The promises and pitfalls of restorative justice for intimate partner violence
This research article highlights the views of victims, perpetrators and key informants regarding RJ practice in IPV [Intimate Partner Violence] cases. Most of their opinions differ considerably from the opponents of using RJ for IPV.
By focusing on issues of safety, frequently a cited contraindication against RJ, this research makes it clear that movement is necessary by both RJ practitioners to develop improved processes and for relevant stakeholders to take a more open-minded approach to using RJ for IPV in appropriate cases.
Three research projects of the European Forum on Restorative Justice
from the EFRJ March News Flash:
News about the Forum's projects:
Accessibility and Initiation of Restorative Justice
The EFRJ project ‘Accessibility and Initiation of Restorative Justice,’ is well underway. Together with the desistance and judicial training projects, the accessibility project began in January 2013 and constitutes the trilogy of restorative justice projects financed by the European Commission for the period 2013-2014. The project aims to understand which factors prevent victims and offenders from having access to restorative justice procedures. Further it aims to understand the elements that increase the likelihood of parties accepting an offer for restorative justice procedures.
Restorative practices in schools and communities
….A growing international body of research demonstrates that restorative action-based practices in schools contribute to safer and more productive learning environments for both staff and students. In 2004, The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales evaluated a large-scale pilot restorative justice project designed to reduce unwanted behaviors (eg. bullying and victimization, poor attendance) and school suspensions. The comparison study utilized surveys and interviews with 5,000 students, 1,150 staff members, and 600 outside participants. Schools that used restorative action reported:
- Fewer students who felt that bullying was a problem in their school, and
- Fewer instances of racist name-calling and bullying, such as hitting, kicking, theft, verbal threats, and skipping class to avoid bullies.
Better Outcomes through Victim-Offender Conferencing (Restorative Justice)
Key points for better outcomes:
1. The term ‘Restorative Justice’ covers a range of approaches, but evidence suggests that models which deliver face to face victim-offender conferencing, often with supporters present, are most likely to bring the desired outcomes of increased victim satisfaction and reduced reconviction.
Restorative justice: the evolution of an issue
....It was 2007 when I was first asked about doing an issue on restorative justice by our author, Sandra Pavelka. Although I was potentially interested, two things kept this issue from happening more quickly: First, I felt like the literature surrounding restorative justice needed to have a stronger research-base; and, second, restorative justice was a concept and approach I struggled to fully understand. There are so many types of interventions that fall under the rubric of “restorative justice” that seeing the connections was difficult for me.
Conceptualising and contextualising restorative justice for hate crimes
Restorative justice (hereafter RJ) was (re) introduced to debates about justice in the 1970s at the start of a large volume of academic and policy-orientated discussions on its potential. Braithwaite, Christie, Sullivan and Zehr spoke about the transformative potential of the RJ paradigm and its ‘changing lenses’ on how we view crime. Barnett spoke first about a ‘paradigm shift’, claiming that we are living a “crisis of an old paradigm,” and that “this crisis can be restored by the adoption of a new paradigm of criminal justice”.
Evaluation of the Family Group Conferencing pilot program
from the report by Boxall, Morgan and Terer
The outcome evaluation provided some evidence that the FGC pilot program had delivered a number of positive short-term outcomes for the small number of families and professionals who were involved in the program. These outcomes included:
Evaluation of alternative dispute resolution initiatives in the care and protection jurisdiction of the NSW Children's Court
The post-conference surveys completed by parents and family members, legal representatives and Community Services Caseworkers and Managers Casework were analysed to determine participant satisfaction with the conference process and outcomes.
There was a high level of satisfaction among parents and family members with the conference process, particularly in terms of having an opportunity to tell their side of the story, other people listening to what they had to say and being treated fairly. A number of parents and family members who participated in a conference said that it was the first time they felt that they had been given an opportunity to speak directly to the other parties and to express their point of view.
Scheme 'cuts youth reoffending'
from the article in the Independent:
Youth reoffending levels dropped dramatically when alternatives to prison were used in Northern Ireland, MPs have been told.
Two-thirds of those released from custody committed further offences within a year, compared with under a third receiving a form of restorative justice sanction known as youth conferencing, Youth Justice Agency (YJA) figures showed.
Youth Justice Conferences versus Children’s Court: A comparison of cost-effectiveness
Aim: To compare the cost-effectiveness of Youth Justice Conferences (YJCs) to matters eligible for YJCs but dealt with in the Children’s Court.
Method: The costs for Police, Legal Aid, Children’s Court, Juvenile Justice YJC administration and Juvenile Justice administration of court orders were separately estimated using a combination of top-down and bottom-up costing methods.
These were combined with data from matched samples of young people who were to be dealt with by a YJC and young people who could have been dealt with by a YJC but instead were dealt with in the Children’s Court in 2007 in order to estimate average costs per person for each process.