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),Vice-President of the National Association for Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ), President of PeaceWorks Consulting, Inc, and a publicly elected member and currently Vice -Chairwoman of the School Board of the School District of Indian River County Schools, Florida.
Dr. Schiff earned her Ph.D. in Public Administration from New York University on a full Merit Scholarship, after earnign her Bachelor’s degree from Clark University. Before moving into academia, she served as Research Director for the New York City Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, and worked in various public and non-profit agencies in New York City focused on criminal justice, juvenile justice and child welfare. Her academic work examines restorative philosophy and practice in criminal-legal, juvenile, and educational arenas, and explores whether or how restorative approaches might overcome systemic, institutionalized forms of racism, exclusion, marginalization and injustice. Dr. Schiff teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Restorative Justice, Crime in Schools, Ethics for the Justice System, and various other courses. She also serves on the Executive Administrative Committee for Florida Atlantic University’s Peace, Justice and Human Rights Initiative. In 2019, Dr. Schiff received the FAU Presidential Award for Outstanding Faculty-Led Community Engagement in Teaching, and was first runner-up for First Runner-Up for FAU’s Presidential Award for Outstanding Faculty-Led Community Engagement in Service. In 2015 she received NACRJ’s award for Dedicated Service Recognition, and in 2010 she was the recipient of FAU’s Presidential Leadership Award.
Dr. Schiff has authored mutiple books, book chapters and articles in academic journals such as Contemporary Justice Review, Crimal Justice and Behavior, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, and Criminal 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 justice 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.