Restorative Justice

“A Systematic Review of Teen Court Evaluation Studies: A Focus on Evaluation Design Characteristics and Program Components and Processes.” 

Cotter Katie L. and Evans Caroline B.R. (May 2017). Adolescent Research Review. Accessed June 27, 2017 

Study Abstract: Teen Court is a restorative justice program serving non-chronic juvenile offenders. A number of Teen Court evaluation studies exist, however, considerable heterogeneity across Teen Court programs suggests the need to more closely examine the program components (i.e., elements of Teen Court such as sanctions) and processes (i.e., how Teen Court operates such as referral sources and participation criteria) of these existing evaluation studies. The aim of the current systematic review was to provide a comprehensive review of existing Teen Court evaluation studies by synthesizing (1) evaluation design characteristics and (2) program components and processes. Using AMSTAR (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews) guidelines, the authors used identical key words to search 12 databases for relevant articles, book chapters, dissertations, and theses. Pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria were used to evaluate each document; 46 articles reporting results from 35 studies were included in the review. Program participation criteria and referral sources varied considerably across studies. Twenty studies included a comparison group and only two used random assignment. Most studies reported recidivism rates, however the definition and measurement of recidivism were inconsistent across studies. Distinct differences in participation criteria and referral sources across programs suggested that some programs serve youth who would otherwise be served by the juvenile justice system whereas other programs serve youth who would otherwise face school disciplinary measures. Rigorous research on Teen Court is minimal and additional studies using strong study designs are needed in order to draw confident conclusions about the impact of Teen Court. Terminology for distinguishing between Teen Court programs based on participation and referral criteria and standards for assessing recidivism are offered.

 

"Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation: The Question of Evidence.”

Braithwaite, John. RegNet Research Paper, No. 51 (revised), School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). 2016.


Abstract: Restorative justice is a way of selecting strategies to respond to challenges like healing the hurts of crime. Empathic empowerment of stakeholders who take turns to speak in a circle are at the heart of its strategy for strategy selection. Restorative justice can complement responsive regulation. Indeed responsive regulation probably works best when restorative justice is a first preference at the base of a pyramid of strategies. Responsive regulation involves listening and flexible (responsive), deliberative choice among strategies that are arranged in a pyramid. At the bottom of the pyramid are more frequently used strategies of first choice that are less coercive, less interventionist, cheaper. The evidence is encouraging that restorative justice and responsive regulation work better than less flexible, less dynamic top-down state decision making. The effectiveness of restorative justice and responsive regulation depends mainly, however, on the efficacy of the intervention strategies that are responsively chosen. It is time to redirect R&D efforts to improving the quality of restorative and responsive strategy selection.

“Restorative justice and student development in higher education: Expanding ‘offender’ horizons beyond punishment and rehabilitation to community engagement and personal growth.”

Karp, David R. and Olivia Frank. Offenders No More: An Interdisciplinary Restorative Justice Dialogue, 2016. Pp. 141-164 edited by Theo Gavrielides. New York: Nova Science Publishers.


Abstract: : Conduct administrators on colleges campuses vacillate between punitive and rehabilitative responses to student misconduct. This chapter explores this tension and the emergence of restorative justice as a meaningful alternative to both. Restorative responses to misconduct express the moral disapproval that underlies the punitive approach, but do so with the social support that characterizes rehabilitation. The chapter outlines how restorative justice has been implemented on the college campus, describing various models and the philosophies behind them, integrating theoretical perspectives from sociology, criminology and education. It provides an overview of the STARR (Student Accountability and Restorative Research) Project with evidence from 18 campuses that restorative practices enhance student development.

“Are Restorative Justice Conferences Effective in Reducing Repeat Offending? Findings from a Campbell Systematic Review” 

Sherman, Lawrence, et al.  (March 2015). Journal of Quantitative Criminology. Accessed June 27, 2017 

Study Abstract: This paper synthesizes the effects on repeat offending reported in ten eligible randomized trials of face-to-face restorative justice conferences (RJCs) between crime victims, their accused or convicted offenders, and their respective kin and communities. After an exhaustive search strategy that examined 519 studies that could have been eligible for our rigorous inclusion criteria, we found ten that did. Included studies measured recidivism by 2 years of convictions after random assignment of 1,880 accused or convicted offenders who had consented to meet their consenting victims prior to random assignment, based on “intention-to-treat” analysis. Results Our meta-analysis found that, on average, RJCs cause a modest but highly cost-effective reduction in the frequency of repeat offending by the consenting offenders randomly assigned to participate in such a conference. A cost-effectiveness estimate for the seven United Kingdom experiments found a ratio of 3.7–8.1 times more benefit in cost of crimes prevented than the cost of delivering RJCs. Conclusion:  RJCs are a cost-effective means of reducing frequency of recidivism.

“Forgiveness and Justice: A Research Agenda for Social and Personality Psychology.” 

Julie Juola Exline, Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Peter Hill and Michael E. McCullough. Pers Soc Psychol Rev 2003; 7; 337. Accessed March 8, 2018 

Abstract: Forgiveness and related constructs (e.g., repentance, mercy, reconciliation) are ripe for study by social and personality psychologists, including those interested in justice. Current trends in social science, law, management, philosophy, and theology suggest a need to expand existing justice frameworks to incorporate alternatives or complements to retribution, including forgiveness and related processes. In this article, we raise five challenging empirical questions about forgiveness. For each question, we briefly review representative research, raise hypotheses, and suggest specific ways in which social and personality psychologists could make distinctive contributions.

“Restorative Justice: What is it and Does it Work?"

Menkel-Meadow, Carrie,  (2007). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 3 Ann. Rev. L. & Soc. Sci. 161-187 (2007).
Accessed March 8, 2018

Abstract: This article reviews the now extensive literature on the varied arenas in which restorative justice is theorized and practiced — criminal violations, community ruptures and disputes, civil wars, regime change, human rights violations, and international law. It also reviews — by examining empirical studies of the processes in different settings — how restorative justice has been criticized, what its limitations and achievements might be, and how it might be understood. I explore the foundational concepts of reintegrative shaming, acknowledgment and responsibility, restitution, truth and reconciliation, and sentencing or healing circles for their transformative and theoretical potentials and for their actual practices in a variety of locations — family abuse, juvenile delinquency, criminal violations, problem solving courts, indigenous-colonial-national disputes, ethnic and religious conflicts, civil wars, and liberation struggles. Restorative justice, which began as an alternative model of criminal justice, seeking healing and reconciliation for offenders, victims, and the communities in which they are embedded, has moved into larger national and international arenas of reintegration in political and ethnic conflicts. This review suggests that there are important and serious questions about whether restorative justice should be supplemental or substitutional of more conventional legal processes and about how its innovations suggest potentially transformative and challenging ideas and “moves” for dealing with both individual and group transgressive conduct, seeking peace as well as justice.

“Looking at Justice Through a Lens of Healing and Reconnection.” 

Annalise Buth and Lynn Cohn, 13 Nw. J. L. & Soc. Pol'y. 1 (2017). Accessed March 8, 2018

Abstract: This article reviews the now extensive literature on the varied arenas in which restorative justice is theorized and practiced — criminal violations, community ruptures and disputes, civil wars, regime change, human rights violations, and international law. It also reviews — by examining empirical studies of the processes in different settings — how restorative justice has been criticized, what its limitations and achievements might be, and how it might be understood. I explore the foundational concepts of reintegrative shaming, acknowledgment and responsibility, restitution, truth and reconciliation, and sentencing or healing circles for their transformative and theoretical potentials and for their actual practices in a variety of locations — family abuse, juvenile delinquency, criminal violations, problem solving courts, indigenous-colonial-national disputes, ethnic and religious conflicts, civil wars, and liberation struggles. Restorative justice, which began as an alternative model of criminal justice, seeking healing and reconciliation for offenders, victims, and the communities in which they are embedded, has moved into larger national and international arenas of reintegration in political and ethnic conflicts. This review suggests that there are important and serious questions about whether restorative justice should be supplemental or substitutional of more conventional legal processes and about how its innovations suggest potentially transformative and challenging ideas and “moves” for dealing with both individual and group transgressive conduct, seeking peace as well as justice.

“Communities at Large: An Archaeological Analysis of the ‘Community’ Within Restorative Justice Policy and Laws.” 

Maglione, G. Crit Crim (2017) 25: 453. Accessed March 8, 2018

Abstract: Within the scholarly literature on restorative justice, the ‘community’, as a distinctive crime stakeholder, has been the target of extensive research. This work provides an original interpretation of the underlying images of the community within policy documents and legal statutes on RJ produced in England and Wales since 1985. The paper begins with an outline of the most recurrent representations of the community in relevant laws and policy, unearthing their theoretical underpinnings. The next step aims to infer from the general representations a range of more specific features, and to sketch out an ‘ideal’ model of community in restorative justice, whose cultural background is also outlined. As a final step, some critical reflections on the implications of the ‘ideal community’ are offered. By identifying what is taken for granted in laws and policies on restorative justice and its cultural context, this study aims to foster a critical ‘‘reality check’’ on this specific development of western penal policy, relevant for the restorative justice movement, at the international level.