Reframing school-based restorative justice as a structural population health intervention

Health Place. 2020 Mar;62:102289. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2020.102289. Epub 2020 Feb 4.


School-based restorative justice has gained national prominence as an effective approach to interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Remarkably, despite its simultaneous positive association with academic success, school safety, and school connectedness, most scholars and practitioners do not associate restorative justice with health. Using ecosocial theory, we conceptualize school-based restorative justice as a structural population health intervention. Our findings indicate that students attending schools using restorative justice have lower odds of missing school due to adverse health and better academic outcomes compared to students who do not. Restorative justice shows promise as a structural intervention that can contribute to improving population health.

Keywords: Health equity; Health promotion; Restorative justice; Schools; Social determinants of health; Structural interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Health*
  • Prisons / trends
  • Schools*
  • Social Justice / trends*
  • Social Theory
  • Students / statistics & numerical data