Restorative Justice Approaches Reduce Youth Essay

Pages: 10 (3001 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice


Retributive Justice

From the criminal law perspective, retributive justice aims at treating youth offenders in formally controlled systems. The concept behind the disciplinary approach shows a consistency with the paradigm of punitive justice. The core theme of retributive justice is that the country is the victim of a criminal act, and the focus is on the youth who violated the laws and interests of the country. When the juvenile justice system operates under the retributive justice approach, focuses upon the offender and the public fear of criminal activities (Wenzel et al., 2008). Therefore, this results to the placement of the crime victims and their sympathizers, including their families in a passive position.

In most of the cases, retributive justice leads to youth offenders being put in facilities, where they are more prone to contamination with multifaceted values, and similarly, there is no chance for possible integration into the community, or victim compensation without stigmatization. There is evidence that suggests retributive justice is unfair, in the sense that guilty youth offenders face the wrath of the law without special consideration. In addition, owing to the custodial placement of youth offenders, studies have provided empirical evidence terming it ineffective, when compare to community-based treatments (Haley, 1995).

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Therefore, if the law is to protect the youth offenders to deviate from criminal careers and restoring the society for re-integration, retributive justice will not help in achieving this objective (Haley, 1995). This is because the youth offenders will integrate with other criminals, which will increase the rate of recidivism, primarily because of high chances of youth re-offending. Justice as retribution or revenge is failing crime prevention, and correctional policies, and simultaneously conflicts with the basic principles of rehabilitation.

International Approaches to Juvenile Justice

TOPIC: Essay on Restorative Justice Approaches Reduce Youth Assignment

The United States was the first country to create a community-based restorative justice approach in the globe. The objective was to provide a restoration oriented approach to assist youth offenders. Since then, other global countries have adopted the approach. This was a way of acknowledging the special status of the youth in the society. The move would avoid a punitive approach, which failed to realize the goals of the criminal justice system. Other countries in Western Europe, such as Australia, New Zealand, have adopted the restorative juvenile justice. Owing to this, the restorative juvenile justice has become a model, which countries are incorporating in their justice system to protect children, and minors from the punitive approach of the law (Latimer, Dowden, & Muise, 2005).

Effectiveness of Restorative Justice

Substantial literatures have perceived restorative justice as a holistic philosophy because it involves offenders, victims and the society in the reparation process. Restorative justice aims to bring the crime and conflicts to an end after repairing the hurt and damage. It serves as an alternative justice to the current criminal system, but its main aim is to eliminate the damage to the victims and youth offenders resulting from the criminal system to the minimum with the aid of the society. Countries, which use this approach, have reported significant effectiveness to certain degrees provided in empirical studies in different contexts (Sherman & Heather, 2007).

One of the major findings on the effectiveness of restorative justice is the reduced recidivism. Apparently, re-offending is the main concern for policy makers. Therefore, they select restorative justice as an alternative to the punitive approach. This shows that the capacity to reduce recidivism is the most essential motive to adopt restorative justice, particularly in tackling youth re-offending. Substantial evaluations of restorative justice approaches have illustrated significant reduction of recidivism. This is when there is a comparison to the traditional punitive approaches. Additionally, benefits are improved integration of society, improved volunteerism, and fewer cases of criminal activities from the youth offenders (Forgays & DeMillio, 2005).

Research Design


A meta-analysis is a statistical evaluation of a collection of researches that separate the level of a connection between two or more variables. The studies may vary on important attributes such as sample size, selection techniques, independent, and dependent variables. Nonetheless, a meta-analysis can illustrate the strength of the influence under investigation, and provide a chance to examine potential moderating variables. Meta-analytic reviews are superior techniques in the synthesis of studies. This is because the technique is systematic, exhaustive, and explicit. They also have aspects of quantitative research. In criminal research, meta-analysis appears to be the most popular approach, especially in studies to predict criminal behavior (Latimer, Dowden, & Muise, 2005). In this context, several authors or criminal research scholars used this approach to ascertain the efficacy of restorative justice elements.


This study recommends the use of a meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of restorative justice programs. One challenge that the investigator may encounter is the lack of a common definition of restorative justice. For the purpose of the subsequent study, the definition to employ is, restorative justice is a voluntary, community-based reaction to delinquent behavior that tries to include the victim, offender, and society in the effort to address the damage resulting from the delinquent behavior. This is proper because there lacks an operational definition, which is vital due to subsequent investigations. For this proposal, no programs that may contain restorative aspects, for example, restitution, community service, and failed to bring together the victim, offender, and the society should apply.

Study Identification Criterion

In order to collect eligible studies for the meta-analysis, the investigator will conduct a comprehensive search on restorative justice literature over the past 10 years. Studies will come from the internet, social science journals, governmental and non-governmental literature. In addition, the investigator will follow the provided criteria to select studies:

1) The study should have assessed a restorative justice approach that is within the provided definition

2) The study should have used a control group

3) The study must have reported at least one of the four results for the control or comparison group: victim satisfaction, offender satisfaction, recidivism, and restitution compliance

4) The study should have sufficient statistical data to calculate an effect size

Data Analysis

Owing to the approach proposed, it is important to conduct data analysis. Therefore, the investigator will calculate the correlation between the participation in a restorative justice approach and each of the four results (recidivism, victim satisfaction, offender satisfaction, and restitution compliance) reported within each chosen study. In addition, the investigator will use the phi coefficient (Pearson's r product-moment correlation used to dichotomous information), which will apply as the effect size approximation. In case a study fails to provide relevant data, but shows a non-significant correlation between participation in a restorative justice approach and there is reporting of an outcome, the investigator will record the effect size as zero. After calculating the effect sizes from each chosen study, the investigator will conduct an evaluation across each of the four outcome measures provided.

The investigator will first calculate the overall mean effect size, alongside the confidence intervals and standard deviation. The investigator will also calculate the weighted and unweighted mean effect sizes, but the investigator will only list the unweighted estimates, and subsequently use them to interpret the results. This is important in case the investigator assumes the number of victims, which can reduce the reliability of the weighted outcomes. The investigator will also need to determine the statistical significance of the overall difference between restorative approaches and non-restorative control, or comparison group.

The investigator will achieve this by conducting one sample test, which will determine if the mean effect size shows the significance from zero (in this case, a zero effect size shows that taking part in restorative justice had no effect on the consequent results). As well, it is essential to consider the different setting of the studies, and this proposal recommends a further evaluation to explore whether other variables, which may include the demographic or study attributes, had an influence on the effect size magnitude. In so doing, the investigator will be in a position to isolate particular restorative approach impacts for further research.


Bell, J. (1993). Doing Your Research Project. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Bynum, J.E., & Thompson, W.E. (2005). Juvenile Delinquency: A Sociological Approach (6th

ed.). New York: Pearson.

Dawson, C. (2009). Introduction to research methods: A practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project. Oxford, UK: How to Books, Spring Hill

Denscombe, M. (2012). Research Proposals: A practical guide. Maidenhead, UK: Open

Fathurokhman, F. (2013). The necessity of restorative justice on Juvenile Delinquency in Indonesia, lessons learned from the Raju and AAL cases. Procedia Environmental Sciences 17 ( 2013 ), pp. 967 -- 975

Forgays, D.K., & DeMilio. L. (2005). Is Teen Court Effective for Repeat Offenders? A Test of the Restorative Justice Approach. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49(1), 107-118.

Haley, J.O. (1995). Victim-Offender Mediation: Lessons from the Japanese Experience,

Mediation Quarterly, 12 (3), pp. 233-248.

Latimer, J., Dowden, C., & Muise, C. (2005). The effectiveness of restorative justice practices: A

meta-analysis. The prison journal, 85(2),… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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