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Elissia Paniagua

LIBR 300
February 16, 2016
Literature Review
The practice of restorative justice enables students to resolve conflicts based on respect,
understanding, and relationship building. It is intended to create safe environments in schools
and positive peer interactions. I have worked with High School students for six and half years,
over the years I have conducted many successful restorative justice sessions. The practice of
restorative justice is essential for developing adolescents, as they are given an opportunity to
improve and learn from their mistakes as oppose to be treated like criminals. Every student
receives individual attention along with emotional support in order to define a sense of
accountability and understanding.
According to Zaslaw (2010), Suspension and expulsion result in negative outcomes for
both schools and students. Some students see out-of-school suspension as a vacation. The
packets of homework that are sent home usually do not get done because many parents will not
enforce the student responsibility to complete them (para. 2). In doing so the amount of school
suspensions are decreased. It seems to always be easier to punish a person for his or her actions.
With the help of restorative justice a student is provided with the mindset to fully understand the
entire situation in order to resolve the problem and avoid future negative behavior.
Zaslaw (2010) indicates that restorative practices encourage appropriate behavior and
instills reasonability, as opposed to punishment (para 3). Glass (2013), Restorative justice in
schools means that no one is treated like a criminal; everyone involved in a conflict receives
equal attention and emotional support for resolution to establish accountability and get to the

Elissia Paniagua
LIBR 300
February 16, 2016
bottom of the problem. As opposed to out-of-school suspensions, which have been shown to
increase dropout rates, or arrests for breaking school rules, Restorative Justice tactics demand
students' effort and participation in conflict resolution while keeping them on school grounds
(para. 5). Restorative justice helps establish a safe place for students and promote positive
interactions amongst one another. As discussed by Zaslaw, the purpose of restorative justice is
for all parties to understand that we are all humans; in increasing relations skills such promote
respect for one another. Dandurand and Griffiths (2006), Other methods utilized in effective
restorative justice is mediation; the process is more likely to fully meet its objectives if the
victims and offenders meet face-to-face, can express their feelings directly to each other, and
develop a new understanding of the situation. With the help of a trained facilitator, they can reach
an agreement that will help them both bring closure to the incident (page 18). In conducting
such mediations it is ideal to understand the importance of relationship building, compromising
and understanding between both parties.
Restorative justice allows individuals to be accountable for their actions. Instead of
seeking punishment they are given the opportunity to restore the problem between themselves
and the offender. The concept is it allow the offender to gain a sense of awareness to correct
behavior. According to Hess and Orthmann (2010), Juvenile justice is a system that provides a
legal setting in which youth can account for their wrongs and receive official protection (p. 3).
In order to fully understand restorative justice and it impacts, it is essential to learn the current
juvenile justice processes and procedures. In Juvenile Justice, Hess and Ortthmann provide

Elissia Paniagua
LIBR 300
February 16, 2016
large range of informative research which has been documented and studied in order to help
understand our juvenile justice system.
According to Dandurand and Griffiths (2006), Restorative justice is an approach to
problem solving that, in its various forms, involves the victim, the offender, their social
networks, justice agencies and community. Restorative justice programs are based on the
fundamental principle that criminal behavior not only violates the law, but also injures victims
and the community (page 6). Restorative justice focuses on resolving negative interactions and
promoting positive behavior among one another. Delinquent acts not only affect individuals but
also the community, therefor it is best to correct behaviors prior it to having a hard impact on the
entire community.
In conclusion, successful restorative justice provides individuals with the proper mindset
to fully understand their misconduct and inappropriate behavior. Offenders are not treated as
criminals but given an opportunity to restore and correct their wrongdoing. There is a quote that
comes to mind regarding the concept of restorative justice by, Benjamin Franklin Tell me and I
forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. A person can be corrected time and
time again, they can even be reprimanded for their actions over and over again. It is not until an
individual is fully involved and made aware of the overall circumstances that they find a sense
understanding.

Elissia Paniagua
LIBR 300
February 16, 2016

Works Cited

Dandurand, Y., Griffiths, C. T., & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2006).
Handbook on restorative justice programmes. New York: United Nations.

Glass, C. (2013, October 13). Chicago Students Build Safe Space, Practice Restorative
Justice. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18181-chicagostudents-build-safe-space-practice-restorative-justice

Hess, K. M., & Orthmann, C. M. H. (2010). Juvenile justice. Australia: Cengage


Learning/Wadsworth.

Zaslaw, J. (October 01, 2010). Restorative Resolution. Education Digest: Essential


Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 76, 2, 10-13.