Source: (2000) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: International Institute for Restorative Practices.

Wachtel observes that punishment is the normal response to wrongdoing. Not wanting to be perceived as permissive when behavior in schools becomes more difficult and violent, schools are increasingly more punitive. In Wachtel’s view, a significant factor in all of this consists in the loss of relationships and community in the United States. Hence, Wachtel explores an alternative to what he sees as a cycle of misbehavior, punishment, and increased alienation between young people and adults. He proposes a social discipline window comprised of both control and support, which he characterizes as a restorative approach. Wachtel then examines a number of restorative principles and practices relevant to schools and other settings.

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