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

Lawrence W. Sherman, Heather Strang, Evan R Mayo-Wilson, Daniel J. Woods, Barak Ariel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives This paper synthesizes the effects on repeat offending reported in ten 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. Methods After an exhaustive search strategy that examined 519 studies that could have been eligible for our rigorous inclusion criteria, we found ten 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. Results Our 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. Conclusion RJCs are a cost-effective means of reducing frequency of recidivism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Quantitative Criminology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 25 2014

Fingerprint

Social Justice
justice
offender
accused
costs
Costs and Cost Analysis
Cost-Benefit Analysis
offense
Intention to Treat Analysis
Crime Victims
cost reduction
Crime
Meta-Analysis
inclusion
cause
experiment
community

Keywords

  • Conferencing
  • Meta-analysis
  • Recidivism
  • Restorative justice
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Are Restorative Justice Conferences Effective in Reducing Repeat Offending? Findings from a Campbell Systematic Review. / Sherman, Lawrence W.; Strang, Heather; Mayo-Wilson, Evan R; Woods, Daniel J.; Ariel, Barak.

In: Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25.03.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sherman, Lawrence W. ; Strang, Heather ; Mayo-Wilson, Evan R ; Woods, Daniel J. ; Ariel, Barak. / Are Restorative Justice Conferences Effective in Reducing Repeat Offending? Findings from a Campbell Systematic Review. In: Journal of Quantitative Criminology. 2014.
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