Source: (2008) London: Ministry of Justice.

This is the fourth report on the evaluation of three restorative justice schemes funded by the Home Office1 under its Crime Reduction Programme from mid-2001: CONNECT, the Justice Research Consortium (JRC) and REMEDI. Restorative justice was defined as ‘a process whereby parties with a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future’ (Marshall, 1999). Unlike most restorative justice schemes in England and Wales, the three schemes were designed to focus on adult offenders, some of whom were convicted of very serious offences. Earlier reports have examined how the schemes were implemented (Shapland et al., 2004; 2006b), participants’ expectations and take-up rates (Shapland et al., 2006a; 2006b) and victims’ and offenders’ views on the process and outcomes (Shapland et al., 2007). This fourth report focuses on one of the key original aims of the Home Office funding, whether restorative justice ‘works’, in the sense of reducing the likelihood of re-offending and for whom it ‘works’ in this way. It also covers whether the schemes were value for money, measured as whether the cost of running the scheme was balanced or outweighed by the benefit of less re-offending. (excerpt)