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Understanding Restorative Conferencing: A Case Study in Informal Decisionmaking in the Response to Youth Crime

Schiff, Mara F.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) National Institute of Justice Grant 1999-IJ-CK-0060. Ft. Lauderdale: Balanced and Restorative Justice Project, Florida Atlantic University.

As stated by the authors of this document, Mara Schiff and Gordon Bazemore, the purpose of this national case study is to improve research and evaluation of restorative justice decision-making, as well as to inform prospective policy and practice in this area. They maintain that the field has lacked clear standards for gauging the integrity of intervention or the “restorativenessâ€? of restorative justice practice. Hence, Schiff and Bazemore propose three core principles of restorative justice as the primary measures for assessing consistency of practice: repairing harm; stakeholder involvement; and transformation in the community and government roles in response to crime. Integral to all of this is their advancement of a normative theory of restorative justice based on these three principles. The document contains the following sections: an introduction and conceptual overview; a problem statement, along with a normative theory of restorative justice and a literature review; the prevalence of restorative conferencing in the USA; findings from the national survey on restorative conferencing for youth; principles to practice; research method and description of the conference process; repairing harm in conferencing; stakeholder involvement in conferencing; community and government roles; and summary and conclusions.


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