Restorative Justice in Santa Ana Schools

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Earlier this month, the Santa Ana Unified School District voted 4-0 to allocate $400,000 toward restorative justice programs in its schools. It's a turn for the district, which has long punished unruly students with the usual measures of expulsions, detentions, and even arrests. But advocates of restorative justice stress the importance of tackling the underlying issues that drive young people toward delinquency, and advocate such innovative tactics as talking circles, meetings between victims and perpetrators, and community involvement. Restorative justice might seem unorthodox, but a limited run in SAUSD has worked, and its advocates vow to track their efforts. Will this spread to other OC school districts?

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Gustavo Arellano