Restorative Justice


Groundswell Restorative Schools Program seeks to address the ineffectiveness and disproportionality that arises in more traditional school discipline systems by bringing a Restorative Justice perspective to the school setting. Accomplishing this goal requires the school community to commit the time and resources necessary to create a school culture focused on the core values of respect, relationship and responsibility. When contracted by a school, Groundswell will work collaboratively with school community stakeholders to embed Restorative Practices, a combination of community-building and restorative justice techniques, in the following areas:

Area of Focus
Classroom & School-wide Culture
Build community, de-escalate conflict and foster accountability in a positive supportive environment in the classroom and across the campus
Restorative Discipline Intervention
Directly engage those involved in and impacted by an incident in understanding what happened and deciding how to make things right
At-Promise students receive Community-engaged support
Support individual students by bringing them together with community members in a collective process to understand their needs and provide avenues for success

Implementation Approach

Successful implementation involves providing a Restorative Practices [RP] Coordinator with a designated space on campus to perform the following functions:

Area of Focus
Bring a Restorative Justice perspective into school-wide planning initiatives as well as program implementation and evaluation efforts
Lead RP activities where school community members can experience a restorative approach firsthand
Provide a series of training and workshops in RP techniques accessible to the whole school community- teachers, administrators, students, and parents
Work directly with individual staff members to effectively and authentically embed RP skills in their everyday work in the classroom and across the school campus
Managing Cases
Provide an opportunity for students referred for disciplinary action to participate in a Restorative Justice process in lieu of or in conjunction with standard school disciplinary protocols

Restorative Justice by the Numbers

Groundswell’s Restorative Justice Program is currently running in eight Orange County Schools: Ball Jr. High School, Brookhurst Jr. High School, Columbus Tustin Middle School, Dale Jr. High School, La Quinta High School, Pacifica High School, Sycamore Junior High & Tustin High School.

Since 2017 our team has offered:

Over 1,000 cases have been referred for a restorative conflict resolution process with an average resolution rate of 97%.

Bridges Testimonials and Success Stories:

To learn how to create safe schools, please contact the Director of Youth & Education Programs, April Van Ligten, at or 714.480-6589.