend is often abused: used to push out students who might challenge us, thus furthering systemic neglect and mistreatment. If done right, however, suspension, or exile, can be the first step in a restorative process, and a meaningful and fair response to the violation of community values.

  • “What Democracy Requires: A Student Takes His Principal to Fairness”
    T. Elijah Hawkes, Schools: Studies in Education, Spring 2011
    Excerpt: We have to fight for the time, space, and funding to tend to the diverse dimensions of a young person’s developing self. This is a political, public struggle about taxes, property values, accountability, and civil rights, involving citizens inside schools and out. But there’s another thing we can do that is more internal to schools, and it’s about the educator’s own perceptions. We can stop seeing our ways of being as learners as so different from our ways of being as people, as members of a community. What we study has moral and ethical dimensions, which should be made explicit-- in every discipline-- and how we study has moral dimensions as well.

  • “A Democratic Structure for School Discipline: Reflections from Two New York City High Schools”
    T. Elijah Hawkes, Schools: Studies in Education, Spring 2011
    Excerpt: These two schools are trying to make the time it takes to shape the moral character of students-- and ourselves, the staff-- in ways that help make us good citizens, good neighbors, and good people. Both schools serve a transfer student population, students who have struggled for various reasons in prior schools and are now looking for a second or third opportunity at graduation and college. It is a unique population in certain ways, but I believe the lessons drawn from our work-- our success and our shortcomings-- are relevant to other educators who are engaged in, or are ready to engage in, the work of cultivating social skills, citizenship, and community responsibility. The two schools share a mission statement, core values, and a lot of other school DNA-- academic, structural, and cultural.

  • “Deepening Democracy”
    Maria Hantzopoulos, Rethinking Schools, Fall 2006
    Excerpt: The fairness committee models a deeper form of democracy, one that is as inclusive as possible. By allowing for the multiple perspectives of the community to be part of the process, we dismantle hierarchical impositions of truth. Most importantly, it brings in the voices of the students, who are often marginalized from such processes. In traditional school settings, students do not necessarily have the opportunity to address concerns or issues in an organic and respectful way. This method of bringing members of the community together validates students as thinkers and decision-makers, and reinforces the idea that they have a stake and voice in their communities.

  • "The Fairness Committee: Restorative Justice in a Small Urban Public High School"
    Maria Hantzopoulos, The Prevention Researcher (free issue), 2013
    About: This article focuses on one school, Humanities Preparatory Academy, a small New York City public high school that uses a restorative justice model called the Fairness Committee to address community norm violations. It provides insight into both the ways that Fairness operates on the school level and the ways that students respond to participatory and restorative practices.

  • "Opening Up, Students Transform a Vicious Circle"
    New York Times, April 2013
    Excerpt: Mr. Butler’s mission is to help defuse grenades of conflict at Ralph J. Bunche High School, the end of the line for students with a history of getting into trouble. He is the school’s coordinator for restorative justice, a program increasingly offered in schools seeking an alternative to “zero tolerance” policies like suspension and expulsion. The approach now taking root in 21 Oakland schools, and in Chicago, Denver and Portland, Ore., tries to nip problems and violence in the bud by forging closer, franker relationships among students, teachers and administrators. It encourages young people to come up with meaningful reparations for their wrongdoing while challenging them to develop empathy for one another through “talking circles” led by facilitators like Mr. Butler.

  • An Overview of the History and Theory of Transformative Justice By Anthony J. Nocella II
    "This article is dedicated to the historical overview, political development, and philosophy of transformative justice, with a primary focus on the United States. Core principles of transformative justice are synthesized from various theorists, activists, and institutions. The article begins with critical criminology, a sub-field of criminology, in order to discuss peacemaking criminology, compare restorative and transformative approaches to justice, and draw connections to the field of conflict transformation. Transformative justice is recommended as the best pathway toward a new criminal justice system in the United States, and as an integral part of a wider social justice philosophy for peace."

  • The Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue
    Report on Ed White Middle School, 2013

    About: The purpose of this evaluation study is to assess the process and outcomes of the first-year implementation of a school-wide restorative justice intervention for discipline at Ed White Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. Restorative Discipline is proactive approach to discipline management that seeks to redress bullying and the disproportionate assignment of suspensions and Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEP) among minority students. Instead of viewing misbehavior as a violation of rules and authority, Restorative Discipline seeks to change our views of student misconduct and in doing so impacts bullying and other infractions. As such it uses a relationship perspective where the focus is on the culture of the school and the violation of people and relationships. This study examines the first year of a three-year implementation at the sixth grade level. The seventh and eighth grade levels will be added consequentially in subsequent years, e.g. seventh grade in 2013-2014; eighth grade in 2014-2015.

Video + Film Resources

  • Restorative Welcome and Reentry Circle
    Video of a Welcome Circle for Re-entry for a student returning to Bunche Continuation High School in Oakland, CA after being incarcerated.
    Oakland Unified School District & Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), 2013

  • "Circling Justice" short documentary about restorative justice at Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders in Brooklyn, NY, 2015

  • Restoring Hope: An Indigenous Response to Justice
    Documentary, 2013
    A hard-hitting and emotionally charged documentary on the Māori restorative justice model through the eyes of South Auckland based facilitator Mike Hinton.

  • To curb conflict, a Colorado high school replaces punishment with conversation
    PBS News Hour segment, 2014
    At Hinkley High School in Aurora, Colo., students, parents and administration are meeting face-to-face to resolve student conflict with conversation. The number of physical altercations has taken a nosedive as this new type of disciplinary action, called “restorative justice,” replaces suspension.

  • Talk it Out
    Morris Campus (Bronx) Peer Mediation Music Video
    Students from the Morris Campus Student Leadership Council came together to write and create this video to promote peer mediation at the Morris High School Campus. They titled the song, "Talk It Out."

  • Book 'Em: undereducated, overincarcerated
    From Youth Rights Media, 3 min, 2007
    About: This provocative documentary unpacks the "school to prison pipeline," revealing startling and disturbing connections between the educational and juvenile justice systems. In addition to being broadcast nationally through Free Speech TV, this film won the Best Documentary Prize at the Westport Youth Film Festival and won the Criminal Justice Award at Media that Matters, the most prestigious social justice film festival in the country. Following the film's release youth launched an action campaign with the goal of changing suspension policies in local schools, requiring that schools use more in-school alternatives to suspensions, and increasing resources for alternative schools. Youth screened the documentary for over 1500 youth and community audience members through local, discussion-based events, and within a year of the release of the film suspensions at New Haven's two largest high schools had decreased by 50%.

  • The House I Live In
    Eugene Jarecki, 2012
    Watch the trailer here.
    As America remains embroiled in conflict overseas, a less visible war is taking place at home, costing countless lives, destroying families, and inflicting untold damage on future generations of Americans. Over forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in more than twenty states, The House I Live In captures heart-wrenching stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs. From the dealer to the grieving mother, the narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge, the film offers a penetrating look inside America’s longest war, offering a definitive portrait and revealing its profound human rights implications.

  • The Interrupters
    Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz, 2011
    THE INTERRUPTERS tells the moving and surprising story of three dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once employed. These “violence interrupters” (their job title) – who have credibility on the street because of their own personal histories – intervene in conflicts before the incidents explode into violence. Their work and their insights are informed by their own journeys, which, as each of them point out, defy easy characterization. Shot over the course of a year out of Kartemquin Films, THE INTERRUPTERS captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in our cities. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating death of Derrion Albert, a Chicago High School student whose death was caught on videotape.

  • Trailer for Kids for Cash
    Documentary film, 2014
    Read more here.
    KIDS FOR CASH is a riveting look behind the notorious scandal that rocked the nation when it first came to light in 2009. Beginning in the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. When one parent dared to question this harsh brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids—most of them only in their early teens—were incarcerated.

  • Love Is the Answer Song & Music Video by Aloe Blacc

  • Fambul Tok: A Documentary Film About the Power of Forgiveness
    Sara Terry & Rory Kennedy, 2011
    Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level – succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals – and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

  • Restorative Justice in Oakland Schools: Tier One--Community
    Oakland Unified School District & Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), 2012

  • Breaking the Pipeline
    Global Action Project and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, 2010
    A 14 min youth-produced short film that calls for restorative justice as an alternative method to the unjust zero tolerance policies and over-policing that students face in New York City public schools. Produced by the youth organizers of YMPJ's PEERS campaign between October 2009 and March 2010 through GAP's Community Media in Action Program.

  • Changing School Culture with Restorative Practices: An Interview with Dr. Christopher Plum
    The Prevention Researcher, 2013

  • Videos from the Dignity in Schools Campaign 2013 Week of Action for Solutions not Suspensions:
  • Invest in Education, Not Incarceration
  • Pushout Policies Impacting Immigrant Youth
  • School-Wide PBIS
  • Restorative Justice - Push Back Against School Pushout
  • Pushout Policies Impacting LGBTQ Youth
  • Racial Disparities in School Discipline
  • Counselors Not Cops - Push Back Against School Pushout