Oakland's success shows how Philly-wide restorative justice could work

Modeled on a long-running and successful program in Oakland, Philadelphia schools' Relationships First program uses restorative justice to reform school discipline. The program follows a three-step approach to changing culture. At its core, teachers and students deepen their relationships so that when they use group dialogue to address the harm that people have caused, the chances for healing are greater. Violence has dropped when it was used in one Philadelphia neighborhood in cases of serious offenses. In Oakland, expulsions, suspensions, and racial disparities are all way down.

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