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Does restorative justice actually work?

Most definitely.  Restorative justice is not appropriate for all crimes.  However, in crime or conflict where it is deemed appropriate, its success is illustrated by reduced recidivism rates (60% reduced to 10%), high victim satisfaction (95%) and high process completion rates (90%).* The increase in the use of restorative justice around the globe is a testimony to its effectiveness.  Results, to date, indicate that victims who have participated in a restorative justice program experienced a far higher rate of satisfaction than they had previously gained from the traditional justice system.  Often, such an experience can be the key to healing and being able to achieve closure.  Through facilitated processes, offenders are not only provided opportunities to build new skill sets, but also seek to practice them so that they may take steps to repair the harm they caused and change their lives in positive ways.  This helps to create an active, broader, more integrated response to harmful actions and creates stronger communities.


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This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-DJ-BX-0002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in the document are those of the author and do not represent the official position or policies of the United States Department of Justice.