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Development of the Citizens, Victims, and Offenders Restoring Justice program at the Washington State Reformatory

Charles Lawrence, P
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Criminal Justice Policy Review 10(3): 363-399.

A study evaluates “Citizens, Victims, and Offenders Restoring Justice,” a pilot project at the Washington State Reformatory to explore how a restorative justice model might be practically applied in a prison setting. The study was conducted within the framework of a 10-week seminar held in 1997-98. The sample comprised 10 offender- and 5 victim-participants. Preliminary data were obtained from: pre/post-questionnaires, participant observation and focus groups.

The seminar goals appeared, for the most part, to have been met. Initial results suggested that participants were satisfied with the experience, that offenders considered the seminar a rare opportunity to express their feelings about their crimes and their victims, that participants appreciated the open dialogue and opportunity to learn about each other, and that seminar discussions fostered new ideas, for the offenders in particular, about how to achieve justice. Of particular interest was the finding that, on completion of the seminar, a greater number of victims than offenders thought it possible to make amends for harms resulting from violent crimes.


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