Source: (2004) Chapter prepared for E. Elliott and R. Gordon (eds.), Restorative Justice: Emerging Issues in Practice and Evaluation. Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing. Downloaded 30 November 2004.

This chapter reviews two studies on restorative justice that I have conducted in the past several years. One examines variability in the conference process, and the second compares outcomes for court and conference cases. The studies show the strengths and weaknesses of restorative justice from a victim's perspective. The conference-only study demonstrates the limits of restorative justice in helping victims to recover from crime, and it suggests that some victims are more able to engage in a restorative justice process than others. The conference-court comparison demonstrates the limits of court in attempting to adjudicate and sanction crime, and the court's failure to vindicate victims. Restorative justice advocates and critics must grasp the significance and 'truth' of both studies. Advocates should adopt more realistic expectations for victims in a restorative process, and critics should be mindful of the court's limited ability to vindicate victims. Author's abstract.

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