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What We Do

…But Does it Work?

Restorative justice produces impressive data compared to the traditional criminal justice system. This is partly because restorative justice puts power back in the hands of those affected by crime. If victims can express the impact of the crime and their needs, they are more likely to feel heard and that “justice has been done.” If an offender is included in the deliberations over appropriate repair, s/he will be more likely to see through obligations (restitution, etc.) than if a judicial system imposed sentence. The following data comes from a U.S.-wide study on restorative justice programs.

 
Traditional
Criminal Justice
Restorative Justice
Recidivism %
27
18
Victim Satisfaction %
57
79
Victim Fear of Re-victimization %
23
10
Offender Satisfaction %
78
87
Completed Restitution %
58
81

Source: http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v1n1/umbreit.html

Communities for Restorative Justice seeks feedback on its own cases, too. At the conclusion of each circle, we ask every participant — victim, offender, supporter, volunteer, law enforcement officer — to complete an evaluation. From questions about how fair the process was to whether victim needs were met, we tally the numbers and compute a “Satisfaction Rate.” Currently, our satisfaction rates are:

Victims and their supporters: 89%
Offenders and their supporters: 94%
Law enforcement participants: 89%
Community volunteers: 90%
Community members/other: 97%
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