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Results from the Pilot Study of the Citizens, Victims, and Offenders Restoring Justice Program at the Washington State Reformatory

Helfgott, Jacqueline B
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 16(1).

Citizens, Victims, and Offenders Restoring Justice Program is a prison-based program conducted as a pilot study at the Washington State Reformatory from 1997 to 1998. The purpose of the study was to explore ways in which the restorative justice model may be practically applied in a correctional setting. The pilot project consisted of development, implementation, and evaluation of three trials of a seminar on restorative justice involving victims, offenders, and citizens as participants. The development of the program is outlined, program goals and evaluation methods are summarized, and the evaluation results are presented. The combined quantitative and participant observational results show that the program was effective in achieving the four program goals. The seminar provided a safe environment for inmates to begin making amends for their crimes and for victims to heal, facilitated constructive communication between polarized groups, and encouraged participants to develop creative ways of thinking about justice and strategies for dealing with crime. Implications of the results for future programs are discussed.


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