Source: (2005) Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Justice. Downloaded 12 August 2005.

The pilot was established in 2001 in four District Courts throughout the country. The court-referred restorative justice pilot was designed to test the effectiveness of the court-referred model of restorative justice in achieving three broad objectives: mitigation of the crime's effect on victims who participated in restorative justice conferences; increased victim satisfaction with the processing of their cases; and a reduced rate of recidivism by offenders referred to restorative justice conferences compared with offenders subjected to conventional criminal justice processes. Over the period addressed by the evaluation (February 4, 2002, through February 3, 2003), just over 500 cases were referred for restorative justice in the pilot courts, and approximately 200 restorative justice conferences were held. The evaluation team examined the data in the restorative justice database established to hold information on all referrals for restorative justice conferences. In addition, survey forms were sent to all participants and facilitators involved in the conferences, and the offenders and victims referred to conferences were interviewed immediately after the conference, after the sentence, and 12 months after the conference. Ninety conferences were observed as well. Data on reconvictions were compared for pilot participants and a matched control sample. Approximately one-third of pilot offenders had reoffended within 12 months of their conference, which was a small, albeit significant, reduction compared with the average rate of reoffending for matched comparison groups. There was strong support for continuation of the pilot programs among victims, offenders, and facilitators. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.


Read Full Article