Restorative justice and recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement

N. Wager, C. O‘Keeffe, A. Bates, G. Emerson

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The aim of this study was to assess the impact of
offering victims choice in their level of engagement with
restorative justice interventions. Consequently, this study compared the expected risk for reconviction, calculated using the Offender Group Reconviction Scale and actual reconviction rates for completers and non-completers of three different restorative justice (RJ) initiatives: conference, letter of apology and victim-empathy work. Where reconvictions were evident the comparative level of harm between the initial and subsequent
offences was examined. This was a risk-band analysis of
253 offenders who had received an RJ sentence betweenSeptember 2007 and September 2011. Data analysis began after September 2012, to allow at least a one-year follow-up. The analyses revealed statistically significant differences between expected and actual reconviction rates for all
three interventions. The choice offered to victims regarding their degree of involvement in the RJ sentence appears to do no harm; indeed it is still associated with lower rates of reconviction and a relatively high likelihood of a reduction in harm where reoffending occurs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
JournalLjetopis Socijalnog Rada
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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