A recent Oakland Local story by Max Cadji has drawn our attention to the innovative nature of restorative, rather than retributive (or revenge-driven), approaches to justice. The numbers below reflect studies on the topic.


of the effect sizes of the 32 tests that measured the effectiveness of restorative justice programs in reducing offender recidivism were positive. This shows that restorative justice is statistically more likely to reduce the probability of crimes recurring by the same individuals. This is due to the communal and relational nature of restorative justice philosophy, which refuses to abstract individuals from social, environmental, and economic contexts.


of offenders, within a two-year period, who were treated with restorative justice techniques committed a second offense in one study, compared with


among offenders who served a prison sentence. The authors of the study add that restorative justice is more likely to succeed in cases with more serious crimes, rather than petty ones.


The year in which Albert Eglash likely coined the term, distinguishing between three types of legal justice: (1) “retributive justice,” based on punishment; (2) “distributive justice,” involving therapeutic treatment of offenders; and (3) “restorative justice,” based on restitution with input from victims and offenders.


of victims who participated in restorative justice processes were satisfied with the results, in another study.

2 Responses

  1. Oakie

    And they’re not Randomized Controlled Trials, the gold standard for any evaluation of worth. One study is done by a Quaker, another by a director of an organization whose mission is to advocate for RJ. So to call them biased isn’t even accurate. They are 100% self selected propaganda.

    Based on the claims, I’d like to see a jurisdiction where the precepts of RJ are applied and a demonstrative aggregate decrease in recidivism occurs (not just for a small group of pre-selected clients).

    Look at anecdotal examples of what advocates of RJ mean to implement if they can:

    Two wounded persons in that First Friday murder rampage (the murderer, a felon with previous use of illegal firearms) stated based on their belief in RJ this convicted felon should not be locked up at all, but should collect litter instead.

    Three high school students in Los Gatos who sexually molested an unconscious teen, filmed it and put it up on Facebook. Six days later the teen committed suicide because of the humiliation. They served 30-45 days in juvenile hall as punishment, and the parents of the victim was not allowed to attend the hearing due to a technicality (because the victim was unconscious).

    An RJ advocate at Ella Baker is opposed to increased incarceration time, 2 years being suggested, in future events or allowing the parents to attend the hearings.

    Know these people for what they want to sow. Hold them accountable for what they reap.


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