Short-term effects of restorative justice conferences on post-traumatic stress symptoms among robbery and burglary victims: a randomized controlled trial

Angel, Caroline M., Sherman, Lawrence W., Strang, Heather, Ariel, Barak, Bennett, Sarah, Inkpen, Nova, Keane, Anne and Richmond, Therese (2014) Short-term effects of restorative justice conferences on post-traumatic stress symptoms among robbery and burglary victims: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Experimental Criminology, Online First 1-17. doi:10.1007/s11292-014-9200-0

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Author Angel, Caroline M.
Sherman, Lawrence W.
Strang, Heather
Ariel, Barak
Bennett, Sarah
Inkpen, Nova
Keane, Anne
Richmond, Therese
Title Short-term effects of restorative justice conferences on post-traumatic stress symptoms among robbery and burglary victims: a randomized controlled trial
Journal name Journal of Experimental Criminology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-3750
1572-8315
Publication date 2014-03-19
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11292-014-9200-0
Open Access Status
Volume Online First
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer New York
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives To examine the impact of face-to-face restorative justice conference (RJC) meetings led by police officers between crime victims and their offenders on victims’ post-traumatic stress symptoms.

Methods Two trials conducted in London randomly assigned burglary or robbery cases with consenting victims and offenders to either a face-to-face restorative justice conference (RJC) in addition to conventional justice treatment or conventional treatment without a RJC. Post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) were measured with the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) within 1 month of treatment for 192 victims. We assessed the prevalence and severity of PTSS scores following treatment, using independent sample t tests and chi square statistics. We further measured the magnitude of the differences between the groups, using effect size analyses.

Results Analyses show that PTSS scores are significantly lower among victims assigned to RJC in addition to criminal justice processing through the courts than to customary criminal justice processing alone. There are overall 49 % fewer victims with clinical levels of PTSS, and possible PTSD (IES-R ≥ 25). Main treatment effects are significant (t = 2.069; p < .05).

Conclusions Findings suggest that restorative justice conferences reduce clinical levels of PTSS and possibly PTSD in a short-term follow-up assessment. Future research should include longer follow-up, larger and more stratified samples, and financial data to account for the cost benefit implications of RJ conferences compared to ordinary PTSS treatments.
Keyword Restorative justice
Crime victims
Post-traumatic stress
PTS
Experiments
Randomized controlled trials
Robbery
Burglary
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2015 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 10 Jan 2014, 09:39:04 EST by Sarah Bennett on behalf of ISSR - Research Groups