Source: (2009) Dissertation. Doctor of Philosophy. Alliant International University.

The state of California has been recently developing and incorporating restorative justice philosophies into programs. These programs are aimed at successful reintegration for offenders and have been developed in response to the overcrowding and apparent failure of the present correctional systems. During 2005, over 170,000 individuals were incarcerated and nearly 130,000 inmates were released on conditional supervision in California. Research has indicated that despite a "tough on crime' stance taken by politicians and policy makers, individuals within public communities believe offenders should be rehabilitated and assisted in successful reentry back into the community. Prior research has indicated that when surveyed, the public is more interested in rehabilitation and successful reentry of offenders rather than longer and harsher prison sentences. The concept of restorative justice was developed as an alternative to the traditional approaches to criminal justice such as rehabilitation and retribution. Previous research has found that issues such as prison reform and penal attitudes are consistently measurable. The purpose of this research is to further clarify and identify discrepancies among the attitudes that the public holds regarding prison reform and restorative justice. Attitudes that the people of California have toward prison reform and correctional philosophies (i.e. rehabilitative or punitive), and attitudes toward the development and implementation of restorative justice programs within their community will be measured and compared. The hypothesis of this study was that the higher an individual endorses prison reform {prison reform attitude/attitudes toward amenities and rehabilitation vs. punitive attitudes), the more likely the individual will hold penal attitudes that involve aspects of restorative justice such as restoration, rehabilitation, and social balance. A second, exploratory hypothesis was made that there will be support among the public for increased continuity of offender care, and increased options for restorative justice throughout legal involvement (as proposed by Linn & Turner, 2007). While this researcher's first hypothesis was not supported, upon review of individual items within the instruments, there was found to be some support for the exploratory hypothesis.