Source: (2008) Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. 15(2):301-316.

One procedural feature on which restorative justice conferencing models differ is the identity of the convenor, with some conferencing models being administered by police. This study investigates how convenor type affects decisions to participate in conferences. Research regarding power-distance (Hofstede, 1980, 2001) suggests that this factor may differentiate responses to conferencing among participants from different cultural backgrounds. Convenor type (police vs. civilian) was varied in a between-subjects quasi-experimental design, to determine whether participants' choice to engage in conferencing was affected by their beliefs about police, or by power-distance values. Results showed that participants overestimate the effect of convenor identity on their preferences: although self-report responses indicated a preference for civilian-convened conferences, between-groups effects indicated that participants chose police-convened conferences as frequently as civilian-convened conferences. Also, high power-distance participants displayed a greater preference for court procedures than low power-distance participants. Results are discussed with regard to cultural issues in conferencing. (author's abstract)