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Effects of face-to-face restorative justice on victims of crime in four randomized, controlled trials.

Sherman, Lawrence W
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Journal of Experimental Criminology. 1: 367–395.

The growing use of restorative justice provides a major opportunity for experimental criminology and evidence-based policy. Face-to-face meetings led by police officers between crime victims and their offenders are predicted to reduce the harm to victims caused by crime. This prediction is derived not only from the social movement for restorative justice, but also from psychological and sociological theories. Four randomized, controlled trials of this hypothesis in London and Canberra, with point estimates disaggregated by gender, tested the prediction with measures of both successful interaction (apologies received and their perceived sincerity) and the hypothesized benefits of the ritual (on forgiveness of, and reduced desire for violent revenge against, offenders, and victim self-blame for the crime). The meta-analyses of the eight point estimates suggest success (as victims define it) of restorative justice as an interaction ritual, and some benefits as a policy for reducing harm to victims. Author’s abstract.


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