A Group Randomized Trial of Restorative Justice Programming to Address the School to Prison Pipeline, Reduce Aggression and Violence, and Enhance School Safety in Middle and High School Students, North Carolina, 2014-2018 (ICPSR 37293)

Version Date: Mar 30, 2020 View help for published

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Heather Wing, Columbus County Schools LEA NC


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The project's overarching goals are to improve the knowledge and understanding of school safety and violence, and to enhance school safety programs through rigorous social and behavioral science research. This research project will meet these goals by implementing and evaluating a restorative justice school safety initiative that: 1) reduces bullying perpetration and victimization, aggression, and violence, 2) enhances school safety and mental health in middle and high school students, and 3) reduces the school to prison pipeline by diverting first offenders from the juvenile justice system into Teen Courts. In meeting this objective, we will implement and evaluate an innovative school safety initiative that includes a comprehensive school-based needs assessments using the School Success Profile-Plus (SSP+) student reporting system. In addition, Teen Courts will be implemented in schools to emphasize restorative justice, keep first time offenders out of the juvenile justice system, and reduce the school to prison pipeline. We will evaluate the efficacy of this restorative justice initiative for promoting school safety and reducing violence, by conducting a rigorous experimental trial of 24 middle- and high-schools that are randomly selected to either conduct SSP+ assessments and receive school-based Teen Courts (n=12) or to conduct SSP+ assessments without Teen Court programming (n=12).

A Group Randomized Trial of Restorative Justice Programming to Address the School to Prison Pipeline, Reduce Aggression and Violence, and Enhance School Safety in Middle and High School Students, North Carolina, 2014-2018. [distributor], 2020-03-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37293.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2014-CK-BX-0104)


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2014-01-01 -- 2018-12-31
2015-01-01 -- 2017-12-31 (Spring 2015; Spring 2016; Spring 2017)

The purpose of this research project was to implement and evaluate a randomized controlled trial of school based Teen Court to assess if and how this restorative justice program: 1) enhances school climate (i.e., higher student satisfaction, less bullying victimization, and lower use of punitive discipline such as short-term suspensions) and 2) reduces student problems (i.e., anxiety, low self-esteem, friend rejection, violent behavior, delinquent friendships) for middle- and high-school students.

A rigorous experimental trial of 24 disadvantaged, rural, and ethnically diverse middle and high schools that are randomly selected to either receive school-based teen courts (n=12) or to conduct needs assessments without teen court programming (n=12). School Success Profile-Plus (SSP+) surveys collected from 4,000 randomly selected students in the 24 schools will serve as evaluation data.

There were 2,749 students included in the analytic sample; these were youth randomly selected from the 24 participating schools who had data for all three years of the project. There were 1,388 youth enrolled in Teen Court schools and 1,361 youth enrolled in the control schools.

Longitudinal: Panel

Rural adolescents in middle school, ethnically/racially diverse.


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