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Proceed with caution: An evaluation of the Thames Valley Police initiative in restorative cautioning

Hoyle, Carolyn
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) York, UK: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

This document reports the main findings of a research evaluation of the Thames Valley Police model of restorative cautioning. The Thames Valley Police model of restorative cautioning involves a police officer inviting all those affected by an offense to a session to engage in a structured dialogue about the offense and its ramifications. With the officer as facilitator, the session is conducted according to a “script,” an order for explanatory statements, questions, and prompts. Scripted conferences constitute one type of practice being applied within the framework of restorative justice. Through their research, the authors sought a qualitative evaluation of the Thames Valley Police cautioning initiative — what did participants think of the process? In this report on their findings, including a case study used as an example, they discuss the following areas: the improvement of restorative cautioning through research; procedural fairness; participant’s views on the achievements of the restorative session; long term aims of cautioning for victims and offenders; and the place of restorative justice in the criminal justice system. Appendices to the report include a sample interview schedule, the self-reporting instrument, and results from and reliability of the self-reporting instrument.


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