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Innovation Brief: Bringing Restorative Justice into the Classroom: Partnering with Schools to Reduce Juvenile Justice Referrals

Published Dec 8, 2012, Illinois Models for Change

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In Peoria, Illinois, a large number of African American youth were entering detention for aggravated battery in one public high school. After learning more about the problem, juvenile justice and school officials launched a pilot project to address fights and other incidents on campus using principles of balanced and restorative justice (BARJ). Once implemented, the low-cost interventions resulted in a 35 percent reduction in schoolbased referrals to detention for all youth, and a 43 percent reduction for African American youth. This pilot project served as a springboard for broader implementation of
BARJ programming as an alternative to formal processing– both in school and out in the community.

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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.