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Comparison of Four Restorative Conferencing Models

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2001
20 pages
This bulletin focuses on four restorative conferencing models: victim-offender mediation, community reparative boards, family group conferencing, and circle sentencing.
These models illustrate a new philosophy of citizen and community participation in decisions about how to respond to youth crime. They attempt to strike a balance among the needs of victims, offenders, and the communities so that each is actively involved in the justice process to the greatest extent possible. Each of the four restorative conferencing models, present information on background and concept, procedures and goals, considerations in implementation, lessons learned from research, and sources of additional information. The bulletin continues on comparing and contrasting the models on the following dimensions: origins and current applications, administrative and procedural aspects, and community involvement and other dimensions. The bulletin also offers guidelines for clearly grounding interventions in restorative justice principles and includes a test for determining whether an intervention strengthens the community response to youth crime and creates new roles for citizens and community groups. The models offer significant potential for changing the current dynamic in which the community is largely a passive observer of juvenile justice processes. But, if victims, offenders, and other citizens are to be fully engaged in meaningful decision making processes, a dramatic change must occur in the role of juvenile justice professionals, from that of sole decision-maker to facilitator and resource to the community. References and bibliographies

Date Published: February 1, 2001