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Informal Resolution of Complaints Against the Police: A Quasi-Experimental Test of Restorative Justice

Hoyle, Carolyn
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Criminal Justice. 5(3):279-317.

In many jurisdictions it is increasingly recognized that police
complaints systems should contain a mixture of formal and less
formal procedures, as well as allow for a variety of outcomes
including remedial and punitive ones. Recent changes to the
system for handling complaints against the police in England and
Wales envisage an expanded role for local (informal) resolution,
with a new range of options including restorative justice
conferences. Yet little is known about whether complainants would
welcome the option of a restorative justice conference or whether
restorative processes would constitute an improvement on
conventional practices. This article presents the results of a Nuffield
Foundation funded study of these issues carried out in 2002–3 in
two police force areas. The findings suggest that restorative
processes can achieve moderately better results than conventional
processes. While widespread implementation of this new approach
is likely to prove problematic for many police services, a flexible
approach to introducing changes, drawing on the experience of
restorative practitioners in related areas, is likely to benefit
complainants without creating dissatisfaction among police officers. (authors’ abstract)


AbstractConflictCourtsPolicePrisonsRJ and Community DisputesRJ in Schools
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