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Restorative Justice Programs for Young Offenders: What Defines Program Success?

Cran, Reginald D.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Thesis submited for the degree of Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management. Royal Roads University.

Restorative justice has developed from theory into practice. Proponents in the field tout the success of restorative justice programs. Evaluation research has typically provided evidence of high levels of participant satisfaction with restorative justice programs. As evident through the literature, other appropriate benchmarks have not been defined. The goal of this study is to help the Fraser Burrard Community Justice Society located in Coquitlan, British Columbia, determine if their restorative justice program for youth is ‘working’, and how to go about measuring its ‘success’. This study explores how the ‘success’ of restorative justice has been defined and measured to date, and serves as an initial vital step toward a comprehensive, systematic program evaluation. The findings include that without an understanding of what restorative justice is, what it means, and what the appropriate goals are from various stakeholder perspectives, we can neither measure its effectiveness, nor adequately answer the questions “does it work?” or “is it successful?”. The key outcomes of this project are recommendations for determining program success as identified by past program participants. This study provides the Society with information to commence establishing benchmarks to be further developed and tracked though on-going data collection and analysis to examine program success. (author’s abstract)


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