Sunday, September 09, 2007

Victims & Offenders Abstracts, Part Two

Abstracts via Psychology and Crime News (which provides the links to all three volumes, which have many other interesting articles on victimization if you want to see more)

Crime Prevention by the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program
Author: Lawrence J. Schweinhart
DOI: 10.1080/15564880701263064
Victims & Offenders, Volume 2, Issue 2 April 2007 , pages 141 - 160

A sample of 123 young African American children living in poverty were randomly assigned to a program group that received a high-quality preschool program at ages 3 and 4 or a no-program group. Data were collected regarding them on 14 occasions, from ages 3 through 40. The program group significantly surpassed the no-program group in tested ability and performance throughout childhood; higher adult earnings and rates of employment and home ownership; half as many lifetime arrests, including fewer lifetime arrests for violent, property, and drug crimes; and fewer convictions and months sentenced. The economic return to society was $17.07 per dollar invested.

The Spiritual Components of Restorative Justice
Authors: Kimberly Bender; Marilyn Armour
DOI: 10.1080/15564880701403967
Victims & Offenders, Volume 2, Issue 3 July 2007 , pages 251 - 267

The concept of spirituality in restorative justice practice is recognized as important but is often fuzzy and vaguely understood. This study did a content analysis of restorative justice texts and found nine distinct components of spirituality: transformation, connectedness/belonging, common human bond, repentance, forgiveness, making right a wrong, balance/harmony, rituals, and unexplained spiritual phenomenon. The conceptual clarification of the relationship between spirituality and restorative justice gives mediators/facilitators of restorative justice dialogue more tools to deepen their interactions with victims, offenders, and community members. Furthermore, delineation of these nine components offers researchers a framework for the development of instruments or tools that can be used to assess participants' experiences in restorative justice dialogues.

"Yardsticks" for Victim Sensitive Process: Principle-Based Standards for Gauging the Integrity of Restorative Justice Process
Authors: Gordon Bazemore; Diane L. Green
DOI: 10.1080/15564880701404031
Victims & Offenders, Volume 2, Issue 3 July 2007 , pages 289 - 301

For almost two decades restorative justice practices have demonstrated positive impacts on crime victim satisfaction when compared to court and other adversarial processes. Although restorative justice practice has by no means addressed the myriad needs of the majority of crime victims, researchers and policy makers have puzzled about how to interpret these generally positive findings. We suggest that remaining difficulties in interpretation and application of findings are due largely to (1) the lack of clear standards for gauging the integrity, or "restorativeness," of interventions and (2) the failure to articulate logical mechanisms (i.e., intervention theories) that connect practices to immediate and intermediate outcomes, and these outcomes to long term changes in the well-being of victims, offenders, and communities. This article focuses primarily on the first problem, defining the "independent variable" in restorative practices aimed at having an impact on crime victims. Using qualitative data from a national case study, a principle-based approach to evaluation with implications for intervention theory and both input and outcome measures in future research is proposed and briefly illustrated.

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