Source: (2007) Law and Society Review. 41(3): 553-586.

Advocates of restorative justice (RJ) hypothesize that the diversion of criminal cases to RJ conferences should be more effective in lowering the rate of reoffending than traditional prosecution in court processing because the conferences more effectively engage the psychological mechanisms of reintegrative shaming and procedural justice. This study uses longitudinal data from the drinking-and-driving study in the Australian Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE) to evaluate the long-term impact of reintegrative shaming and procedural justice on support for the law and on later recidivism as assessed through the use of police records and by self-report. ... However, it further suggests that both traditional court-based prosecution and RJ conferences increase support for the law and lower the rate of future reoffending when they engage the social psychological mechanisms of reintegrative shaming and procedural justice andthereby increase the legitimacy of the law. ... Hence, while neither procedural justice nor reintegrative shaming influenced reoffending behavior directly, they did influence reoffending by shaping later views about the legitimacy of the law. ... Hence, the results of the study lend support to the hypothesis that the use of RJ conferences could potentially lead to reductions in recidivism, but only if the necessary psychological mechanisms are engaged by the offender's experience. (Author's abstract)