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Responding to young people responsible for harm: a comparative study of restorative and conventional approaches.

Calhoun, Avery
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) Contemporary Justice Review. 13(3):287-306.

Research investigating the impact of restorative responses on offenders has increased in sophistication and complexity over the last decade. Extending beyond earlier studies documenting satisfaction with restorative justice, investigators have considered its relationship with recidivism, reparation compliance and perception of fairness. A few experimental studies have compared conventional and restorative approaches, with results generally favoring the latter. This study focuses on intermediate outcomes of justice approaches on adolescents responsible for harm. These outcomes represent benefits of restorative justice often theoretically argued but rarely empirically evaluated. The study employed a quasi-experimental design and scales developed through previous qualitative research and consultation with stakeholders. Adolescents participating in conventional vs restorative responses, in both court and school contexts, were compared on eight variables in three areas: accountability, relationship repair and closure. While some variation in outcome depends on context, the results add to the growing literature documenting the benefits of restorative approaches. (author’s abstract)


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