Restorative justice: are government and Youth Justice Board targets desirable and realistic?

Groves, Shaun (2010) Restorative justice: are government and Youth Justice Board targets desirable and realistic? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Restorative justice (RJ) has come to the attention of research and Home office legislation as part of a shift towards victim rights. It has bee operationalised to fit with key Home office and youth justice aims for administering ‘quick justice’ and paying attention to victim rights. This piece of research aimed to ‘evaluate the extent to which Home office and Youth Justice Board (YJB) targets for Restorative Justice (RJ) are desirable and realistic’. In order to address the aim, there were three objectives; critically evaluate existing literature into effective RJ practice, critically evaluate YJB and Home office targets and proposals for RJ practice and critically evaluate an existing local RJ scheme (Dorset Restorative Reprimand Scheme) in comparison to the findings from the literature and YJB targets. The latter objective required secondary data taken from an existing evaluation report and primary data gained from likert scale questionnaires handed to all RJ trained officers in Dorset. Key findings from the literature were that RJ is used in non-compatible broader cultural contexts, is lacking in ‘restorativeness’ and is lacking in conclusive evidence regarding RJ’s effectiveness and cause/effect issues. Recommendations for practice were that RJ is more effective when; face-to-face (direct), victims are invited in person, used in more serious crimes, is a diversion from traditional CJ prosecution and specially trained police officers are the facilitators (Sherman and Strang 2007:88). After analysing YJB targets and proposed elements of practice, it was found that a majority of proposals and targets were more politically desirable than realistic and was not consistent with literature-based recommendations. Finally, the evaluation of the Dorset RRS (Restorative Reprimand Scheme) highlighted the constraints on RJ practice caused by the limitations of current youth justice but also provided an attempt to adhere to literature recommendations where possible. The research concluded that the Dorset RRS illustrates that Home office and YJB targets are desirable and realistic in the context of current political targets and managerialistic paradigm. In order to achieve desirable and realistic targets in relation to literature-based evidence then YJB proposals and targets need to be re-addressed to become more consistent with RJ theory.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16

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