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Are Restorative Justice Conferences Effective in Reducing Repeat Offending? Findings from a Campbell Systematic Review

NCJ Number
249407
Date Published
March 2015
Author(s)
Lawrence W. Sherman, Heather Strang, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Daniel J. Woods, Barak Ariel
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
This paper synthesizes the effects on repeat offending reported in 10 eligible randomized trials of face-to-face restorative justice conferences (RJCs) between crime victims, their accused or convicted offenders, and their respective kin and communities.
Abstract
The meta-analysis found that, on average, RJCs cause a modest but highly cost-effective reduction in the frequency of repeat offending by the consenting offenders randomly assigned to participate in such a conference. A cost-effectiveness estimate for the seven United Kingdom experiments found a ratio of 3.7–8.1 times more benefit in cost of crimes prevented than the cost of delivering RJCs. After an exhaustive search strategy that examined 519 studies that could have been eligible for the rigorous inclusion criteria, the study found 10 that did. Included studies measured recidivism by 2 years of convictions after random assignment of 1,880 accused or convicted offenders who had consented to meet their consenting victims prior to random assignment, based on “intention-to-treat” analysis. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 11, 2016