Restorative Justice

The Restorative Justice Project offers training and programs in Restorative Justice Practices designed to support CURes' vision to advance urban health and resilience. Our goal is to offer tools the community can use to help cultivate knowledgeable, responsible, and civically engaged citizens. Engage with the RJ Project via our Interest Form.

Schoene Mahmood manages the Restorative Justice "RJ" division of CURes and brings 16 years of experience with Restorative Justice Practices. Before joining LMU CURes, she facilitated 400+ juvenile expulsion, arrest, and court-diversion cases referred by the Maryland State’s Attorney’s office, the Department of Juvenile Services, the Baltimore City Police Department, and Baltimore City schools. Schoene currently serves as the Program Manager of the Restorative Justice Project at CURes to develop Restorative Practices curriculum and provide educational trainings that include on-going skill-building workshops for K-12 school community members. Most recently, she has introduced Restorative Practices to the Loyola Marymount University community, extending the reach to higher-education stakeholders.

"Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices provides a framework for a healthy dialogue with conflict at all levels.  Although we may believe that in a 'polite' society we can sidestep or submerge our disagreements, they are, in fact, critical to a functioning democracy and a progressive community.  RJ provides tools to help us embrace conflict on a daily basis and manage extreme cases where someone is harmed.  All the while, strengthening the social fiber that binds us together and trying never to exile members from the community…" - Dr. Eric Strauss, CURes Executive Director


Riverside Unified School District implementing Restorative Practices through CUREs' conflict resolution program.

Restorative Practices (RP)

RP is a philosophy that grew from Restorative Justice (RJ) that aims to provide school communities with safe, inclusive, and effective tools to develop relationships to create a healthy school environment.

We partner with schools and corporations to offer training components including:

  • Education and Marketing
  • School Environment Assessment
  • Implementation Coordination
  • Restorative Language Integration
  • Community Building Circles
  • Community Conferencing
  • Facilitation Skill-building and Coaching
  • Program Evaluation


"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~Anne Frank


To find ways to collaborate with the RJ Project, please contact Schoene Mahmood at or 310.338.4442.

Stay involved via Facebook and Instagram, sign up for the newsletter by emailing, or fill out our Interest Form

  • Case Studies

    These case studies illustrate how Community Building Circles and Community Conference work. Names have been changed for privacy.

    Stolen Phone

    Josh misplaced his phone. His teacher assured Josh that she would ask her students to help look for the phone. At the beginning of the school year she implemented Community Building Circles and got to know these students pretty well. Having built strong bonds she said, "I just want to talk with you because a student's phone has gone missing. So if any of you know where it is or who took it – the right thing to do would be to give the phone back."

    Right after class, Shawn, Taylor, and Mike approached the teacher and asked, "What does it say about a person's character if a person stole something and then brought it back?" The teacher responded, "That would say a lot about the person's character. And it wouldn't say much about their character if they didn't return it." The teacher could see the boys were really thinking about what she said. The boys answered, "Oh, we found this phone."

    Foreign Language Made Fun

    A foreign language teacher, reports: "I found out that one of my students who is failing my class is an avid reader. During one of our Community Building Circles, I asked everyone to name their favorite storybook from childhood. You can imagine their surprise when I brought those books written in Italian to them. They see that I'm paying attention to what interests them, so during class they pay more attention to me. In my opinion, this process makes a big difference in the class; the key is to continue doing it on a regular basis."


    A math instructor who teaches class right after lunch notices that students have difficulty concentrating. Most of the students in this class are repeating the course and there are at least eight young people who have problems controlling their behavior. When the teacher first introduced Community Building Circles, there were sidebar conversations, despite the use of a "talking piece" that serves as a reminder that only one person may speak at a time. After conducting the circles a few times, the young people have started to settle down and seem to take a real interest in the process by asking their own sets of questions.

    One time, a student brought up the social media application called Instagram because someone had posted a page of photos of girls and implied they were promiscuous. A student asked, "Why is it that girls get called horrible names and boys don't? The boys are doing the same things the girls are doing but they aren't being called names." Many of the students passed the talking piece without speaking and then one student who hadn't spoken before added, "I think it's really terrible, because one of my friends is on that page and she doesn't deserve to be." Another male student talked about how not all boys call the girls those names and noted that girls are responsible for the name-calling too. Right before the bell rang to dismiss the class, another student yelled out, "We need to stop calling each other names!"

  • Trainings

    Restorative Practices Trainings

    We partner with schools, nonprofit organizations, and corporations to offer training components including:

    • Orientation
    • Community Environment Assessment
    • Restorative Language Integration
    • Community Building Circles
    • Community Conferencing
    • Facilitation Skill-building and Coaching
    • Implementation Coordination
    • Program Evaluation

    We tailor each training to meet the needs of the community.

    For more information, please contact:
    Schoene Mahmood
    (310) 338-4442


  • Partners

    Our Partners represent some of the most progressive organizations in the judicial, educational, governmental, and private sectors. These collaborations help lead the way in providing RJ resources in the Greater Los Angeles Area.

    School Partners

    Alliance College-Ready Public Schools

    • Alice M. Baxter High School
    • Middle School #12

    Archdiocese of Los Angeles Catholic Schools

    • Assumption Catholic School
    • Dolores Mission School
    • Immaculate Conception Catholic School
    • Santa Isabel Catholic School
    • St. Aloysius Catholic School
    • St. Bernard’s High School
    • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
    • St. Ignatius Catholic School
    • St. Joseph’s Catholic School
    • St. Lawrence of Brindisi
    • St. Louis of France Catholic School
    • St. Michael Catholic School
    • St. Paul Catholic School
    • Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School
    • St. Raphael Catholic School

    Aspire Public Schools

    • Centennial Academy
    • Inskeep Academy
    • Pacific Academy
    • Slauson Academy
    • Tate Academy

    Centinela Valley Union High School District

    • Lawndale High School
    • Lloyde High School

    Culver City Unified School District Representatives

    Long Beach Unified School District

    • Intellectual Virtues Academy

    Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

    • Academic Leadership Community
    • Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School
    • Westchester Enriched Sciences and Magnets

    New York City Charter School Center

    Riverside Unified School District (RUSD)

    • Arlington High School
    • Castle View Elementary
    • Chemawa Middle School
    • Educational Options High School
    • Emerson Elementary School
    • Franklin Elementary School
    • Gage Middle School
    • Hawthorne Elementary School
    • Highgrove Elementary School
    • Jefferson Elementary School
    • John North High School
    • Lake Matthews Elementary School
    • Lincoln High School
    • Longfellow Elementary School
    • Martin Luther King High School
    • Mountain View Elementary School
    • North High School
    • Patricia Beatty Elementary School
    • Ramona High School
    • Rivera Elementary School
    • Riverside Polytechnic High School
    • University Middle School
    • Washington Elementary School
    • William Howard Taft Elementary School
    • Woodcrest Elementary School
    • RUSD Hearts Program

    Santa Monica and Malibu School District Representatives

    Santa Monica Unified School District

    • Will Rogers Learning Community

    Foundation Partners

    • Anonymous
    • Collins Foundation

    Community Partners

    CSC logo

    • Catholic Schools Collaborative
    • Kerri Berkowitz, Restorative Justice Practices Trainer and Implementation Specialist
    • Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
    • Public Counsel

    Academic Partners

    • LMU Criminal and Restorative Justice Group
    • LMU Office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibility (OSCCR)
    • LMU Psychology Applied Research Center (PARC)
    • LMU School of Education
    • LMU Student Affairs
    • Restorative Justice Network of Catholic Campuses
    • Professor Thalia González, Occidental College
    • Georgetown University
  • LMU Partnerships

    LMU Partnerships

    The CURes RJ Program is excited to partner with departments across LMU's campus

    • LMU Criminal and Restorative Justice Group
    • LMU Office of Intercultural Affairs
    • LMU Office of Student Affairs
    • LMU Office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibility
    • LMU Psychology Applied Research Center (PARC)
    • LMU School of Education
    • LMU Sorority and Fraternity Life
    • LMU The Learning Center (TLC)

    Greek Life

    LMU offers facilitated options to address conflict for the Sorority & Fraternity Life community. Use the SFL Restorative Options guide to determine the best method for addressing your situation.

  • Sorority & Fraternity Life

    Greek Life


    Looking for ways to address conflict?
    Wondering how to talk to each other about something serious?

    LMU is offering a safe and structured space with an impartial facilitator to help address topics that are important to Greek Life. Learn more about the following two options:

    1. Restorative Conferences (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours)
    2. Problem-Solving Conversations (anywhere from 1 to 2 hours) 

    Restorative Conferences (anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours)
    Interested in having a conversation about an issue with one or more parties and you’re not quite sure how to move forward?  Have you tried talking with someone surrounding a problem and feel stuck?

    Contact us to speak with a facilitator about how Restorative Conferencing works. The Restorative Conference brings everyone affected by harm, along with their supporters, together to get an opportunity to address things collectively. This process not only holds people accountable for their actions, it also gives everyone a chance to be heard with a focus on how things could be resolved to move forward. This process requires a trained, impartial Restorative Conferencing facilitator to ask the group three key questions:

    1. What happened?
    2. Who has been affected and how?
    3. What can be done to repair the harm and ensure it doesn’t happen again?

    Participation is 100% voluntary. This process honors privacy.


    Problem-Solving Conversations (anywhere from 1 to 2 hours)

    Do you have a group of people who are trying to figure out how to solve a problem? Have you tried to fix an issue that just ends up with a lot of complaining? 

    We have a facilitator available who invites participants to join a group problem-solving conversation.
    A trained, impartial facilitator would ask the group to determine the topic(s) ahead of time. Embodying a participatory, egalitarian, and meaningful way to enhance and strengthen the campus community, these conversations break down barriers and offer a process for decision-making. The aim is to help build a positive campus climate where everyone can potentially feel safe and valued.

    Participation is 100% voluntary. This process honors privacy.


    The goal is to provide a safe and structured space for voluntary group conversations offering a way for students to express their concerns and generate action plans.



    Restorative Practices
    Restorative Practices implementation has been gaining momentum as a vital contribution to improving social interaction amongst community stakeholders, including LMU’s campus. The aim is to help build and develop stronger relationships amongst all stakeholders which in turn, positively impacts the campus environment. Restorative Practices are based on principles that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and involve processes that restore relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative Practices utilize processes such as Restorative Conferencing to repair relationships when conflict naturally occurs and tools to help build a sense of connection.

    Restorative Practices asserts that in assisting others to make changes to behavior, it is most effective if one works with others, as the likelihood of cooperation and accountability increases. The goal is to elevate voice and agency of students, staff, faculty, and neighbors. The process of transforming campus culture and climate requires willingness, time, and dedication. In order for accountability to thrive, people appreciate when there are safe spaces to speak the truth of experience, and perspective, even if there is non-agreement.

    The Restorative Justice Project at LMU brought Restorative Conferencing to LA County in 2013.


    The LMU CURes’ Restorative Justice Project provides communities with safe, inclusive, and effective tools to help develop relationships while building and maintaining a healthy environment. Offering Restorative Justice Practices trainings, skill-building workshops, and Problem-Solving Conversation & Restorative Conferencing facilitation services, the work is designed to support the center’s vision to advance urban health and resilience. Our work fosters the philosophy of environmental justice – local communities making local decisions. We believe this is the most effective process for creating resilient cities. Some of our general community services include operating Ballona Discovery Park, leading a suite of school science programs and advancing research projects focused on transforming the urban ecosystems around us.


    Schoene Mahmood brings over 16 years of experience implementing Restorative Practices programs at schools and facilitating court-diversion cases within the Juvenile Justice System. She currently serves as the head of the Restorative Justice Project at LMU’s Center for Urban Resilience (CURes). Schoene provides Restorative Conferencing facilitation services for organizations in need of addressing incidents of harm. Additionally, in partnership with Los Angeles area schools and universities, she provides Restorative Practices educational trainings, on-going skill-building workshops, and Restorative Conferencing facilitation services. Before joining CURes, Schoene facilitated court diversion cases at the Community Conferencing Center in Baltimore, Maryland. She handled misdemeanor and felony cases referred by the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office, Department of Juvenile Services, Baltimore City Police Department, and Baltimore City Schools Police Department.

    For more information, contact:
    Schoene Mahmood
    Restorative Justice Project
    LMU Center for Urban Resilience
    (310) 338-4442

    Julia Wade
    Associate Director of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility
    (310) 338-8822

  • Newsletter

    Restorative Practices Newsletter

    The CURes RJ Team sends out a bi-monthly newsletter focused on current and relevant Restorative Practices information. If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter, email

  • Research

    Program Evaluation is a method of studying the effectiveness, efficiency, and fidelity of projects and programs. Our approach may be tailored to a range of contexts, from public to private sectors. Program evaluation is particularly salient to our school and community-based partners, as it behooves public and private institutions to understand project and program effectiveness. Furthermore, this process provides a mode for improving projects and programs that benefit schools and broader communities. As such, we offer program evaluation in an effort to aid in the process of producing healthy schools and neighborhoods.

  • Testimonials

    Restorative Practices Testimonials

    The process showed the teacher a different side of the student and it showed the humanity of the teacher. A lot of our kids don't realize that teachers are humans, too. Everything is going well with this student and teacher now. They established and built a foundation for a relationship. Both the student and the teacher were both adamant about not being removed from the classroom. She sees a different side of him and sees him as a whole child - not just the side that was causing the friction in the classroom. - Kendra Peterson, Asst. Principal at Lawndale

    Thanks for being here this morning. As you know, things went great. I want to thank you for helping facilitate this problem and breaking through with [student]. Him opening up and identifying his needs help is a HUGE step. I have referred him to Richstone. Thanks for all you do. -Ben Wardrop, Asst. Principal at Lawndale

    I wish they had had this [Restorative Practices] when I was in high school. This is a much better way of handling things. - Parent of a student at Lawndale

    I don't care if the teacher has a Master's Degree, I just want the teacher to connect with my child. - Parent of a student at Lawndale

    During the Community Building Circle, the process opened up the students to better interact with each other so they can talk in front of the entire class without having to stand up. In the circle, students sit next to people who they are comfortable with and can talk with people who they aren't so comfortable with. They're able to share feelings and ask questions about things that they weren't normally used to talking about with each other. It also builds empathy and hearing each other in a way that allows them to understand, "Oh, he felt good or bad about that situation, too." - Teacher at Lloyde High School

    [The RJ Project's] wisdom, support, and guidance will allow our staff to continue to increase safety and a sense of belonging among students participating in our Afterschool programs. Thank you. - Riverside Unified School District After School Program

    The implementation of Restorative Practices is a great step forward for the LMU Division of Student Affairs. These practices are well situated in the context of education of the whole person as they are a tool to further our work around dialogue across difference and controversy with civility. - Elena M. Bove, Ed.D., Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

    It was well structured and took all opinions into account - LMU Student

    Good to have direct communication between parties, creates better understanding - LMU Staff

    Additional Comments from Teachers about implementing Restorative Practices

    • Fewer classroom arguments
    • Students begin to respond to minimal instruction
    • Able to "buy-back" instruction time
    • Improves interpersonal skills
    • Better relationships
  • Resources

    RP Resources


    News Articles

    Social Emotional Learning Resources

    Trauma Resources

    Self Care Resources

    Empathy Development