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What the Literature Seems to Suggest About Restorative Justice Effectiveness: An Overview of a Meta-Analysis

Williams-Hayes, Mona Marie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Social Policy Times. 3(2). Research Center on Societal and Social Policy. Downloaded 2 March 2004.

The effects of crime are deleterious to victims, offenders, and communities, and the current approach to justice seems both ineffective and inefficient. Restorative justice proponents have posited that their humanistic approach to justice through dialogue and negotiation may be more effective than traditional retributive justice. The purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to determine if such conjecture was supported or rejected. Evaluations of victim-offender mediation (VOM) and family group conferencing (FGC) programs, the two most common forms of restorative justice, were analyzed to determine what factors, if any, explained variability across studies in outcomes. Four outcomes were analyzed: victim fearfulness of revictimization, offender recidivism rates, victim/offender satisfaction rates for both the justice process and the justice outcome, and restitution negotiation and completion rates. If variability across studies in outcomes existed, then potential explanatory variables were analyzed to determine if they significantly contributed to the variability. (excerpt)


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