Evaluating Restorative Justice Programs

Humanity and Society 22 (I):23-37 (1998)
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The human dimensions involved in the operational objectives of Restorative Justice demand the highest quality of program design and staff training. In this paper, I argue that this desideratum has yet to be fully realized in existing Restorative Justice programs, in particular, with regard to the facilitation of reconciliation. I begin by presenting the chief problems associated with the concentration on reparation in Restorative Justice programs, to the neglect of reconciliation. I then argue that this phenomenon is, in part, a consequence of (i) the almost universal use of service-delivery criteria in the evaluation of Restorative Justice programs, and (ii) the absence of research on the interactional processes involved within the victim-offender encounter itself, using suitably designed methodological tools.
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