Source: (2006) Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Law. The University of Sheffield.

...this research study aims to investigate the actual effect by systematically analysing quantitative and qualitative findings of the existing studies conducted in various countries; compare the effect between different restorative justice practices, i.e. conferencing and mediation, and the conventional criminal justice system; and investigate factors relating to the effect, i.e. case characteristics, scheme characteristics and study characteristics. The meta-analytical method is used to analyse findings collected from 17 restorative justice schemes implemented in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States, and United Kingdom. Results from the meta-analysis confirm that conferencing and mediation have a profound effect on the outcomes of victim satisfaction, perception of fairness, fear of revictimisation, attitude toward offenders, agreement completion, and receiving of an apology. The effect ranges from 2 to 12 times as opposed to the conventional justice system with the highest on the outcome of the receiving of an apology and lowest on the outcome of the perception of fairness. Two outcomes are examined further and results show that restorative practices are likely to increase victim satisfaction and perception of fairness among victims of serious cases more so than among victims of less serious cases. In addition, they are likely to increase victim satisfaction and perception of fairness on victim's attitude toward the way their cases were handled than the case outcomes. These findings confirm the importance of the restorative process and suggest that restorative justice schemes should put more emphasis on serious cases.

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