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Theses/Dissertations

Urban education

Curriculum and Instruction

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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When Healing And High-Stakes Meet: Restorative Justice In An Era Of Racial Neoliberalism, Dani O'Brien Jul 2019

When Healing And High-Stakes Meet: Restorative Justice In An Era Of Racial Neoliberalism, Dani O'Brien

Doctoral Dissertations

Based on a 3-year ethnography, this dissertation documents the story of Presente, an explicitly critical youth-led restorative justice group attempting to dismantle the school-prison nexus and create a more youth-centered culture at their high-reform high school. This dissertation addresses the questions: How does serving as a restorative justice peer leader impact students? What challenges and opportunities arise as the school tries to transition to more restorative practices? And how do the values central to restorative justice come up against, challenge, and get challenged by neoliberal education reform?