" (Sherman and Strang, 2007) Findings include that restorative justice: (1) substantially reduced repeat offending for some offenders but not all; (2) Doubled (or more) the offense brought to justice as diversions from criminal justice; (3) reduced crime victims' post-traumatic stress symptoms and related costs; (4)provided both victims and offenders with more satisfaction with justice than criminal justice; (5) reduced desires of victim for violent revenge on offenders; (6) reduced the costs of criminal justice when used as a diversion; and (7) reduced recidivism more than prison (adults) or as well as prison (juveniles). (Sherman and Strang, 2007) Three best practices are stated for bringing about an increase and for provide focus of investment in restorative justice interventions which include: (1) Restorative justice "seems more effective when it is focused on the kinds of offences that have a personal victim, who can - at least in principle - be invited to meet with the offender"; (2) Restorative justice "...seems more effective when it is focused on violent crime rather than property crime, with major exceptions: burglary victims experience reduced post-traumatic stress symptoms, and property offenders may commit less crime in future (or at least no more) if they get RJ than if they get prison"; and (3) Restorative justice "...is most likely to reduce court and imprisonment costs, as well as crime and its medical and financial impact on victims, if it is used as a form of diversion from criminal justice, including prosecution, or on a post-conviction basis as a diversion from likely incarceration." (Sherman and Strang, 2007; p. 24).
SUMMARY and CONCLUSION
Restorative justice has much to offer the victim, the community and the offender through appropriate accountability, reparation of harm, and justice that restores the victim to the community, the harm committed to the victim and is a practice that is effective and saves much in terms of costs of prosecution, imprisonment and ultimately tearing down of the community. Punitive criminal justice breaks down the society while restorative criminal justice is a process of repairing and rebuilding of the harm committed by offenders. This practice is particularly relevant and beneficial in the area of domestic violence as restoring the husband and wife who are more often than not also 'mother' and 'father' to the home instead of imprisoning them offers much in terms of community-building whereas imprisonment for domestic violence results in homeless children who become wards of the state. Instead of locking away domestic violence offenders who are oftentimes substance abusers, restorative justice offers a method to end the perpetuated cycle generation after generation which falls into the prison system because they have no 'model' by which to pattern their domestic life. Restorative justice for juvenile offenders offers a 'model' by which juvenile offenders are able to understand the impacts of their crimes and are able to make amends to the victim. In the case of juvenile offenders, restorative justice offers and alternative to imprisonment, which often results in advancing the criminal mind of the juvenile, further removing them from the goals of society and community and perpetuates a cycle of commission of criminal offense and re-imprisonment.
RECOMMENDATIONS for FURTHER RESEARCH
It is critically necessary that restorative justice programs diligently seek new and creative means of restoring offenders to their home, work, and community while holding offenders accountable and enforcing restorative justice practices that have been shown to be effective for all concerned.
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Koss, Mary P. (2000) Blame, Shame and Community: Justice Responses to Violence Against Women. Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. 2000. Online available at http://www.mincava.umn.edu/documents/koss/koss.html
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Sherman, Lawrence W. And Strang, Heather (2007) Restorative Justice: The Evidence. Jerry Lee Program of Randomized Trials in Restorative Justice. The Smith Institute 2007. Online available at…