Warren Arts & Education Foundation Inc.

The Warren Arts & Education Foundation has received $214,500.00 to assist in conducting Restorative Justice (RJ) Circles for youth in the community.

The MSD of Warren Township is a school district located on The Far Eastside of Marion County, Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2021, MSD of Warren Township had an enrollment of 11,612 students, 81.1% of whom are students of color. Warren Township families have frequently been exposed to traumatic events, toxic stress, and other factors associated with juvenile justice system involvement. In response to these issues, the Warren Arts & Education Foundation (WAEF) proposes to scale the Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Warren Township’s Evaluation Support Program (ESP) by adding Restorative Justice Circles (RJCs) to serve youth.

Incorporating RJCs into ESP and expanding availability across Warren Township schools will support students who are involved or are at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. The RJC model is designed to replace punitive discipline for school violations such as fighting, truancy, and drug use. A student-trained facilitator fosters a safe, structured forum for those who caused harm and those most affected by harm. RJCs include the student who caused the incident, their parents, the victim, and the victim’s parents. If relevant, other service providers including mental health and substance abuse services may be present. RJCs educate students on potential social, educational and legal consequences for their behavior and could be used in lieu of a suspension or expulsion by offering the opportunity to repair relationships, create an accountability and support plan, and reintegrate back into the school setting. The expansion of RJCs will divert students and families to mental health and support services with a family systems approach to address root causes of behavioral issues, create an effective plan that empowers individuals, and strengthen supportive relationships within the school and community.

Learn more about the mission of the Warren Arts & Education Foundation by visiting their website: https://www.warrenfoundation.org/