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Restorative DC emerged from the DC Alliance for Restorative Practices (DCARP), a broad-based network of educators, police, agency officials, restorative practitioners, community-based organizations, youth workers, and juvenile justice advocates that formed in 2012. Since its establishment in 2015, Restorative DC has carried forward this collaborative spirit, cultivating interagency cooperation and partnership with other community-based organizations. Restorative DC is a project of SchoolTalk, a local nonprofit with a decade of working with youth to improve conflict resolution and special education in the District. Restorative DC receives funding from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), DC Public Schools (DCPS), the Department for Human Services (DHS), and a private foundation.

Restorative Justice is picking up momentum in school districts and juvenile justice systems across the nation. As an evidence-based, cost-effective alternative to exclusionary discipline policies, these practices and policies keep youth in school and out of prison, maintain safe learning environments, and provide opportunities for youth to be active and accountable members of their community.

As part of larger national and global social justice movements, we envision building a restorative city with institutions and a culture of compassion that embraces all lives and communities in the District, from schools and families to neigbhorhoods and government. To get there, we are committed to honest collaboration, living our values, self-reflection, empowering local communities, and disrupting racial and other forms of oppression.

Restorative DC supports over 60 DCPS and public charter schools in whole-school implementation of Restorative Justice practices and culture change. It does so through intensive, trauma-informed, collaborative, customized, onsite, and locally-based technical support in order to lower incidents of conflict and harm, reduce the use of suspensions and expulsions, increase school performance, and center the school community around relationships, inclusivity, and accountability. Restorative DC also offers monthly training and peer learning opportunities open to all DC public and charter schools. In partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the DC Office of Attorney General (OAG), Restorative DC provides restorative alternatives such as Restorative Justice Conferencing to juvenile prosecution. Finally, Restorative DC supports local agencies and organizations, including the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, DCPS, DHS, and OAG, internally integrate restorative practices such as circles.

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