Source: (2004) AICrime Reduction Matters no. 20. 24 February. Australian Institute of Criminology. Downloaded 20 May 2004.

The term 'restorative justice' is often used to describe many different practices that occur at various stages of the criminal justice system, including youth justice conferencing and diversion from court prosecution. After describing the major characteristics that distinguish restorative justice approaches from traditional court based approaches, this paper examines the question of whether restorative justice is effective in preventing reoffending. While results of studies evaluating the effectiveness of restorative justice initiatives undertaken here and overseas have been very mixed, a recent Australian study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research was able to demonstrate that a large scale youth justice conferencing initiative can produce reductions of 15-20 % in reoffending across different offence types and regardless of the gender, criminal history, age and Aboriginality of the offenders. (Website abstract from the AIC.)

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