COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Examining the effectiveness of a restorative justice program for various types of juvenile offenders

Kathleen J Bergseth, Jeffrey A Bouffard
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 2013, 57 (9): 1054-75
22811474
Restorative justice (RJ) programs have become widespread in the United States and in other countries. These programs are often seen as a viable alternative to traditional retributive processing, especially for minor, and sometimes more serious, forms of delinquency and adult criminality. The programs hold promise for achieving several goals, including increased community and victim involvement, greater satisfaction with the case outcomes, improved offender compliance, increased perceptions of fairness, and even recidivism reduction. Meta-analyses have demonstrated varying degrees of program success in recidivism reduction, which may in part reflect differential effectiveness of the RJ approach for various kinds of offenders. This study examined whether an RJ program for juvenile offenders had differential impacts on recidivism across various offender characteristics (including age, gender, racial group, offending history, and current offense). Results generally support the effectiveness of the program for many types of offenders. Implications for future research and potential improvements to the RJ model are discussed.

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