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Restorative Practices


These various fields employ different terms, all of which fall under the rubric of restorative practices:

In the criminal justice field, the phrase used is “restorative justice”; in social work, the term employed is “empowerment”; in education, talk is of “positive discipline” or “the responsive classroom”; and in organizational leadership “horizontal management” is referenced.

The social science of restorative practices recognizes all of these perspectives and incorporates them into its scope.


The use of restorative practices has the potential to:

  • reduce crime, violence, and bullying

  • improve human behavior

  • strengthen civil society

  • provide effective leadership

  • restore relationships

  • repair harm

Restorative practices also includes the use of informal and formal processes that precede wrongdoing, those that proactively build relationships and a sense of community to prevent conflict and wrongdoing.

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