Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


Juvenile Justice

Restorative justice has been seen as a way of diverting young offenders away from formal justice processes that are stigmatising.

Approaching juvenile crime head on
From the article by Leila day: When people get into trouble with the law, they normally don’t have a chance to have a conversation with their victims. To explain what happened. Hear about the damage they caused. Say they’re sorry. But there’s a growing trend to try and make that happen, so both parties can move on. Restorative Justice brings together the accused, the victim, supportive parties, and authorities. All at the same table in a safe space. It’s an old idea and it’s international. In fact, in New Zealand, where it was originally used by indigenous Maoris, it's a mandatory part of the criminal justice system. Here, in the U.S, these community conferences are increasingly being used in prisons, schools and as an alternative to juvenile detention.
Ashley, Jessica and Gray, Donyelle L and Covey, Sharon and Newman, Peter. Spotlight on The Future of BARJ Reform for Illinois: A Vision for the Future
abstract pendingThis article summarizes a longer piece – “Implementing Balanced and Restorative Justice: The Illinois Experience‿ - written by the authors listed above for the Loyola Law Journal. In 1889 Illinois established the first juvenile court. One hundred years later, Illinois adopted the balanced and restorative justice approach in its Juvenile Court Act and initiated a new reform of its juvenile justice system. The authors provide background to the adoption of this approach in Illinois, explain key aspects of BARJ, and identify important questions that must be addressed for the long-term success of the Illinois BARJ initiative.
Baffour, Tiffany D. Ethnic and Gender Differences in Offending Patterns: Examining Family Group Conferencing Interventions among At-Risk Adolescents.
This secondary study looked at the importance of ethnicity and gender in influencing the relationship between Family Group Conferencing and (FGC) recidivism. The FGC is a mediation procedure involving offenders, their families, and victims of their crimes in which outcomes of material and emotional restitution are sought. Offenders, randomly sampled to participate in a control or experimental group, were sampled via mail, telephone, and in-person interviews. Data from court records were utilized to obtain recidivism rates over an 18-month period. Multivariate analysis indicated a statistically significant difference between the re-arrest rates of FGC participants and non-participants. Female offenders were more likely to avoid arrest than their male counterparts. This study found that ethnicity was not a statistically significant indicator of re-arrest. The FGC has efficacy for juvenile offenders as (1) a cost-effective method to intervene with offenders in their own communities (2) provides alternatives to formal adjudication for vulnerable populations—females and people of color. (author's abstract)
Bazemore, Gordon and Day, Susan E. Restoring the Balance: Juvenile and Community Justice
From the perspective of restorative justice, the most significant aspect of crime is that it victimizes citizens and communities. The justice system should focus on repairing this harm by ensuring that offenders are held accountable for making amends for the damage and suffering they have caused. A restorative system would help to ensure that offenders make amends to their victims. Juvenile justice cannot do this alone, however. Restorative justice requires that not only government, but also victims, offenders, and communities be involved in the justice process. The most distinctive feature of restorative justice is its elevation of the role of victims in implementing justice policies. In an effort to achieve a balanced approach to juvenile justice, restorative justice articulates three goals: accountability, public safety, and competency development. Balance is attainable when administrators ensure that equitable resources are allocated to each goal. A table provides the measures for achievement and the priorities for practice for each of these goals. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Bazemore, Gordon and O'Brien, Sandra and Umbreit, Mark S. Restorative Juvenile Justice in the States: A National Assessment of Policy Development and Implementation
Balanced and restorative justice, a new framework for juvenile justice reform, seeks to engage citizens and community groups both as clients and resources in a more effective response to youth crime. The approach attempts to ensure that juvenile justice intervention is focused on basic community needs and expectations. Balance is achieved when there is improved public safety, sanctioned juvenile crime, and rehabilitated offenders are reintegrated. Restorative justice emphasizes that crime damages people, communities, and relationships. Sanctioning practices include victim-offender mediation and various community decision-making or conferencing processes. A national telephone survey of restorative justice professionals was conducted. Results showed that virtually every State was implementing some aspect of the restorative justice principles at various levels and in its programs and policies. A majority of the States had crafted or revised their statutes and codes to reflect restorative justice principles and had encouraged their use in the juvenile justice system. Restorative justice reform efforts involve a number of major stakeholders both within and outside of government and often necessitate a significant role to be played by a reform initiator. Under a different approach to reform, the stakeholders are primarily governmentally related and roles are tied to traditional hierarchical and bureaucratic structures and processes. Interview respondents expressed multiple impressions of what constitutes a restorative justice program. Funding and resource availability played a mixed role in restorative justice implementation. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Bender, Valerie R and King, Melanie and Torbet, Patricia. Advancing Accountability: Moving Toward Victim Restoration.
This White Paper discusses Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee’s (JJDPC’s) plan to advance accountability within juvenile justice by incorporating a victim restoration program. The core of Pennsylvania’s JJDPC victim restorative approach holds juvenile offenders accountable for the harms their crimes cause and holds them responsible for repairing those harms to the greatest extent possible. The victim restorative approach is rooted in the restorative justice philosophy that brings together the offender, the crime victim, and the community to jointly develop solutions that promote reparation, reconciliation, and reassurance. The JJDPC approach places reparative practices, such as paying restitution or completing community service, at the center of its accountability goal. The JJDPC victim restoration approach also focuses on juvenile offenders’ understanding the wrongfulness of their actions, the impact of the crime on the crime victim and community, and their responsibility for causing the harm. The paper outlines the rights of crime victims and focuses on their rights of participation in the victim restoration program. The roles of juvenile court judges in the victim restorative approach are reviewed, as are the roles of probation officers, crime victim advocates, crime victims, defense counsels, district attorneys, community-based treatment providers, parents/guardians, community members, law enforcement, and schools. Accountability activities are described and include victim impact statements, a victim/community awareness curriculum, juvenile offender apologies, a crime victims’ compensation fund, restitution, and meaningful community services. The actual restorative juvenile practices adopted by the JJDPC include victim/offender conferencing, restorative group conferencing, circles, school restorative conferencing, community justice panels, and victim impact panels. The JJDPC will continue to advocate that restitution be ordered in all cases where it applies and will continue to develop qualified trainers to teach facilitators how to use the victim/community awareness curriculum. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Bohland, Charlyn. No longer a child: Juvenile incarceration in America.
The first section of this note provides a brief history of the juvenile justice system including its creation, changes since its inception, and the modem practices of the juvenile court. This section discusses the original and modem goals of juvenile justice, the differences between juveniles and adults, and the need to treat juveniles differently and separately from adults. The second section of this note details how juvenile institutionalization in the United States is not accomplishing the mission set forth for juvenile justice. Specifically, this section focuses on the crises in juvenile correctional facilities, highlighted by the problems in California (California Youth Authority), Louisiana (Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Youth Services, Office of Juvenile Justice), New York (New York Office of Children and Family Services), Ohio (Ohio Department of Youth Services), and Texas (Texas Youth Commission). Investigations in these states show countless illegal practices and procedures. These states provide good examples of the problems that plague juvenile correctional facilities across the country. Finally, the last section of this note optimistically offers hope. Research and analysis of the various issues in juvenile correctional facilities show a real need for change, and not just with a few tweaks, but instead with a radical step away from the culture of institutionalization and a return to the rehabilitative roots of the juvenile justice system. Experts in restorative justice, commissioned by the United States Department of Justice, created a model to implement this type of change. Programs in Missouri, New York, and California speak to the success of restoration and the feasibility of implementation. (excerpt)
Bullying not just a school issue
from the article by Joyanna Weber in the Cleveland Daily Banner: For first time offenders, the juvenile court can try to mediate a resolution without the issue going to a courtroom. This is accomplished through mediation, informal adjustments and restorative justice. Restorative justice gets the victim and the accused and their parents in a room to discuss the issue before it can make its way to court.
Burns, Linda. Juvenile Accountability Conferencing: A Child of Restorative Justice
A new spin on Restorative Justice, the Juvenile Accountability Conferencing Program in Montgomery County, New York, is helping youthful offenders understand the consequences of their crime, not only for themselves, but for others. It is giving victims an opportunity to have nagging questions about the crime answered, establish restitution that they feel ""fits"" the crime and their needs, and most of all, find closure. The youthful offenders are relieved to be able to make things right and put their lives back together. This session is an opportunity to learn how this new program is being run, some of the pitfalls and triumps of actual conferences, names withheld of course, and offers a question and answer period. Author's Abstract.
Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law. Justice for Children and Youth’s Position re: Bill C-25: An Act to Amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act and on the review of the YCJA
Justice for Children and Youth (“JFCY”) offers the following position and recommendations regarding Bill C-25 and its proposed amendments to the sentencing and pre-trial detention provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (“YCJA”) and any proposed review of the YCJA.
Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law. Submissions of justice for children & youth regarding the proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act
The proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act (the “YCJA”) represents yet another attempt to reconcile concerns about public perception with the legitimate aims of a separate youth justice system. The government has resisted some pressures to treat children and youth as adults, but the direction under the proposed regime is clear. The boundaries between the adult and the youth systems would be blurred and some instances, obliterated in the proposed YCJA. There are several laudable aspects in the proposed Act. It is preferable that measures be achieved by simple policy directives, accompanied by principled and conditional funding to provinces for programmes. Unfortunately previous policy directives have not been entirely successful, either due to inadequate financial support, or for other reasons. This brief will address both the positive changes incorporated in the YCJA and our concerns about other aspects of the legislation. (excerpt)
Charbonneau, Serge. The Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act 2003: A Step Forward for Advocates of Restorative Justice
Restorative justice involves both the process and the outcome in responding to juvenile offending. The primary outcome sought in restorative justice in the repairing of harms done by the offense. These harms impact not only the victim but also the offender and the community. Processes for achieving desired outcomes typically include mediation, victim/offender meetings, conflict resolution circles, healing circles, and family conferencing. These are designed to improve communication among the parties and facilitate cooperative planning in remedying harms. The YCJA assists restorative justice processing by creating new categories of offenses that call for special forms of treatment and particular sentences. A presumption is built into the legislation that nonviolent offenses will be addressed outside of formal judicial processing; however, violent offenses will continue to be processed by traditional means. The YCJA also includes a presumption that an adult sentence will be imposed on juveniles found guilty of a presumptive offense (murder, attempt to commit murder, manslaughter, and aggravated sexual assault). This provision reflects the traditional belief that punitive adult sentences are effective, which disregards the principles of restorative justice. Thus, the YCJA could lead to diversified practices that have nothing in common with a restorative justice approach. Many of the dispositions of the YCJA apparently increase formal social control and widen the criminal justice net. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Church Council on Justice and Corrections. A Brief to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Re: C 3 -Youth Criminal Justice Act
The Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC) is a Canadian coalition of faith-based individuals and churches advocating for a more humane way to practice criminal justice. The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is a committee of the Canadian House of Commons. This paper consists of a presentation by the CCJC before the Standing Committee, on February 15, 2000, to comment on the proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act (C-3). The presentation has five basic parts: identification of core truths necessary for youth justice; illustrative stories about youth crime, offenders, and victims; challenges in youth justice; the promise and concerns of restorative justice for youth; and specific issues relating to youth justice (e.g., expanded publication of names, minimum age for the law, and more).
Church Council on Justice and Corrections. Appearance before Standing Committee on Justice, studying Youth Criminal Justice Act
The Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC) is a Canadian coalition of faith-based individuals and churches advocating for a more humane way to practice criminal justice. The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is a committee of the Canadian House of Commons. This document consists of a transcript of some testimony given by two people from the CCJC before the Standing Committee with reference to Bill C-3, the proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act. The CCJC representatives presented restorative justice values and attitudes that they believe should be incorporated in the Act as the framework for youth justice. In particular, to illustrate these values and attitudes, they sketch stories, cases, and outcomes from family group conference experiences.
Church Council on Justice and Corrections. Response to New Youth Justice Law: Church Council calls for urgent public education on country's "addiction to punishment"
The Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC) is a Canadian coalition of faith-based individuals and churches advocating for a more humane way to practice criminal justice. In this news release, the CCJC responds to a proposed new youth justice law in Canada. The CCJC, in view of the proposed law, urges public education about the extent of crime and Canada’s “addiction to punishment.â€? While the CCJC supports some of the changes envisioned in the new law – such as priorities oriented toward rehabilitation, meaningful accountability, and more alternatives to custody – it also cautions about the prospects for improved youth justice if the public debate is fixated on “getting tough versus being lenient.â€?
Community Planning Team (Dane County). For Us and for R Kids: A comprehensive strategy of balanced and restorative justice in Dane County
The aim of this strategic document is to detail the vision, mission, and implementation of a comprehensive strategy for all citizens of Dane County, Wisconsin, centered around the principles of balanced and restorative justice. The first section introduces the report and Dane County. The second section covers three areas: the integration of prior efforts into a comprehensive strategy for the future; the emphasis on family based services; and an elaboration of balanced and restorative justice in Dane County around four principles – competency development, accountability, community protection, and prevention. The third section elaborates the plan to implement this comprehensive balanced and restorative justice strategy. The last two sections present workgroup reports and Dane County’s comprehensive action plan. At the end of the strategic document is a lengthy set of appendices (about twice the length of the strategic document) on various topics related to balanced and restorative justice in Dane County. Appendix A reports on critical conditions affecting the welfare of African-American youth in Dane County. Appendix B contains a spreadsheet of Juvenile Service System services and program descriptions of Dane County’s community-based services. Appendix C details risk factors for youth and Dane County data collection worksheets. Appendix D includes tools for juvenile delinquency intake assessment. Appendix E presents a number of flowcharts, including system decision points, juvenile court physical custody process, juvenile court process outline, and an event flow for delinquency and juveniles in need of protection and services. Appendix F provides program descriptions for juvenile accountability block grants.
Corbett Jr, Ronald P. Reinventing probation and reducing youth violence: Boston’s Operation Night Light
Any innovation in community corrections must have as a chief aim the reintegration of the offender into the community. Boston’s Operation Night Light centers on reintegration of gang members and thus reduction in youth violence. Contrary to some popular perceptions that innovative programs are "soft" crime and only applicable to minor nonviolent offenses, Operation Night Light combines serious concerns for public safety and offender accountability for violent crimes with significant support systems to assist reintegration. Corbett covers the following in his case study of Operation Night Light: its history, operation, and impact; important lessons learned from the program; and issues related to replication of the program.
Creating Alternatives for Young Offenders in Toronto
An innovative diversion programme offers young offenders in the Greater Toronto area an opportunity to clear their records and contribute to the community. Called PACT (for participation, acknowledgement, commitment, and transformation), it partners with youth courts to provide a restorative justice and community service alternative in sentencing young offenders.
Dozier, Marian. Response to Violent Prone Female Adolescents: The Chicago Public School Approach.
School violence has become increasingly more prevalent among adolescent females over the last ten years. As administrators, teachers, parents, and law enforcement officials try to control and decrease the number of violent incidents that occur in our schools, adolescent females continue to exhibit inappropriate and violent behavior at an alarming rate within our school communities. Adolescent females who behave badly have historically been overlooked or ignored, as girls have often been perceived as being incapable of demonstrating hostile conduct in an academic setting.The purpose of this study was to investigate, describe, and analyze the frequency and nature of violent incidents committed by adolescent females in the Chicago Public Schools during a four year period. The findings from this study will seek to establish the severity of the problem, offer insight into possible solutions, and provide relevance for future studies. This study utilized a descriptive quantitative approach to analyzing archival data that highlighted adolescent females that committed serious Group 5 and Group 6 misconduct violations as outlined in the Chicago Public Schools student code of conduct handbook. A comparison throughout the data was conducted based upon factors such as race, age, socio-economic status, location, and disability. (Excerpt).
Eastern Kentucky University, Training Resource Center. Participant Guide. Restorative Justice: Repairing Harm, Reducing Risk and Building Community (A Live National Satellite Broadcast)
This guide was developed to accompany a 2001 satellite telecast examining the experiences of three metropolitan communities that have implemented many changes in their respective justice systems to achieve the priorities of BARJ – public safety, accountability and competency development. (excerpt)

Document Actions

Restorative Justice Online - Featured Video

Restorative Justice Library Search

Search 11427 publications on restorative justice