Restorative Justice

Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) is an approach to juvenile justice and school discipline reform rooted in the belief that justice is best served when those who have experienced harm – including the individual who committed a violation and those impacted by the violation – all receive equal attention.

Restorative approaches to school discipline, such as peer conferences, restorative conversations, and circles, create non-judgmental spaces for a student who broke a school rule, those affected, and members of the school community to discuss what happened, build accountability, and collaborate to find solutions that will repair the harm caused. This approach empowers students to be leaders in violence prevention, conflict resolution, and school safety.

Alternatives' Restorative Justice Program provides training and technical assistance to help Chicago schools implement restorative alternatives to suspension and detention. We recognize that each school has a unique culture and we work with staff and students to build the skills and knowledge they need to implement peer conferences, restorative conversations, and talking circles.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Hope Lassen at (773) 506-7474 x230 or by email at

Check out this video from our Summer Restorative Justice Internship!

Summer 2012

Summer 2011