Many K-12 schools across the country and finding that restorative justice programs provide an excellent way to improve school climate, break the school-to-prison pipeline, and support students facing challenging situations at home or in the community. Below are examples of school circles we have filmed.

Teacher-Student Circle

A restorative justice circle held between a teacher and a student who was being disruptive at Cole Middle School in Oakland, California. Shot as early research for the documentary film CIRCLE UP.

Student Support Circle

A high school restorative justice circle for a student struggling to come to school on time and be her best self with classmates and teachers. Extra content shot for the documentary film CIRCLE UP at the Diploma Plus program at Charlestown High School in Boston.

Friends of Homicide Victim

Friends of murder victim Joel Turner come together many years later to reflect on the experience.

Re-Entry Circle

The Side by Side circle in Boston has been meeting weekly for well over a decade to welcome citizens returning from prison, using traditional peacemaking circle structure. In this clip the mother of a homicide victim responds to a formerly incarcerated man.


Specially edited elections from CIRCLE UP for use in humanities-based discussions on the themes of forgiveness, accountability, and justice, created for use in a 5-week circle series held in Boston public schools with support from MassHumanities

Humanities Clip 1: Introduction

Humanities Clip 2: Justice

Humanities Clip 3: Accountability

Humanities Clip 4: Forgiveness


After watching CIRCLE UP, audience members are invited to reflect on #CircleUpDoc and the themes of #forgiveness, #acountability, and #justice in a 60-second video uploaded to social media.