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Vol. 7 No. i (2019): Spring 2019

Ending the Cycle: How Restorative Justice in Schools Can Decrease the Reach of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

November 27, 2023


Research shows that zero-tolerance punishments in school contribute directly to the school-to-prison pipeline, disproportionately affecting male students of color. Restorative justice methods, specifically discussion circles, are being implemented in schools to wean away from suspensions and expulsions that lead to students becoming entrapped in the criminal justice system. The school-to-prison pipeline has seen growth in recent years and needs to be addressed immediately, nationwide. Schools should be implementing restorative justice efforts that have already been proven to work in other schools, as well as training teachers to become adept in these methods. They must also become aware of cultural differences that can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding between teachers and students of color and adapt accordingly to avoid such miscommunications.