RJ Training, Programs, and Legal Supports for Students + Families

Legal Support

Advocates for Children of New York works on behalf of children who are at greatest risk for school-based discrimination and/or academic failure due to poverty, disability, race, ethnicity, immigrant or English Language Learner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, or involvement in the foster care or juvenile justice systems. See information here for students facing disciplinary issues.

Legal Services NYC began in 2006 a pro-bono partnership with the law firm of DLA Piper focusing on education issues and student discipline hearings in New York City public schools in order to combat unlawful, excessive and arbitrary removals of students from school.

Suspension Representation Project is an advocacy group that trains law students to represent New York City public school students in superintendent’s suspension hearings and help safeguard their right to education.

Training, Programs, and Services


A PLUS Youth Program uses sports as a vehicle to provide the educational resources and character development necessary for student-athletes to succeed in life.

Border Crossers’ mission is to train and equip educators to be leaders of racial justice in their schools and communities. We believe that if educators are prepared to have meaningful conversations about identity and equity, students will be able interrupt patterns of racism and injustice in their own lives and thrive in a multicultural society.

Center for Supportive Schools: Through Peer Group Connection (PGC), CSS trains school faculty to teach leadership courses to select groups of older students, who in turn educate and support younger students.

The Center for Court Innovation helps the justice system aid victims, reduce crime, strengthen neighborhoods, and improve public trust in justice. The Center combines action and reflection to spark innovation locally, nationally, and internationally.

Community Connections for Youth (CCFY) provides training and technical assistance to system and community stakeholders for the purpose of reducing reliance on incarceration and building community capacity to serve youth.

Creative Response to Conflict (CRC) is a global non-profit organization that educates individuals and groups to transform conflict into positive and constructive experiences that contribute to building a just and peaceful world. Info here about their school-based workshops, including peer mediation training for staff and students.

Cross Cultural Consulting Services (contact cccs.mattguldin@gmail.com): Signature 100% RESPECT! Campaign, a comprehensive social and emotional learning program.

DREAM! Safety with Dignity: Since 2007 Safety with Dignity has reached over 15,000 middle and high school students with our real-life, story-telling plays created by teens for teens, and our peer-mediation and restorative practice trainings for high school students and their teachers.

Effective Alternative in Reconcilation Services (EARS) is a Bronx-based organization that has been providing essential violence prevention and intervention services to young people, their families, and staff in NYC schools and community based organizations for 27 years

The Institute for Understanding Behavior: Consortium of United Federation of Teachers, the Department of Education, and Cornell University providing schools with a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention System, a systemic and research-based approach to understanding, assessing and supporting positive student behavior.

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility: The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution), for grades preK-8, develops the academic, social and emotional skills of students by integrating SEL into language arts, and Restore360 (grades 6-12) creates a sense of community among students, builds their social and emotional skills, and provides a positive alternative to punitive discipline policies that can lead to suspension.

Move this World is a global nonprofit that uses creative expression as a vehicle to transform conflict, violence and bullying in communities.

National School Climate Center offers professional development (both face-to-face and online) via the School Climate Resource Center

New York City Commission on Human Rights does a free 10 week Peer Mediation training program for students and staff in addition to workshops on anti-discrimination.

The New York Peace Institute offers free mediation services and mediator training to schools, including Special Education Mediation.

Suzanne Hitchman (New York City) (contact suzannehitchman@gmail.com): Training in a wide range of Restorative Practices; Paradigm and Culture Shift, Community Building Circles, Affective Statements, Fair Process, Restorative Dialogue and Circles, Social Discipline Window, etc. Administrative and Leadership Coaching in support of strategic implementation of Restorative Justice school-wide and district-wide and on day-to-day use of strategic principles. Case Presentation on lessons learned from SFUSD's RP initiative

Outside of NYC

though many have worked with NYC schools

Rita Alfred (Oakland, CA): founded the Restorative Justice Training Institute (Berkeley, CA): Offers planning, training, coaching, curriculum development, research and evaluation for schools and organizations working with youth.

Eric Butler (Oakland, CA) (Contact butlereric7@gmail.com): Think Peace provides Restorative Justice Trainings for Young People/Students and Allies.

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Safer, Saner Schools Program: Comprehensive 2 year, school wide effort to calm schools, build positive relationships, reduce disruptive behavior and have students take responsibility for their actions.

Disparately impacting youth of color, punitive school discipline and juvenile justice policies activate tragic cycles of youth violence, incarceration, and wasted lives. Founded in 2005, RJOY works to interrupt these cycles by promoting institutional shifts toward restorative approaches that actively engage families, communities, and systems to repair harm and prevent re-offending.

Think:Kids: Program teaches evidence-based approach called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) for helping children with behavioral challenges.

Community Works interrupts and heals the far-reaching impact of incarceration and violence by empowering individuals, families and communities.

Founded in 2002, Living Justice Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose purpose is to publish and promote alternative works about social justice and community healing.

Nancy Reistenberg provides technical assistance on violence and bullying prevention, school connectedness, dropout prevention, cultural relevance of prevention education, crisis prevention and recovery and restorative measures. She provided technical assistance to the Minnesota school districts that experienced school shooting incidents.

Kay Pranis conducts Circle trainings and apprentices Circle trainers. She is a Circle Keeper. She also provides coaching on designing Circles and on organizing to start Circle projects. Additionally, she speaks at conferences about Circles and their applications and teaches the Circle Process at two universities. She has authored/co-authored several books and articles on Circles.

The Peace Room(c) focuses on preventive and positive behavior strategies which are easily implemented and provide a place for students to access interventions designed to calm, build self-awareness and restore relationships.