Restorative Justice Practices and Challenges in the United States

Authored by: Jennifer L. Lanterman

Handbook on Sentencing Policies and Practices in the 21st Century

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367136499
eBook ISBN: 9780429027765
Adobe ISBN:


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Restorative justice (RJ) is a mechanism through which justice may be pursued as an alternative to or in conjunction with conventional criminal justice system responses. These practices have grown in popularity since the 1970s. RJ has become popular due to the potential for benefits to victims, offenders, and effected communities. However, RJ practices exhibit considerable diversity, which complicates evaluation and the development of policy recommendations. RJ also carries with it the potential for negative outcomes, including victim retraumatization and further stigmatization of offenders. Furthermore, there is limited research on RJ facilitator training, quality assurance processes, and program sustainability. The current state of knowledge highlights several areas for future research, including the role and effect of coercion in RJ, the mechanisms that produce beneficial or criminogenic outcomes subsequent to RJ participation, and how to effectively use RJ in cases of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.

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