The evidence shows that restorative justice meets the needs of victims and reduces the frequency of reoffending.
In 2001, the government funded a £7 million, seven year research programme into restorative justice. The independent evaluation, published by the Ministry of Justice, found that in a randomised control trial of the use of restorative justice with adult offenders:
- The majority of victims chose to participate in face to face meetings with the offender, when offered by a trained facilitator.
- 85% of victims who took part were satisfied with the process.
- Restorative justice reduced the frequency of reoffending, leading to £9 in savings to the criminal justice system for every £1 spent on restorative justice.
The government’s analysis of this research has concluded that restorative justice reduces the frequency of reoffending by 14%.
A systematic review of the evidence on the effectiveness of restorative justice was published by the Campbell Collaboration in 2013. It concludes that restorative justice both reduces reoffending and improves victim satisfaction. It is available on the Campbell Collaboration’s website.
This was first published on the Restorative Justice Council website