Does restorative justice reduce recidivism? Assessing evidence and claims about restorative justice and reoffending

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Piggott, Ellie
Wood, William
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Theo Gavrielides
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2019
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Since the 1990s, restorative justice (RJ) has emerged as a popular alternative to more traditional responses to criminal behaviour. At present, restorative programmes and policies have been implemented, trialled, or planned in all regions of the world, including Australasia, America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The global rise of RJ has followed from a growing number of claims regarding its ability to achieve high levels of victim involvement, participant satisfaction, procedural justice, offender accountability and compliance (Hoyle et al., 2002; Latimer et al., 2005; McCold and Wachtel, 1998; McGarrell et al., 2000), and lower rates of reoffending (Bonta et al., 2006; Bradshaw and Roseborough, 2005; Nugent et al., 2003; Latimer et al., 2005; Sherman et al., 2015a, 2015b). While there is considerable debate whether the reduction of recidivism should be a legitimate goal of RJ (Robinson and Shapland, 2008), crime reduction is nonetheless a significant policy concern. That is, reoffending reduction is a key measure of the effectiveness of criminal justice initiatives and an overall performance indicator of a criminal justice system across most public departments (Cunneen and Luke, 2007: 197). Consequently, within a policy context, it is essential to test the empirical claim that RJ can positively effect change in offending behaviour (Hayes, 2005: 79).

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Routledge International Handbook of Restorative Justice
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© 2019 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in the Routledge International Handbook of Restorative Justice on 12 June 2018, available online: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781317041801
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Criminology not elsewhere classified
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