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Restorative Conferencing for Juveniles in the United States: Prevalence, Process, and Practice

Schiff, Mara F.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Elmar G.M. Weitekamp and Han-Jurgen Kerner, Restorative Justice: Theoretical Foundations. Deon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 177-203.

Restorative justice practices have proliferated in recent decades as viable justice-system strategies. They range from ad hoc, local efforts to more system-wide initiatives intended to transform the entire way in which young offenders are dealt with in juvenile justice. Yet, Schiff and Bazemore observe, there have been few systematic attempts to examine the prevalence of such initiatives in a single country and the degree to which practice is consistent with and informed by restorative values and principles. Therefore, in this paper Schiff and Bazemore look at the growth in the United States of community-based, informal decision-making alternatives to court and other adversarial processes for dealing with young offenders. Classing such alternatives as restorative conferencing, the authors investigate how, where, and to what to degree these decision-making models operate in the United States. Their information comes from a national study designed and recently completed to answer basic questions about restorative conferencing in the United States.


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