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Evaluation Reports

The articles in this section either summarize evaluation reports or are the reports themselves.

Transforming Attitudes Towards Offending
The Sycamore Tree Project® is an in-prison programme bringing unrelated victims and offenders together for conversations about crime. The programme allows them to reflect together on the consequences of crime and the steps needed to address the harm that has resulted.
Musila, Godfrey M. Between rhetoric and action: The politics, processes and practice of the ICC’s work in the DRC
This monograph considers various aspects of the work of the ICC [International Criminal Court] in the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo] since it became engaged in that country. It attempts to respond to some of the questions posed above. The study has three general objectives. First, it examines the cooperation relationship between the Court and the government of the DRC as well as various other relevant players in that country, including civil society and the UN Mission in the country (known by its French abbreviation, MONUC). Second, it examines the role of politics – domestic or otherwise – in the work of the ICC in the DRC. Third, it examines perceptions around the work of the ICC in various sectors of Congolese society: government, victims and civil society. By extension, it addresses some of the broader questions that the work of the ICC in Africa has raised, including the proposition that the ICC is ‘targeting’ African countries. (excerpt)
. Rates of recidivism among offenders referred to Forum Sentencing.
Aim: To determine whether the NSW Forum Sentencing program is more effective than the conventional sentencing process in reducing recidivism. Method: Offenders referred to Forum Sentencing in 2011 were matched with offenders who were ‘eligible’ for Forum Sentencing but who were sentenced in a NSW Local Court where Forum Sentencing was not operating. These two groups were matched on a large number of covariates using propensity score techniques and were then compared on the time to first new proven offence using Cox regression. All offenders in both groups were followed up for a minimum of 6 months after finalisation of their index offence. The analysis was conducted using an intention-to-treat research design. Results: Of the 575 offenders referred to Forum Sentencing, 552 could be matched with an ‘equivalent’ offender in the control group based on the covariates measured at the index court appearance. Cox regression analyses showed that there was no significant difference between the matched groups in the time to first new offence. This lack of an effect remained even after controlling for other relevant covariates. Conclusion: This study finds no evidence that offenders who are referred to the NSW Forum Sentencing program are less likely to re-offend than similar offenders who are dealt with through the normal sentencing process. (summary from the report)
Mastropasqua, Isabella and Ciuffo, Elisabetta. International Cooperation and Its Impact on RJ Policies in Italy
This workshop revolves around the differences between Italy's restorative justice policies and other countries'. It suggests some practices and points that are employed by other countries and which might be considered by Italy as beneficial to implement.
Dundas, Aletia and Agizah, Getry. I Am the Change I Want to See in the World: Impact of and Vision for Alternatives to Violence Project Workshops in Western Kenya
AVP [Alternatives to Violence Project] has been holding workshops in Kenya since 2003. Many participants have spoken glowingly about its impact in their personal lives and workplaces. The purpose of this evaluation is to find out if the project is achieving its goals, and how it might strengthen its impact throughout the country. The methodology for this evaluation was to elicit personal testimonies to discern the impact of AVP in Kenya. Some of our key questions focused on: What has changed in the personal lives of those who attended workshops? In what ways does AVP equip people to deal with violence and conflict in their workplaces? (in particular those working as pastors, prison officers and counselors) In what ways does AVP suit Kenyan culture? In what ways does it challenge cultural assumptions in a positive way? In what ways might it negatively effect Kenyan culture? This report provides a background for AVP, its implementing organizations in Kenya and the specific context in Kenya’s Western, Rift, and Nyanza Provinces. We outline the method used to gather information, highlight the findings, and make recommendations for AVP’s future in Kenya. (author's abstract)
Editor. Restorative Justice Conferences Reduce Trauma from Crime, Study Shows
Dr. Caroline M. Angel conducted a study showing the psychological effects of restorative justice conferencing on post traumatic stress symptoms and found that conferencing significantly reduced those symptoms.
New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases: 2008 and 2009.
Restorative justice is a process for resolving crime that focuses on redressing the harm done to victims, while holding offenders to account. In the New Zealand criminal justice system, restorative justice is primarily delivered through a meeting between the victim and the offender called a restorative justice conference. Currently, the Ministry of Justice provides funding for about 1,500 conferences per year. The main objective of this study is to determine whether offenders who participated in restorative justice conferences in both 2008 and 2009 had a reduced rate of reoffending compared with a similar group of offenders who did not take part in restorative justice conferences. (Excerpt).
McCold, Paul. Protocols for Evaluating Restorative Justice Programmes
This article provides a review and critique of the current research findings about restorative justice. It is suggested that some of the positive findings are not due to programme efficacy, but rather to well-known threats to validity. The effect of case attrition on selection bias is considered in light of the voluntary nature of many restorative justice programs. Standardization of program measures is urged with specific research protocols presented and described. (author's abstract)
Bronebakk, Kristin Bolgen. Alternative Sanctions and Measures (with Special Attention to Conditional Release)
My operational definition of “Alternative sanctions and measures” is: “anything that replaces prison with something else”. I will also briefly comment on community efforts to prevent young people from embarking on a criminal career. Of particular importance are the Mediation Boards: channelling cases away from the courts to be handled in the local community based on the concept of restorative justice. The Mediation Boards constitute a separate system not under the Correctional Services. (author's abstract)
New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases: 2008 and 2009 – A Summary.
Restorative justice is a process for resolving crime that focuses on redressing the harm done to victims, while holding offenders to account and engaging the community in the resolution of conflict. It does this primarily through a meeting between the victim and the offender called a restorative justice conference.The aim of this study was to determine whether restorative justice conferences led to reduced reoffending. It is based on data for offenders completing conferences in 2008 and 2009 compared with a similar group of offenders who did not receive restorative justice. The principal finding of the report is that restorative justice had a statistically significant impact on reducing the proportion of people reoffending, and for those who did reoffend, there is an indication of a reduction in the frequency of reoffending and a lower rate of imprisonment. (Excerpt).
Shapland, Joanna and Robinson, Gwen and Sorsby, Angela. Restorative justice in practice: Evaluating what works for victims and offenders.
Restorative justice has made significant progress in recent years and now plays an increasingly important role in and alongside the criminal justice systems of a number of countries in different parts of the world. In many cases, however, successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses have not been evaluated sufficiently systematically and comprehensively. Restorative justice in practice addresses this need, analysing the results of the implementation of restorative justice schemes in the largest and most complete trial of restorative jsutice with adult offenders worldwide. (Publisher's description)
. Participant satisfaction with Youth Justice Conferencing.
The results of this study suggest that offender and victim satisfaction is high immediately following a YJC. Even 4 months after a YJC, victim satisfaction with most aspects of conferencing remains high. Satisfaction levels may be increased still further if, at some point prior to the end of the statutory time-period for completing the plan, victims were provided with feedback about the offender’s progress towards completing the outcome plan. Further research also needs to be conducted comparing victim satisfaction following a conference with victim satisfaction following a court appearance. (excerpt)
Haverty, Marty and Martin, Mary. The work of the National Commission on Restorative Justice: Promoting cooperation amongst society
A statement from the Commission for Restorative Justice about the applicability of restorative justice practices in Ireland, including a brief overview of personnel in the Commission and its objectives. It summarizes recent research and highlights areas that require more research, especially the delivery of restorative justice, legislation efforts, accreditation of programs, and potential cost.
Czarnecka-Dzialuk, Beate. Research and Practice
The author describes the form research-practitioner cooperation regarding juvenile offenders has taken in Poland and how researchers have interacted with practitioners. Based on this, the author emphasizes positive outcomes of research-practitioner cooperation and includes considerations that might need to be addressed to maximize effectiveness.
Paule, Uwimana Marie and Chico, Laura Shipler. Peace Cannot Stay in Small Places
“Peace cannot stay in small places,” said Ndagijimama Abdon, an elder Gacaca judge in Gisenyi, “it is good when peace reaches everywhere.” Abdon’s message of hope and expectation is characteristic of what we found as we traveled Rwanda to evaluate the impact of the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) on Rwanda’s slow recovery from genocide. As we interviewed more and more people, we began to feel that AVP is gaining momentum here in Rwanda. Again and again, interviewees issued a clarion-call for AVP to continue, to reach into every corner of the country, into every heart. Every person needs AVP, interviewees said again and again. Blanket our communities, reach every Gacaca judge, every leader, every genocide survivor. Go into the prisons and work with those who have been accused of genocide. Take AVP to our neighboring countries and help our region find peace. To the participants in this evaluation, AVP is not just a series of workshops that stays confined to small meeting rooms. Though AVP starts as a short three-day workshop, it inevitably ripples outward reaching small corners of each life in unexpected ways. Now in Rwanda, 4 years after the program was introduced here, AVP is beginning to feel like a movement: a movement of hope, of healing, of slow reconciliation, of possibility. (excerpt)
Maiden, Kristin M.. Second chances: An examination of juvenile offenders' experiences with a restorative justice program.
Research indicates that restorative justice diversions programs are becoming increasingly more popular and more successful as alternatives to standard diversion programs for juvenile offenders. Although there is ample research on restorative justice programs for adult offenders, more can be learned concerning the efficacy of these programs for juvenile offenders. This study uses a triangulated research method utilizing two datasets: an official court record dataset containing 4,197 juvenile offenders and a self report dataset with 229 participants. Structural equation models tested the relationships between extralegal variables such as gender, race, age and school status, and legal variables such as prior offenses and severity of current offenses, with the outcome variable of recidivism. A thematic analysis explored the perceptions and experiences of the self-report data participants. These analyses and the conclusions within inform restorative justice policy on the efficacy of restorative justice diversion programs for juvenile offenders as well as illuminate areas of improvement for established diversion programs. Furthermore, this research offers policy implications and suggestions for future research. (author's abstract)
Wiersma, Eric and Wolthuis, Annemieke. Slow Motion: Actual developments of Restorative Justice Projects for Juveniles in the Netherlands
Restorative practices have grown in The Netherlands, but it is too early to be really optimistic. The EU Frame work decision and project evaluations have led to a policy decision that all victims of a criminal offence get an offer of victim-offender mediation in 2007, but many other restorative justice initiatives that have been started are not continued or have to find financial means by them selves. The government is still reluctant in making more long-term decisions on continuation of successful projects and experiments done for example in the youth detention centres or at the level of the public prosecutors. In this presentation we will give an overview of recent developments in the Netherlands with Restorative Justice practices for Juveniles, including Halt, a diversionary measure for juveniles for minor offences which consists of several important restorative elements. We will focus on the question where we stand, and on the current political and policy context related to juvenile justice. We also focus on ways of encouraging the cooperation between practitioners, policy makers and researchers in order to bring restorative practices with youngsters important steps further. (excerpt)
Crystal Taub and Jenny Aguliar and Liliane Cambraia Windsor and Marilyn Peterson Armour. A Pilot Study of a Faith-Based Restorative Justice Intervention for Christian and Non-Christian Offenders
As prison populations continue to rise, faith-based and restorative justice programs show promise in influencing offenders' internal motivations and external behaviors. Using a one-group, pretest-posttest design, this pilot study found significant change in offenders' (n=102) moral motivations (empathy, perspective taking, forgiveness, proneness to forgive, daily spiritual experiences, and relationships with others) after their self-selected participation in a 14-week faith-based program that draws from the principles of restorative justice. Hierarchical regression models were used to examine the impact of reported subscription to Christianity on pretests and score changes. At pre-test, Christian participants (n = 66) were more likely to forgive than non-Christian participants (n = 33) who conversely were more likely to see the perspectives of others, Christian offenders had significantly higher change scores on perspective taking and empathic concern than non-Christian participants. Findings have implications for the use of faithbased programs and victim-centered curriculums to change offenders' moral motivations and for matching faith-based Christian programs with Christian participants.
Ford, Jolyon and du Plessis, Max. Unable or Unwilling? Case Studies on Domestic Implementation of the ICC Statute in Selected African Countries
This monograph is intended to contribute to enhanced understanding of the reasons why some African states have been slow in meeting their domestication obligations under the Rome Statute. In the international arena, African countries were generally very supportive of the creation of the ICC, and promptly ratified the Rome Statute. More than half of all African states have ratified. This study reveals, however, that none of the five countries selected for study (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) has implemented measures: all five are at this time unable to respond fully and on a clear, prescribed lawful basis to an ICC investigation or request for arrest and surrender, nor able to themselves prosecute the most serious international crimes. The country studies are in-depth analyses of the status of implementation... While real capacity constraints do hamper the justice systems of these countries, the primary barrier to implementation in the countries studied appears to be that co-operation on impunity for international crimes is not seen as having sufficient importance, relevance and priority. However, a failure by all five countries sampled to put in place national level measures to implement Rome Statute obligations means that in the near future a ratified African state (perhaps bordering a conflict area) may be incapable of dealing satisfactorily with the foreseeable possibility of an internationally-wanted person being in its jurisdiction... The study draws on the comparative overview to make six recommendations, mainly identifying and encouraging those institutions and organisations best placed to raise awareness of the need for national level implementation. (excerpt)
Editor. Sierra Leone: A country review of crime and criminal justice, 2008
As a participating country in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) under the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) – which Sierra Leone acceded to in 2004 – the country is an appropriate candidate for a review of its criminal justice system. Although the justice system is not included in the APRM review process, it has important implications for democracy and good governance. This review is intended to complement the formal APRM process by focussing [sic] on a sector currently outside its focus. Assessment of the criminal justice system in Sierra Leone focused on policing and prosecution, prisons, the judiciary, access to justice, juvenile justice, customary justice and the various international and regional treaties relating to crime and the criminal justice system signed and ratified and taken on board by Sierra Leone. Primary and secondary sources were employed extensively to carry out the assessment. The primary sources comprised in-depth discussions, interviews and focus-group discussions with selected respondents. The secondary sources comprised information from desk research and literature reviews. (excerpt)

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