Melding.nu (Sweden), Ars Publica (Croatia), Center for Peace Studies (Croatia), Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC, Belgium), Verwey-Jonker Institute (Netherlands), Restorative Justice Services (Ireland), Polish Center for Mediation (Poland), Association of Schools of Social Work (Romania).
Coordinator: European Forum for Restorative Justice
Supervisor of project: Prof Dr Ivo Aertsen
Researchers: Dr Malini Laxminarayan and Emanuela Biffi
Duration: 20 months (01/01/2013-31/8/2014)
Funding: This project was funded by the European Commission – Criminal Justice Programme – JUST/2011/JPEN/AG/2968.
Summary of project: The research examining restorative justice procedures is very often positive, emphasizing numerous benefits. Victims are found to be more satisfied, offender recidivism is reduced, victims are less fearful and angry, and the process allows for more feelings of involvement and empowerment. Furthermore, research has shown that victims do show an interest in mediation when approached with the opportunity. Despite these findings, in addition to support from various legal and support personnel, the use of restorative justice processes in practice is lacking. Small numbers of referrals are being reported in countries across Europe suggesting that the potential of restorative justice is not being reached. Research suggests that many victims would like to attend restorative justice processes, even when they are not provided with access to such procedures and that the number of people who refuse restorative justice procedures is limited. Therefore, the following questions were asked:
- When and under what conditions are restorative justice processes accessible to citizens?
- How are restorative justice processes initiated under different jurisdictions and in different models?