Thalia González

Thalia Gonzales
Associate Professor, Politics
B.A., Arizona State University; J.D., Northwestern University
Appointed In: 
Johnson Hall 310

On Research Leave

 Professor Thalia González is a nationally recognized expert in the field of restorative justice with more than two decades of experience in law, policy, and practice.

Research and Teaching:

Restorative Justice 
Conflict Resolution 
Norm Theory
Civil Rights
Human Rights  
Juvenile Justice 
Law and Policy  
Education Equity  
Public Interest Legal Practice 
Law and Society 
Truth Commissions 


Professor Thalia González is a nationally recognized expert in the field of restorative justice. Her primary research field focuses on theories and practices of restorative justice. To investigate questions in this area, Professor González applies a broad range of research methods from legal theory development to empirical analysis. A core theme within her portfolio of work is the examination of how restorative justice operates within law and public systems to remedy disproportionality, structural inequality, and systemic harm. Her secondary research fields include juvenile justice, race, gender, and inequality, public interest legal practice, domestic human rights, and norm theory.


As a scholar and practitioner, Professor González works closely with practitioners, researchers, and policymakers with a specific focus on system change and policy development. She also advises and supports a number of projects and programs using restorative approaches in public and political systems, as well as community-based settings. Her research is regularly utilized by educators, policymakers, county safety councils, think tanks, and bar associations. She currently holds an appointment as a Senior Scholar in the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center where she leads national research on restorative justice.


Professor González is a frequent expert speaker at conferences and public commentator on legal and policy issues. She has been an external reviewer for the Department of Justice, national foundations, and numerous high impact journals. Professor González has also served as an evaluator for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and consultant for the National Institute of Justice. Presently, she sits on the Advisory Committee for the Restorative Justice Research Institute and the Advisory Board for the Restorative Justice Center at the University of San Diego. Professor González has been a scholar in residence at Berkeley Law, UCLA School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining the faculty at Occidental College she was a practicing attorney and held appointments at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Arizona State University.


Professor González has been recognized for her excellence in teaching at Occidental College, including being awarded the Linda and Todd White Teaching Prize, the Loftgordon Teaching Award, and selected as a Mortar Board Last Lecture speaker.



Thalia González, Alexis Etow & Cesar De La Vega, From Civil Rights to Health Justice: A New Model for School Discipline Reform (work-in-progress)

Thalia González, The State of Restorative Justice in American Criminal Law (forthcoming in N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y)

Jelena Todic, Catherine Cubbin, Marilyn Armour, Michele Roundtree & Thalia González, Reframing School-based Restorative Justice as a Structural Health Equity Intervention, 62 Health & Place 102289 (2020)

Thalia González, The Legalization of Restorative Justice: A 50-State Empirical Analysis, 5 Utah L. Rev. 1027 (2020)

Thalia González & Annalise Buth, Restorative Justice at the Crossroads: Politics, Power, and Language, 22 Contemporary Just. Rev. 242 (2019)

Thalia González, Heather Sattler & Annalise Buth, New Directions in Whole-School Restorative Justice Implementation, 35Conflict Res. Q. 1 (2018) 

Thalia González, Youth Incarceration, Health and Length of Stay, 45 Fordham Urb. L.J. 45 (2017).

Thalia González, Root to Rise: Mindful Lawyering for Social Justice, 41 N.Y.U. Rev. L. Soc. Change 91 (2017).

Thalia González, Restorative Justice From the Margins to the Center: The Emergence of a New Norm in School Discipline, 60 How. L.J. 267 (2016).

Thalia González, A Quiet Revolution: Mindfulness, Rebellious Lawyering and Community Practice, 53 Cal. W.L. Rev. 49 (2016).

Thalia González, From Global to Local: Domestic Human Rights Norms in Theory and Practice 59 How. L.J. 501 (2016).

Thalia González, Reorienting Restorative Justice: Initiating a New Dialogue of Rights Consciousness, Community Empowerment and Politicization, 16 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 457 (2015).

Thalia González & Giovanni Saarman, Regulating Pollutants, Good Neighbor Agreements, and Negative Externalities: Who Bears the Burden of Protecting Communities? 41 Ecology L.Q. 37 (2014).

Thalia González, Reclaiming the Promise of the Indian Child Welfare Act: A Study of State Incorporation and Adoption of Legal Protections for Indian Status Offenders, 42 N.M. L. Rev. 131 (2012).

Thalia González, Keeping Kids in Schools: Restorative Justice, Punitive Discipline, and the School to Prison Pipeline, 41 J.L. & Educ. 281 (2012).

Thalia González, Restoring Justice: Community Organizing to Transform School Discipline Policies, 15 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol’y 2 (2011).

Thalia González, A Model for Economic Empowerment: Minority Business Development and Advocacy Before the California Public Utilities Commission, Los Angeles Pub. Int. L.J. 104 (2010).

Book Chapters, Edited Volumes and Reports.

Thalia González & Rebecca Epstein, Increasing School Connectedness for Girls: Restorative Justice as a Health Equity Resource (Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown University Law Center, 2020)
Rebecca Epstein, Jamilia Blake & Thalia González, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood (Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown University Law Center, 2017).
Rebecca Epstein & Thalia González, Gender & Trauma-Somatic Interventions for Girls in Juvenile Justice: Implications for Policy and Practice (Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown University Law Center, 2017).
Thalia González & Lauren Eckstrom, From Practice to Praxis: Mindful Lawyering for Social Justice, in Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis (Melanie Klein, Beth Berila & Chelsea Jackson, ed., 2016).

Thalia González, Socializing Schools: Addressing Racial Disparities in Discipline Through Restorative Justice, in Closing the School Discipline Gap: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion (Daniel J. Losen ed., 2014).

Thalia González & Edwin González-Santin, The Indian Child Welfare Act: A Legal Mandate for Social Justice and Preservation of American Indian/Native Alaskan Heritage, in Social Issues in Contemporary Native America: Reflections from Turtle Island (Hilary N. Weaver ed., 2014).

Thalia González, Protecting the Future of Tribal Communities: Ensuring Compliance with the Indian Welfare Act, in Big Ideas for Children in the Southwest (First Focus ed., 2012).

Thalia González & Benjamin Cairns, Moving Beyond Exclusion: Integrating Restorative Practices and Impacting School Culture in Denver Public Schools, in Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System (Nancy E. Dowd ed., 2011) 


POLS 140 - Law and Society

POLS 234 - Juvenile Justice

POLS 238 - Human Rights in the United States

POLS 243 - Restorative Justice

POLS 244 - Constitutional Law

POLS 247 - Supreme Court Politics

POLS 260 - Community Law Internship

POLS 340 - Rebellious Lawyering

POLS 341 – Justice Lab: Contemporary Issues in Law and Public Policy

POLS 345 - Constitutional Law II

POLS 346 - Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

POLS 347 - Race and Law