Document Type

Capstone Project (Campus-Only Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


Collaborate Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Ignacio Navarro


Youth of color are more likely to enter the criminal justice system and enter it throughout their adulthood than white youth, and traditional disciplinary policies in schools are a contributing factor to this trend. Restorative Justice (RJ) [programs] have been shown to help youth break the cycle and lead productive lives. This capstone project was implemented at the Youth Alliance, a nonprofit agency that benefits over 6,500 children, youth, and families each year by advocating a change in damaging policies. Through its Circle of Responsibility & Support (CORS) program, the agency collaborates with schools to address students’ needs, advocate, and create a family-centered model to address parent and student concerns related to disciplinary actions. The capstone consisted of a research project that analyzed data from conversations with parents and students regarding their school’s disciplinary practices and policies. The research question was: to what degree do parents' and students’ concerns are related to the goals and practices of the RJ model? The findings revealed that parents sought reintegration and support & nurturing strategies while the student sought all three of the methods; it is recommended that the YA continue to work with the school administration to re-engage and implement a “learning community that nurtures the capacity of people to engage with one another and their environment in a manner that supports and respects the dignity and worth of all” (Evans & Vaandering, p. 8, 2022).

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