Restorative Justice in Trinidad and Chicago
As part of a Fulbright scholarship, I am currently conducting a community-based research project (CBPR) in Port of Spain, Trinidad which looks at the implementation of restorative justice in Trinidad’s juvenile court system. This Fulbright research builds upon my work as the program evaluator for Umoja, a nonprofit organization in Chicago focused on improving outcomes among “at risk” youth through socio-emotional and restorative justice programming. As Umoja’s program evaluator, I helped collate and analyze performance data for our programming at high schools in the Chicago Public Schools system. Additionally, I conducted qualitative interviews with staff–including teachers, administrators, counselors, and security officials–working at our partner schools. My work at Umoja focused on illuminating the various barriers and challenges to implementing restorative justice and also focused on staff-level perceptions of the situational causes of youth violence and other maladaptive behaviors.