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Restorative Justice in Cases of Serious Crime: An Evaluation.

Rugge, Tanya A
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) In Elizabeth Elliott and Robert M. Gordon, eds., New Directions in Restorative Justice: Issues, Practice, Evaluation. Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 266-277.

The authors draw on the definition of “restorative justice” proposed by Cormier (2002), which states that “restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on repairing the harm caused by crime while holding the offender responsible for his or her actions, by providing an opportunity for the parties directly affected by a crime–victims, offender, and community–to identify and address their needs in the aftermath of a crime and seek a resolution that affords healing, reparation, and reintegration, and prevents future harm.” Whereas many restorative justice programs focus on relatively minor offenses, the CJP uses a restorative justice approach in cases of serious crime. The evaluation reported in this chapter examined the satisfaction levels of victims, offenders, and participating community members. The focus was on whether participation in the CJP met the needs of clients, as well as the reaction of clients and key criminal justice personnel to the CJP. A premeasure and postmeasure design examined several outcome measures. The study sample consisted of CJP clients and matched comparison groups of offenders and victims. To date, the evaluation indicates that the CJP is satisfying the needs of clients and is meeting its goal of focusing on serious crime that would traditionally warrant incarceration; however, a significant finding is that although the cases have involved serious crimes, the offenders are not habitual, high-risk offenders. This may be due to the stipulation that an offender must take responsibility for his/her behavior and have a desire to make amends for the harm caused by the crime. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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