What are the causes? Who has a stake in the situation?
Restorative justice practices have long historical roots and are known by a variety of names, including victim-offender mediation, community justice conferences, restorative or sentencing circles, victim-offender reconciliation programs, and reparative justice.
Rather than rely on legal professionals or the state to render decisions about guilt or innocence and the appropriate type of punishment, restorative justice proceedings delegate that responsibility directly to the parties involved.
Participants in restorative justice meetings or conferences vary across settings, ranging from relatively large groups that include a wide circle of supporters for victims and offenders, to smaller groups limited to Labeling theory versus restorative justice victim, offender, a mediator, and a handful of others.
Participation in restorative justice proceedings is most often voluntary, typically offered as an alternative to some form of legal proceeding.
The precise nature of the meetings also varies, sometimes involving relatively few rules, sometimes closely following a script for action and discussion. The key feature of the meetings is that victims and offenders, and oftentimes others, openly discuss the offense, how it has affected them, and what might be done to remedy the harm.
Restorative justice programs are more common for juvenile or first-time offenders than adult or repeat-offenders, and are typically used as a diversionary program in lieu of a formal plea or criminal judgment. These programs also have been used for solving other kinds of problems and disputes, such as nursing home regulation and insurance fraud in lieu of civil litigation.
Criminologists study restorative justice programs to determine whether such efforts provide better outcomes than traditional criminal justice system practices. The outcomes typically studied include victim satisfaction and restitution outcomes, and offender recidivism and perceptions of fairness.
Evaluations of restorative justice primarily have been conducted for programs in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, and the United States. General Overviews Early pioneers in this area of theory and research include criminologist John Braithwaite and Mark Umbreit, an expert in social work, as well as others.
In the United States, Umbreit conducted some of the earliest quasi-experimental evaluations of victim-offender reconciliation programs. His multisite studies during the s, summarized in Umbreit, et al.
Victims reported more satisfaction if they took part in mediation meetings compared to the standard criminal justice process and also reported being more likely to receive an apology from the offender and less afraid of retaliation. Offenders who participated in restorative justice were more likely to pay restitution than those who were court ordered to do so and were more likely to view the process as fair.
The issues Umbreit studied continue to inform contemporary evaluation of these programs.
In addition, while most restorative justice programs are used for less serious crimes, Umbreit, et al. Key theoretical developments in restorative justice are found in the works of Braithwaite, especially the seminal Braithwaite and important later works such as Braithwaite His theoretical work motivated the famous Canberra Reintegrative Shaming Experiments RISE project in which property, violent, and drunk-driving offenders were randomly assigned to either traditional criminal justice or restorative justice case processing.
The results of these experiments have been mixed, finding that restorative justice either reduced or had no effect on recidivism, but in no instances had it significantly worsened recidivism rates. A useful summary of restorative justice theory and practice is provided in Braithwaite Restorative justice evaluations have grown considerably in number in recent years.
Two useful edited volumes containing discussions about the various theoretical, political, and practical issues surrounding restorative justice practices are Weitekamp and Kerner and Von Hirsch, et al. All of the books noted in this section are accessible to educated readers and would be useful in college courses and to those who are interested in developing restorative justice alternatives in their own communities.
Crime, shame, and reintegration.
A form of restorative justice, reintegrative shaming policies are argued to be more effective than punitive models of social control. Assessing optimistic and pessimistic accounts. In Crime and justice: A review of research, Vol. Edited by Michael H. Also includes discussion of how the theory and assumptions behind restorative justice models can be integrated with other theories of justice including deterrence and incapacitation.
Restorative justice and responsive regulation. Examples about how best to handle social conflicts are assessed and the challenges and successes of different resolution approaches are described. Umbreit, Mark, Robert B. Coates, and Boris Kalanj. The importance of restorative justice and mediation.
Coates, and Katherine A.Restorative justice emphasizes all of the following EXCEPT: criminal justice system Mead (Symbolic Interactionism) was concerned with the ________, or ascertaining the meaning of the actions or remarks of the other person.
Labeling theory states that people come to identify and behave in ways that reflect how others label them. It is most commonly associated with the sociology of crime and deviance: labeling and treating someone as criminally deviant can actually foster deviant behavior.
justice theory. It then makes clear distinctions between restorative justice and the rehabilitative ideal and addresses the criticism that, like rehabilitation, restorative.
Braithwaite, John: Reintegrative Shaming Theory Contributors: Nathan Harris Editors: Francis T. Cullen & Pamela Wilcox and in the growing field of restorative justice. From a theoretical perspective, the theory is interesting because it shows that competing Braithwaite argues that labeling theory, along with subcultural theory and.
In the "Fourth Edition of Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application", Ronald L. Akers and new coauthor Christine S. Sellers provide a concise but thorough review and appraisal of the leading theories of crime and criminal justice.
Introduction. Integrated theories are theories that combine the concepts and central propositions from two or more prior existing theories into a new single set of integrated concepts and propositions.