Wisdom in Education


restorative justice, youth court, restorative practice, recidivism


The San Bernardino Restorative Youth Court was established by the San Bernardino City Unified School District school board and has operated for one school year (2015-16). The purpose of this article is to document what has happened in this year and to begin to address questions about the value of the youth court for those for whom it aims to make a difference. Data collated are at this point preliminary but some tentative conclusions can be drawn, even at this early stage. Here we shall outline these data and the conclusions that are suggested by them. The best available measure of recidivism (repeated school suspension) suggests a rate of 7.8% for those who complete the youth court program. Those who do not complete the program are 4.76 times as likely as those who do to be suspended again.

Author Statement

John Winslade is a professor in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling at California State University San Bernardino.