From Retributive to Restorative: An Alternative Approach to Justice

44 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2023

See all articles by Anjali Adukia

Anjali Adukia

University of Chicago

Benjamin Feigenberg

University of Illinois at Chicago

Fatemeh Momeni

University of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2023

Abstract

School districts historically approached conflict-resolution from a zero-sum perspective: suspend students seen as disruptive and potentially harm them, or avoid suspensions and harm their classmates. Restorative practices (RP) -- focused on reparation and shared ownership of disciplinary justice -- are designed to avoid this trade-off by addressing undesirable behavior without imparting harm. This study examines Chicago Public Schools' adoption of RP. We identify decreased suspensions, improved school climate, and find no evidence of increased classroom disruption. We estimate a 19% decrease in arrests, including for violent offenses, with reduced arrests outside of school, providing evidence that RP substantively changed behavior.

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Suggested Citation

Adukia, Anjali and Feigenberg, Benjamin and Momeni, Fatemeh, From Retributive to Restorative: An Alternative Approach to Justice (September 2023). NBER Working Paper No. w31675, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4567681

Anjali Adukia (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/adukia

Benjamin Feigenberg

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
United States

Fatemeh Momeni

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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