Source: (2003) In, Elmar Weitekamp and Hans-Jurgen Kerner, eds. Restorative Justice in Context: International Practice and Directions.Devon, UK and Portland Oregon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 229-256.

While restorative justice (RJ) theory and practice have grown quickly in recent years, the science of restorative justice has lagged far behind. This is not unusual since science takes time to follow up on the long-term effects of different kinds of justice. One of the most important emerging questions about RJ concerns its consistency and variability. Even within the various categories of RJ programs, it is clear that actual practices vary widely. The design of different RJ programs may turn out to be less important than how they are implemented. RJ could benefit from experiments designed to reveal how differences in implementation may cause differences in outcomes. The primary focus of this analysis is repeat offending. The central question is whether qualitative differences from case to case in the conduct of a standardized RJ process can produce different effects on repeat offending. Some variable aspects of the delivery of a RJ conference with a focus on the police facilitator are examined. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,