Mara Schiff, Ph.D.
Dr. Mara Schiff has been a restorative justice scholar, practitioner, speaker and advocate for nearly 30 years. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Board Member for the National Association for Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ), and President of PeaceWorks Consulting, Inc.
In 2018, she was publicly elected to serve a 4-year term on the School Board of the School District of Indian River County (Florida) where she also served as Vice Chairwoman (2019-2020). Dr. Schiff’s academic work examines restorative philosophy and practice in criminal-legal, juvenile, and educational arenas, exploring whether restorative approaches can address institutionalized forms of exclusion, marginalization and injustice for youth. Previous work has explored the limitations of restorative language and narrative, and contextualizing restorative justice alongside other interdisciplinary approaches to address systemic structural violence.
She has authored multiple books, book chapters and articles in academic journals such as Contemporary Justice Review, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, and Criminal Justice Review. Her article, “Can Restorative Justice Disrupt the School-to-Prison Pipeline?” (2018) is currently the fourth most widely read article in Contemporary Justice Review. She has received evaluation and training grants from the National Institute of Justice, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other national and local organizations.
Dr. Schiff speaks and trains nationally and internationally on restorative and racial (in)justice in justice, education, and community settings. She works with school districts implementing restorative strategies to shift disciplinary policy, climate and culture, and has trained teachers, administrators, staff, school resource officers and others in restorative educational strategies. She has served as a consultant for the National Center of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) the School-Justice Partnership Project, the Federal Department of Education’s Rethinking Discipline, and been an invited speaker at national and international events such as Closing the School Discipline Gap in Washington DC, the New York State Permanent Commission on Justice for Children’s School-Justice Partnership Summit in New York City, the National Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnership in Washington, DC, the First and Second International Symposiums on Restorative Justice held in Skopelos, Greece, First International Conference on Child Justice and Children’s Rights, Pretoria, South Africa, and annual conferences of the European Forum for Restorative Justice in both 2021 and 2022.
Dr. Schiff was recently an invited inaugural Fellow at Maynooth University’s (Ireland) Summer Institute in Restorative Justice and Design Innovation on “Public Education: Communicating Restorative Justice to the Public.” She served as a board member for NACRJ from 2013-2017, prior to being elected as its Vice-President in 2017. Dr. Schiff regularly teaches courses on Ethics, School Crime and Safely, and Restorative Justice at FAU.