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Restorative justice

Health Factors: Community Safety
Decision Makers: Community Members Educators Local Government State Government Federal Government
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 20-49% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Restorative justice uses victim and offender dialogue to address the harm caused by a crime as well as victims’ experiences and needs (Latimer 2005). This approach can be practiced via sharing circles, victim-offender mediation, or facilitated face-to-face conferences that include victims, offenders, their families, friends, and other community members. Restorative justice can occur throughout the criminal justice process, from pre-arrest to post-sentence, and can take place in settings such as prisons, therapeutic facilities, and communities (Daly 2016, Koss 2014). Judges may consider reducing some offenders’ sentences following restorative justice participation (Sherman 2007).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Reduced recidivism
Increased satisfaction with justice process
Reduced post-traumatic stress

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that restorative justice reduces recidivism (Campbell-Strang 2013, Latimer 2005, Sherman 2015, Sherman 2007). For juvenile offenders,  effects on recidivism appear strongest when restorative justice practices are implemented with researcher involvement and high fidelity to tested models (Schwalbe 2012, Hipple 2014). Victims of crime who participate in restorative justice efforts have greater levels of satisfaction with the justice process than those who participate in the traditional justice process (Campbell-Strang 2013, Latimer 2005).

Offenders who participate in restorative justice appear more likely to comply with restitution requirements than those who participate in the traditional justice system (Latimer 2005). In some circumstances, offenders report greater levels of satisfaction with the restorative justice process than the traditional justice process (Latimer 2005, Sherman 2007).

Victim-offender mediation appears to reduce juvenile recidivism (Nugent 2004). In an Arizona-based study, restorative justice conferencing reduced recidivism for girls more than boys and for youth with few prior offenses more than nonparticipating peers (Rodriguez 2007). Restorative justice conferencing can reduce victims’ post-traumatic stress symptoms (Sherman 2015, Angel 2014, Koss 2014) but appears to have no impact on first-time juvenile offenders (Cochrane-Livingstone 2013)

Researchers suggest that police-led conferences and in-person requests to victims support the greatest levels of victim participation in restorative justice conferences (Sherman 2007). Victim-centered practice, open and respectful interactions in a safe environment, and facilitator training also support effective restorative justice for youth (Choi 2012).

Restorative justice is more often practiced for white adolescents than black and Hispanic peers, and for property offenders than person offenders (Rodriguez 2007, Payne 2015). A Washington-based analysis estimates that restorative justice conferencing cost about $1,080 per participant in 2016, with a benefit to cost ratio of $3.49 (WSIPP-Benefit cost).

Implementation

United States

Restorative justice has been implemented in some states, including Illinois (IBARJ) and California (CCEJ), and in American Indian and Alaskan Native communities (Tribal Youth-RJ). The Indianapolis Family Group Conferencing Experiment and the Minneapolis victim-offender mediation program are two examples of local restorative justice efforts (OJJDP Model Programs). Strategies based on the restorative justice philosophy are used to address misbehavior in some American schools (IIRP-Improving school climate).

Wisconsin

Wisconsin has many restorative justice programs, for example, in Barron (Barron-RJP), Dane (Dane-CRC), and Burnett County (Northwest WI-RJ).

Implementation Resources

Real Justice - Real Justice. Restorative responses to crime and wrongdoing. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Restorative Justice Online - Restorative Justice Online. Accessed on September 14, 2016

Citations - Description

Daly 2016 - Daly K. What is restorative justice? Fresh answers to a vexed question. Victims & Offenders. 2016;11(1):9–29. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Koss 2014* - Koss MP. The RESTORE Program of restorative justice for sex crimes: Vision, process, and outcomes. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2014;29(9):1623–1660. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Latimer 2005* - Latimer J, Dowden C, Muise D. The effectiveness of restorative justice practices: A meta-analysis. The Prison Journal. 2005;85(2):127–44. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Sherman 2007 - Sherman LW, Strang H. Restorative justice: The evidence. London, UK: Smith Institute; 2007. Accessed on September 14, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Angel 2014* - Angel CM, Sherman LW, Strang H, et al. Short-term effects of restorative justice conferences on post-traumatic stress symptoms among robbery and burglary victims: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology. 2014;10(3):291–307. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Campbell-Strang 2013 - Strang H, Sherman LW, Mayo-Wilson E, Woods D, Ariel B. Restorative justice conferencing (RJC) using face-to-face meetings of offenders and victims: Effects on offender recidivism and victim satisfaction: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews. 2013:12. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Choi 2012* - Choi JJ, Bazemore G, Gilbert MJ. Review of research on victims’ experiences in restorative justice: Implications for youth justice. Children and Youth Services Review. 2012;34(1):35–42. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Cochrane-Livingstone 2013 - Livingstone N, Macdonald G, Carr N. Restorative justice conferencing for reducing recidivism in young offenders (aged 7 to 21) (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;(2):CD008898. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Hipple 2014* - Hipple NK, Gruenewald J, McGarrell EF. Restorativeness, procedural justice, and defiance as predictors of reoffending of participants in family group conferences. Crime & Delinquency. 2014;60(8):1131–1157. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Koss 2014* - Koss MP. The RESTORE Program of restorative justice for sex crimes: Vision, process, and outcomes. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 2014;29(9):1623–1660. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Latimer 2005* - Latimer J, Dowden C, Muise D. The effectiveness of restorative justice practices: A meta-analysis. The Prison Journal. 2005;85(2):127–44. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Nugent 2004* - Nugent WR, Williams M, Umbreit MS. Participation in victim-offender mediation and the prevalence of subsequent delinquent behavior: A meta-analysis. Research on Social Work Practice. 2004;14(6):408–16. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Payne 2015* - Payne AA, Welch K. Restorative justice in schools: The influence of race on restorative discipline. Youth & Society. 2015;47(4):539–564. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Rodriguez 2007* - Rodriguez N. Restorative justice at work: Examining the impact of restorative justice resolutions on juvenile recidivism. Crime & Delinquency. 2007;53(3):355–79. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Schwalbe 2012* - Schwalbe CS, Gearing RE, MacKenzie MJ, Brewer KB, Ibrahim R. A meta-analysis of experimental studies of diversion programs for juvenile offenders. Clinical Psychology Review. 2012;32(1):26–33. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Sherman 2007 - Sherman LW, Strang H. Restorative justice: The evidence. London, UK: Smith Institute; 2007. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Sherman 2015 - Sherman LW, Strang H, Barnes G, et al. Twelve experiments in restorative justice: The Jerry Lee program of randomized trials of restorative justice conferences. Journal of Experimental Criminology. 2015;11(4):501–540. Accessed on September 15, 2016
WSIPP-Benefit cost - Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP). Benefit-cost results. Accessed on September 9, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Barron-RJP - Barron County Restorative Justice Programs (RJP). Elevating people, transforming communities. Accessed on September 16, 2016
CCEJ - California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ). Restorative justice programs. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Dane-CRC - Dane County Community Restorative Courts (CRC). Repair harm and rebuild community. Accessed on September 16, 2016
IBARJ - Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice (IBARJ). Strengthening community through restorative justice. Accessed on September 15, 2016
IIRP-Improving school climate - International Institute for Restorative Practices Graduate School (IIRP). Improving school climate: Findings from schools implementing restorative practices. Bethlehem: International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP); 2009. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Northwest WI-RJ - Restorative Justice of Northwest Wisconsin (RJ). Working with victims, offenders, and the community. Accessed on September 16, 2016
OJJDP Model Programs - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OJJDP model programs guide. Accessed on September 9, 2016
Tribal Youth-RJ - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Tribal Youth Program: Restorative justice practices (RJ). Accessed on September 15, 2016

Page Last Updated

September 15, 2016

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