skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201197 Find in a Library
Title: Making Variation a Virtue: Evaluating the Potential and Limits of Restorative Justice (From Restorative Justice in Context: International Practice and Directions, P 23-50, 2003, Elmar G. M. Weitekamp and Hans-Jurgen Kerner, eds. -- See NCJ-201195)
Author(s): Kathleen Daly
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter discusses evaluating the potential and limits of restorative justice.
Abstract: A good measure of the vitality of a new justice idea is the ratio between the claims made by advocates and the evidence to support those claims. The less evidence exists, the greater the excitement and debate about the new idea. When evidence arrives, interest is lost. The South Australia Juvenile Justice (SAJJ) project had 2 waves of data collection in 1998 and 1999. In 1998, 89 youth justice conferences were held during a 12-week period in the metropolitan Adelaide area and in two country towns. For each conference, the police officer and coordinator completed a self-administered survey, and a SAJJ researcher completed a detailed observational instrument of interviewing all the young people/offenders and the primary victim associated with each offense. SAJJ-eligible offenses were personal crimes of violence and property offenses that involved personal victims or community victims. The focus of the interviews in year one was on the offenders’ and victims’ judgements of whether elements of procedural justice and restorativeness were present in the conference. In year two, the focus was in how the passage of time affected these judgements; their attitudes toward each other; whether the conference had an impact; and how the experience affected the victims’ views of young people and the politics of crime control. The resulting data show that the conference process is viewed as fair and conference participants are treated fairly, with respect, and have a say. At the same time, it is relatively harder for victims and offenders to find common ground with each other and to recognize “the other.” For some measures of restorativeness, there appear to be limits on victims’ capacities to see offenders in a positive light and on offenders’ capacities to feel sorry for what they did and to be affected by victims’ accounts of the incident. Variation occurs because there is both potential for and limits on transforming relations between victims and offenders in the aftermath of crime. 5 tables, 4 notes, 10 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice research; Juvenile restitution
Index Term(s): Intermediate sanctions; Public Opinion of Juveniles; Research design; Restitution; Testing and measurement; Victims of juvenile crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.