Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Ronald Hallett

First Committee Member

Rod P. Githens

Second Committee Member

Linda Skrla

Third Committee Member

Erin L. Castro


The purpose of this qualitative ethnographic study was to addresses how the existence of counterspaces influences the psychological well-being of offender-labeled youth transitioning back into society. A counterspace has been defined as a social setting where two or more individuals come together to challenge deficit notions. No longer is recidivism solely being placed on offender-labeled youth that reside within juvenile correctional facilities, therefore the need for innovative programs that help develop resistance narratives and promote reengagement with the educational system are needed. In this 12-week qualitative ethnographic study the two concepts of restorative practices and narrative identity work are blended together and reconceptualized to create something new Restorative Identity Work. From an ontological perspective, the educational experiences within the counterspace (Room 21) was shared utilizing a musical playlist. The playlist is used to provide a thick description of the 12-session leadership group that was designed to be a resource for offender-labeled youth to become eligible for the high school Student Council within the correctional facility. Through the use of journals, theme songs, restorative practices, and narrative identity work, offender-labeled youth gradually gained a deeper understanding of their role in social narratives. The leadership group resulted in six out of nine offender-labeled youth becoming members of the Student Council and fostered the development of resistance narratives for all nine students.



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