Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #442
Behavior Analysis and Restorative Justice: Birds of a Feather?
Monday, May 27, 2019
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Fairmont, B2, Imperial Ballroom
Area: CSS/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jack Treadway (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana - Lafayette)
CE Instructor: Emily Kennison Sandoz, Please Select...
Abstract: Restorative Justice (RJ) practices have been implemented within the contexts of school, community corrections, and criminal justice systems. These practices provide those directly and indirectly affected by harmful behaviors and perpetrators opportunities to effectively repair harm, leading to the reintegration of the community. Such processes have been adopted by only a few professional USA-based organizations, typically those directly involved in propagating RJ. Additionally, these practices have only recently been the topic of behavior analytic research. This symposium will provide an introduction to the basic features of RJ, highlight the similarities between RJ and behavior-analytic principles, and provide an example of behavior analytic research with RJ. The first paper will also provide recommendations for implementing RJ techniques in professional organizations such as ABAI. The second paper will present methods, findings, and implications from an empirical study within the school system implementing RJ principles using performance feedback techniques. The second paper will also discuss the potential to use Behavioral Skills Training to build competency and fluency with RJ techniques.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Performance feedback, Professional Organizations, Restorative Justice, Schools
Target Audience: Practicing behavior analysts and counselors; graduate students; faculty; officers in professional organizations
Learning Objectives: Learning outcome 1: Describe the basic assumptions and processes of restorative justice and its overlaps with behavior-analytic principles. Learning outcome 2: Discuss considerations for implementing RJ within the context of professional organizations. Learning outcome 3: Describe behavioral methods of building capacity and fluency among those implementing RJ.

Restorative Justice Within the Context of Professional Organizations: Is RJ the Way?

JEFFREY PAVLACIC (University of Mississippi ), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Stefan Schulenberg (University of Mississippi )

Restorative Justice (RJ) practices are rarely implemented within the context of professional organizations, despite their effectiveness in reducing recidivism within the Criminal Justice (CJ) system. RJ, broadly, is a theory with roots in CJ traditionally designed to detract recidivism and guide the effective reparation of harm. The overarching goal of RJ is to provide parties affected by harm an opportunity for engagement in the resolution process, thereby enhancing community well-being and reintegrating victims and offenders. Overlap exists between RJ and basic behavior-analytic principles. Behavior is a function of context, where behaviors reinforced are more likely to occur in the future. Unfortunately, traditional correctional systems are punishment-focused, which may lead to eliciting, discriminative, behavior-suppressing, and physiological effects. Thus, implementing RJ practices from a reinforcement-focused, behavior-analytic approach may effectively address misconduct within professional organizations. The current paper reviews RJ principles and their overlap with BA principles. Additionally, we provide recommendations for implementing RJ within the context of professional organizations, such as Applied Behavior Analysis International.

Using Single-Subject Design to Evaluate School Restorative Justice Technologies
DARREN AITCHISON (National Louis University)
Abstract: In prior research, Restorative Justice (RJ) has been implemented to reduce conflict and produce positive behavior change in the American school and criminal justice systems. Peace Circes and victim-offender reconciliation programs (VORP) are used in place of traditional, punitive-based systems. These programs specifically are heavily used within the criminal justice system. Performance feedback has been implemented to produce skill improvement at the organizational level. Monitoring, coaching, and feedback on an employee’s performance are given at regular time intervals. In this study, three teachers, one administrator, and three students were each given feedback and coaching on how they managed chronic misbehavior in delayed multiple baseline designs. Results suggested that when exposed to performance feedback and coaching on RJ at full implementation, student discipline referrals decreased significantly, suggesting that the independent variable may have been responsible for the measured behavior change. Implications of these results and the potential to improve fluency and capacity for implementing RJ using other behavioral techniques (e.g., Behavioral Skills Training) will be discussed.



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