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Explaining the Effects of Restitution on Offenders: Results from a National Experiment in Juvenile Courts

Schneider, A
June 4, 2015

Source: (1990) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Criminal Justice, Restitution, and Reconciliation. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 183-206.

This study compares restitution to other dispositions used in 6 juvenile courts in the U.S. Data (N=876) were obtained from records of a federally-funded research and development program. Restitution and traditional programs both have suppression effects on subsequent offending, but the impact of restitution is greater than that of traditional dispositions by approximately eight offenses per year, per 100 youths. Analysis suggests that one of the most important characteristics of restitution programs is that they require continuing, tangible, positive action by youth that culminates in successful program completion Restitution’s impact on recidivism operates largely through the opportunity it presents for positively rewarding the juvenile for actions taken. Traditional programs offer no such opportunities.


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