Skip to content

Download The Fact Sheet:
School-Based RJ Legislative Trends

School-Based Restorative Justice (RJ)

In November 2020, the Initiative released the results of a 50-state assessment of School-Based RJ legislative trends. Our team researched laws relating to the full continuum of RJ practices in schools, from disciplinary alternatives to whole-school models, across US jurisdictions. We found that 21 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation supporting use of RJ in schools. 

Studies indicate that school-based RJ improves school climate and connectedness, promotes student health and wellbeing, lowers rates of discipline, and reduces racial disparities in school discipline.

Download the fact sheet to learn more about national legislative trends.

Complementary image for content block 2

RJ-related Legislation by State

As shown in Table 1, 21 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation supporting the use of RJ. (Information current through September 2020.)

These states appear in blue in Map 1.

Table 1

State Statute Year Enacted
CA Cal. Educ. Code § 32282.1 2013
CA Cal. Educ. Code § 44690 2019
CA Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.9 2014
CA Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.5 2012
CA Cal. Educ. Code § 49600(c)(5) 2015
CO Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-32-109.1 2012
CO Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-32-144 2011
DC D.C. Code §§ 38-236.03, 38-236.06 2018
DC D.C. Code §§ 38-236.06 2018
DE Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703 2018
FL Fla. Stat. § 1006.13 2009
ID Idaho Code Ann. § 33-1631 2015
IL 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/27-23.7 2014
IL 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176 2019
IN Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) 2015
LA La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:252 2010
ME Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A) 2012
ME Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 6554 2012
MD Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 6-123(c)(4) 2019
MD Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-305.1 2017
MD Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-306 2019
MI Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310c 2016
MI Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310d 2016
MT Mont. Code Ann. § 20-9-236 2019
NE Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-258 2019
NV Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 392.466 2019
NV Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 392.472 2019
NJ N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.31 2018
NJ N.J. Stat. 18A:37-39 2020
NM N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-35-2 2019
PA 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-1302-A 2018
PA 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-1306-B 2018
PA 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 13-1313-C 2018
TN Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3024 2017
TX Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 37.0013 2017
UT Utah Code Ann. §§ 53G-8-702 2016
UT Utah Code Ann. §§ 53G-8-703 2016
WA Wash. Rev. Code § 28A.300.650 2019

References

  1. Cal. Educ. Code § 32282.1 (2019); Cal. Educ. Code § 44690 (2019); Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.9 (2019); Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.5 (2019); Cal. Educ. Code § 49600(c)(5) (2019); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-32-109.1 (2019); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-32-144 (2019); D.C. Code § 38-236.03 (2020); D.C. Code § 38-236.06 (2020); Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703 (2019); Fla. Stat. § 1006.13 (2019); Idaho Code Ann. § 33-1631 (2019); 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/27-23.7(b)(6) (2019); 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176 (2019); Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) (2019); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:252 (2019); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A) (2019); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 6554 (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 6-123(4) (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-305.1 (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306 (2019); Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310c (2019); Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310d (2019); Mont. Code Ann. § 20-9-236 (2019); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-258 (2019); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.466 (2019); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.472 (2019); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.31 (2019); N.J. Stat. 18A 37-39 (2020); N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-35-2 (2019); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1302-A (2019); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1306-B (2019); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1313-C (2019); Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3024 (2019); Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 37.0013 (2019); Utah Code Ann. § 53G-8-702 (2019); Utah Code Ann. § 53G-8-703 (2019); Wash. Rev. Code § 28A.300.650 (2019).
  2. Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-305.1(a)(3) (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(a)(1) (2019); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A)(B) (2019).
  3. Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-305.1(a)(3) (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(a)(1) (2019); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A)(B) (2019).
  4. Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.5(a) (2019) (limiting suspension unless other means of correction, including but not limited to RJ, fail); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-32-109.1(L)(II)(B) (2019) (requiring each school district board of education to create a disciplinary code that includes reducing ESD and using RJ as an alternative); Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-32-144 (2019) (supporting and encouraging use of RJ as school’s first disciplinary alternative for certain behaviors); D.C. Code § 38-236.03(b)(9) (2020) (requiring school districts to promote disciplinary actions that are restorative if appropriate); Fla. Stat. § 1006.13 (2019) (allowing threat assessment team to use alternatives to expulsion, including “neighborhood restorative justice”); Idaho Code Ann. § 33-1631(3) (2019) (requiring graduated consequences for bullying that may include RJ); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A)(B) (2019 (requiring school boards to consider school disciplinary policies that focus on restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-305.1(d) (2019) (requiring school system to remedy student’s behavior through interventions that may include restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(d) (2019) (requiring State Board to establish state code of discipline that may include restorative approaches); Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310c (2019) (encouraging consideration of restorative practices in correction of bullying behavior); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-258 (2019) (allowing teachers to take action outside of School Discipline Act, which may include RJ); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.466 (2019) (requiring RJ plan of action for students over age eleven who are deemed to have a “habitual disciplinary problem”); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.472 (2019) (requiring public schools to provide a plan of action based on RJ prior to expulsion); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.31 (2019) (requiring school districts to provide RJ activities during loss of recess for students kindergarten through fifth grade); Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 37.0013 (2019) (allows school districts to provide RJ as an alternative to ESD for students below third grade); Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3024(b-c) (2019) (requiring schools to develop RJ alternatives to ESD based on a review).
  5. Colo. Rev. Stat. 22-32-144(2)(a) (2019); Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310d (2019).
  6. Colo. Rev. Stat. 22-32-144(2)(a) (2019); Mich. Comp. Laws § 380.1310d (2019).
  7. Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.5(a) (2019) (limiting suspension unless other means of correction, including but not limited to RJ, fail); D.C. Code § 38-236.03(b)(9) (2020) (requiring school districts to promote disciplinary actions that are restorative if appropriate); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A)(B) (2019 (requiring school boards to consider school disciplinary policies that focus on restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-305.1(d) (2019) (requiring school system to remedy student’s behavior through interventions that may include restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(d) (2019) (requiring State Board to establish state code of discipline that may include restorative approaches); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.472 (2019) (requiring public schools to provide a plan of action based on RJ prior to expulsion); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.31 (2019) (requiring school districts to provide RJ activities during loss of recess for students kindergarten through fifth grade); Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3024(b-c) (2019) (requiring schools to develop RJ alternatives to ESD based on a review).
  8. Cal. Educ. Code § 48900.5(a) (2019) (limiting suspension unless other means of correction, including but not limited to RJ, fail); D.C. Code § 38-236.03(b)(9) (2020) (requiring school districts to promote disciplinary actions that are restorative if appropriate); Me. Rev. Stat. 20-A § 1001(15-A)(B) (2019 (requiring school boards to consider school disciplinary policies that focus on restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-305.1(d) (2019) (requiring school system to remedy student’s behavior through interventions that may include restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(d) (2019) (requiring State Board to establish state code of discipline that may include restorative approaches); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 392.472 (2019) (requiring public schools to provide a plan of action based on RJ prior to expulsion); N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:35-4.31 (2019) (requiring school districts to provide RJ activities during loss of recess for students kindergarten through fifth grade); Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3024(b-c) (2019) (requiring schools to develop RJ alternatives to ESD based on a review).
  9. Fla. Stat. § 1006.13 (2019) (allowing threat assessment team to use alternatives to expulsion, including “neighborhood restorative justice”); Idaho Code Ann. § 33-1631(3) (2019) (requiring graduated consequences for bullying that may include RJ); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-258 (2019) (allowing teachers to take action outside of School Discipline Act, which may include RJ); Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 37.0013 (2019) (allows school districts to provide RJ as an alternative to ESD for students below third grade).
  10. Fla. Stat. § 1006.13 (2019) (allowing threat assessment team to use alternatives to expulsion, including “neighborhood restorative justice”); Idaho Code Ann. § 33-1631(3) (2019) (requiring graduated consequences for bullying that may include RJ); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-258 (2019) (allowing teachers to take action outside of School Discipline Act, which may include RJ); Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 37.0013 (2019) (allows school districts to provide RJ as an alternative to ESD for students below third grade).
  11. Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306 (2019); N.J. Stat. 18A 37-39 (2020).
  12. Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) (2019); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306 (2019); N.J. Stat. 18A 37-39 (2020).
  13. D.C. Code § 38-236.06(a)(2)(D) (2020), Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) (2019), La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:252 (2019) (RJ is a mandated part of the professional development curriculum); Cal. Educ. Code § 44690(c)(3) (2019), Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703(b)(3)(c)(1) (2019), 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176(b) (2019), Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 6-123(4) (2019) (RJ is one of many topics that may be part of professional development for educators); Cal. Educ. Code § 32282.1 (2019), 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1313-C (2019), Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 1701.262(c)(2) (2019), Utah Code Ann. § 53G-8-702 (2019), Wash. Rev. Code § 28A.300.650 (2019) (requiring SRO engagement in RJ practices).
  14. D.C. Code § 38-236.06(a)(2)(D) (2020), Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) (2019), La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:252 (2019) (RJ is a mandated part of the professional development curriculum); Cal. Educ. Code § 32282.1 (2019), 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1313-C (2019), Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 1701.262(c)(2) (2019), Utah Code Ann. § 53G-8-702 (2019), Wash. Rev. Code § 28A.300.650 (2019) (requiring SRO engagement in RJ practices).
  15. D.C. Code § 38-236.06(a)(2)(D) (2020), Ind. Code § 20-28-3-3.5(2) (2019), La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:252 (2019) (RJ is a mandated part of the professional development curriculum); Cal. Educ. Code § 32282.1 (2019), 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1313-C (2019), Tex. Occ. Code Ann. § 1701.262(c)(2) (2019), Utah Code Ann. § 53G-8-702 (2019), Wash. Rev. Code § 28A.300.650 (2019) (requiring SRO engagement in RJ practices).
  16. Cal. Educ. Code § 44690(c)(3) (2019), Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703(b)(3)(c)(1) (2019), 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176(b) (2019), Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 6-123(4) (2019) (RJ is one of many topics that may be part of professional development for educators).
  17. Cal. Educ. Code § 44690(c)(3) (2019), Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703(b)(3)(c)(1) (2019), 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176(b) (2019), Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 6-123(4) (2019) (RJ is one of many topics that may be part of professional development for educators).
  18. Cal. Educ. Code § 33430 (2019) (establishing competitive grant funding for school programs); Cal. Educ. Code § 33432 (2019) (requiring local education agency recipients of grant funding to use funds to implement evidence-based non-punitive disciplinary practices, which may include restorative practices); D.C. Code § 38-236.06 (2020) (establishing special fund to promote positive school climate and RJ among other non-punitive disciplinary alternatives); D.C. Code § 38-236.07 (2020) (establishing special fund to promote positive school climate and RJ among other disciplinary alternatives); 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176(a) (2019) (establishing grant program to fund RJ programs and other disciplinary alternatives); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 5-203 (LexisNexis 2019) (grant program that includes provision of RJ coaches); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 6-123 (LexisNexis 2019) (grant program that includes RJ and culturally responsive professional development); Mont. Code Ann. § 20-9-236(1) (2019) (allowing for transfer of state and local funds to schools for shooter training, threat assessment, and RJ); N.J. Stat. 18A 37-39 (2020) (providing for establishment of RJ pilot program in public schools within three years); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1302-A (2019) (allowing provision of grant funding for RJ practices); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1306-B (2019) (allowing for security grant including RJ strategies).
  19. Cal. Educ. Code § 33430 (2019) (establishing competitive grant funding for school programs); Cal. Educ. Code § 33432 (2019) (requiring local education agency recipients of grant funding to use funds to implement evidence-based non-punitive disciplinary practices, which may include restorative practices); D.C. Code § 38-236.06 (2020) (establishing special fund to promote positive school climate and RJ among other non-punitive disciplinary alternatives); D.C. Code § 38-236.07 (2020) (establishing special fund to promote positive school climate and RJ among other disciplinary alternatives); 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176(a) (2019) (establishing grant program to fund RJ programs and other disciplinary alternatives); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 5-203 (LexisNexis 2019) (grant program that includes provision of RJ coaches); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 6-123 (LexisNexis 2019) (grant program that includes RJ and culturally responsive professional development); Mont. Code Ann. § 20-9-236(1) (2019) (allowing for transfer of state and local funds to schools for shooter training, threat assessment, and RJ); N.J. Stat. 18A 37-39 (2020) (providing for establishment of RJ pilot program in public schools within three years); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1302-A (2019) (allowing provision of grant funding for RJ practices); 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1306-B (2019) (allowing for security grant including RJ strategies).
  20. Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703 (2019) (requiring data review of RJ practices and development of a plan based on disproportionate use of ESD against students in racial subgroups and students with disabilities); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-203(c)(2)(iii)(5) (LexisNexis 2019) (requiring school climate surveys to collect data on discipline and restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(e)(1) (LexisNexis 2019) (requiring collection of student discipline data and use of restorative approaches, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, eligibility for free or reduced price meals or an equivalent measure of socioeconomic status, English language proficiency, and type of discipline).
  21. Del. Code Ann. tit. 14 § 703 (2019) (requiring data review of RJ practices and development of a plan based on disproportionate use of ESD against students in racial subgroups and students with disabilities); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-203(c)(2)(iii)(5) (LexisNexis 2019) (requiring school climate surveys to collect data on discipline and restorative practices); Md. Code Ann. Educ. § 7-306(e)(1) (LexisNexis 2019) (requiring collection of student discipline data and use of restorative approaches, disaggregated by race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, eligibility for free or reduced price meals or an equivalent measure of socioeconomic status, English language proficiency, and type of discipline).
  22. 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-3.176 (2019).