Source: (2002) Probation Journal. 48: 295-296.

This report seeks to satisfy the need to evidence the impact of restorative justice, by presenting the results of a 15-month study into seven English schemes currently in operation. The report aims to identify the elements which constitute best practice and are most effective in reducing crime, while also being cost-effective. The study included data and information analysis, as well as interviews with victims, offenders and staff. The authors acknowledge that the short timescale of the research impaired assessment of reconviction rates, and the limited lifespan of many of the schemes hindered analysis at this stage. The research was conducted at a time of transition when Youth Offending Teams were being formed, and its success criteria will be challenged as overly reductive by some advocates of restorative justice. Nevertheless, this study offers some important indicators, which should be integrated into service development as restorative justice becomes embedded in the Criminal Justice System. (excerpt)