Involving Stakeholders in the Micro-Environment of Restorative Conferencing: Toward Principle-Based Evaluation

Gordon Bazemore, Florida Atlantic University
Mara F. Schiff, Florida Atlantic University

Restorative decision-making models - including family group conferencing, reparative boards, victim-offender dialogue and peacemaking circles - have emerged in the past five years as popular alternatives to adversarial procedures in juvenile courts. Using a variety of qualitative data from case studies of conferencing programs, this paper examines how conferencing practitioners operationalize the core restorative principle that victim, offender and community should have maximum opportunities for participation in decisionmaking. Using a principle-based observation approach, we describe how conferencing practitioners address the key dimensions of inclusion, communication, and role-taking - employing several intervention theories in the process.

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Updated 05/20/2006