Restorative Justice Conferencing With Youthful Offenders: Effect of Group Assignment on Time Until Failure

Duren Banks, Caliber and Associates

Youthful offenders were randomly assigned to either a restorative justice (RJ) conference or to an existing diversion program and followed for one year to evaluate the effect of sample assignment on time to failure. RJ sample members were significantly less likely to be rearrested during the follow-up period, and had a significantly longer time until failure than control sample members. In addition to assignment to the RJ conference, being arrested by a police officer, rather than an officer in the school, significantly decreased the risk of failure. These relationships were confounded by whether or not the participant completed his/her diversion program, however. The effect of the RJ conference was most pronounced in the second quarter of the yearlong follow-up period. Future research should examine the effect of specific conference characteristics on the time until failure, such as the time between initial arrest and the RJ conference, which may explain the delayed effect of the experimental program on the survival curves of this sample.

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Updated 05/20/2006