Restorative Justice and its Effects on (Racially Disparate) Punitive School Discipline

50 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 25 Sep 2012

Date Written: May 12, 2012


This paper investigates whether the introduction of Restorative Justice programs reduces the incidence of punitive student discipline (out-of-school suspension) in two selected secondary school districts. It also investigates whether currently existing racial disparities in student discipline are alleviated by the introduction of Restorative Justice. Using publicly available suspension data, the paper employs coarsened exact matching to create comparable groups of schools that did and did not implement Restorative Justice practices and compares their suspension results before and after Restorative Justice implementation using t-tests.

Data Collection for this project is ongoing and will expand from the current study of two selected school districts to hopefully a nationwide collection of schools.

Update 09/24/2012: A more specific citation for Prof. Carbado's schematic on the social construction of race on p. 12 of this draft has been provided.

Keywords: restorative justice, school discipline, suspension

Suggested Citation

Simson, David, Restorative Justice and its Effects on (Racially Disparate) Punitive School Discipline (May 12, 2012). 7th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: or

David Simson (Contact Author)

UCLA School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

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