Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Barajas, E., Cienfuegos, A., & Brank, E. M. (2023). Race and Ethnicity in a School-Based Restorative Justice Program. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Emily Barajas, Ana Cienfuegos, & Eve Brank 2023.


The purpose of this study was to examine the potential influence of race and ethnicity on juveniles’ participation in a restorative justice program. More specifically, this study examined an offender’s likelihood of being accepted into a school-based restorative justice diversion program based on their race and ethnicity and how that relates to their victim’s race and ethnicity. Race and ethnicity are important factors to examine to ensure that this diversion program is available to all eligible youth and that youth are not being unintentionally excluded based on race or ethnicity. For this study, data about victims’ and offenders’ race and ethnicity were collected directly from police records and diversion program data in a midwestern city. Based on prior research, we expected our sample would include offenders who were more likely to have committed assaults on those of the same race or ethnicity. Further, we expected those offenders with the same race or ethnicity as their victim would be more likely to be accepted into a school-based restorative justice program. Results did not indicate a significant association between shared racial or ethnic identity and acceptance into a restorative justice program. The findings of this study provide researchers with a more refined understanding of how shared racial identity is present in this school-based restorative justice program.