The restorative justice movement is picking up momentum in school districts across the nation. As an evidence-based, cost-effective alternative to exclusionary disciplinary policies, these practices and policies are designed to keep youth in school, maintain a safe learning environment, and provide opportunities for youth to be active and accountable members of their school community.

As part of the larger restorative justice movement, Restorative DC seeks a fundamental culture change in the District by inspiring and integrating restorative practices and the underlying restorative philosophy in DC schools, agencies, and communities.

Restorative DC emerged from the DC Alliance for Restorative Practices (DCARP), a broad-based network of educators, police, agency officials, restorative practitioners, community-based organizations, youth workers, and juvenile justice advocates that formed in 2012. Restorative DC has carried forward this collaborative spirit, cultivating interagency cooperation and partnering with other community-based organizations.  Restorative DC was officially established in 2015 as a project of SchoolTalk with funding from DC Public Schools (DCPS), the Office of State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) and the aoe foundation.

Restorative DC is currently active in eight DCPS schools and five PCS schools, providing customized capacity building and intensive locally based technical support in order to lower incidents of conflict and harm, reduce the use of suspensions and expulsions, increase school performance, and center school culture around relationships, inclusivity, and accountability.  It also offers monthly training and peer learning opportunities open to all DC public and charter schools.  In addition to this, Restorative DC has partnered with the DC Office of Attorney General (OAG) to provide restorative alternatives to suspension, expulsion, arrest, or prosecution through referrals from schools, police, and prosecutors.  Restorative DC is training OAG staff within the Neighborhood and Victims Services to facilitate Restorative Justice Conferences to handle these referrals.