The evaluation of school-based community conferences

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Englot Stusick, Erib B.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2007
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a school-based Community Conferencing program utilized in response to student acts of misconduct or violence. The satisfaction levels of the various participants involved, the effects on suspension and expulsion rates, the rates of recidivism, the types and follow through of restoration agreements made, and the offences that respond best to Community Conferences were examined. Role-specific surveys were administered to the various participants in 12 Community Conferences with 105 surveys completed immediately following the Conference and 70 surveys completed via telephone four weeks after the completion of the Conference. Data were analyzed using descriptive, qualitative, and chi-square methods of analyses. This study provides evidence for the success and satisfaction of incorporating this type of restorative programming into current philosophies and policies within school divisions as an alternative to zero tolerance policies. Participants in various roles reported satisfaction with several aspects of the Conference and its outcome, positive personal changes resulting from the Conference, and positive experiences overall regarding participation. Additionally, a potential decrease in the use of suspension and expulsion, provides further support for its use. The findings of this study provide a baseline for satisfaction levels, types of restoration agreements made, and rates of recidivism regarding school-based Community Conferences. Results can aid in the process of decision-making for those considering the use of restorative programming in schools. Due to the high rates of overall satisfaction, the model used in this research by the Edmonton Public School Division, along with the suggestions made by the researcher, can provide a representation upon which others can base implementation of a similar program.
xv, 306 leaves ; 29 cm. --
School violence -- Alberta -- Edmonton -- Prevention , Behavior modification -- Alberta -- Edmonton , Restorative justice -- Alberta -- Edmonton , School environment -- Alberta -- Edmonton , Educational counseling -- Alberta -- Edmonton , Dissertations, Academic