For this month’s Court ADR Connection (RSI’s monthly e-newsletter), I wrote about a study of 10 restorative justice conferences that demonstrated significant benefits to the community by reducing re-offense and to victims by enhancing their emotional well-being. New research from New Zealand provides more evidence of the benefits of RJCs. The study was large, examining re-offense rates of 2,323 individuals aged 17 or over who participated in RJCs and 6,718 matched individuals who went through a police diversion or court process. To be included in the study, the offenders had to plead guilty to a charge in district court. Those who participated in RJCs committed 23% fewer offenses over the next twelve months than the matched group. The proportion of those reoffending was 12% less for the RJC group. However, in the second and third years the difference in re-offense rates between the groups narrowed.
Tags: recidivism, restorative justice