This qualitative study applies a system change framework to examine how organizational system structures (i.e., resources, beliefs, policies, decision-making, and power) affect restorative justice (RJ) implementation.
Restorative justice (RJ) practices have expanded significantly with the aim of improving school safety. Despite RJ’s potential for transformative change, the factors driving these changes have rarely been the focus of rigorous scientific investigation. This study leverages an experimental design to understand how enhancing staff capacity to implement RJ programming can promote system change. Findings highlight the influence of material resources, social relationships, beliefs about teaching and discipline, and decision-making by principals on the implementation of RJ practices. Findings also underscore the importance of developing RJ staff capacity to create a resource-rich environment that promotes implementation and drives system changes. (Publisher Abstract)