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Two-year resanctioning study: a comparison of restorative and traditional cautions

Wilcox, Aidan
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Home Office Online Report 57/04. London, U.K.: Home Office. Downloaded 25 January 2005.

This study reports the results of a 24-month resanctioning study of restorative and traditional
cautions. The work follows on from a previous study of restorative cautions in Thames Valley
(Hoyle et al., 2002) which found that around one-quarter of offenders reported that they had
either desisted from crime or reduced their offending at least in part because of the restorative
caution. The aim of the current study was to investigate this finding further through a large-scale
resanctioning study.
The first part of the analysis compared the resanctioning rates of over 29,000 offenders in Thames Valley and the two comparison forces controlling for relevant offender characteristics.
The second analysis compared the different types of caution within Thames Valley, again
controlling for offender characteristics. The impact of restorative cautioning on various subgroups
of offenders was also considered, as well as the frequency and seriousness of subsequent
offending. Taking the results of the analyses together, there was no evidence to suggest that
restorative cautioning had resulted in a statistically significant reduction in either the overall
resanctioning rate or the frequency or seriousness of offending. Importantly, there was also no
evidence that restorative justice had increased resanctioning rates. Although reliable cost data
were not available, the cost per caution in Thames Valley is likely to have been less than in
comparable schemes. It is also important to note that Hoyle et al. had demonstrated the many
other benefits of the initiative for both victims and offenders. Authors’ abstract.


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