Social Justice Research

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 395–432 | Cite as

Restoration and Retribution: How Including Retributive Components Affects the Acceptability of Restorative Justice Procedures

Article

Two studies investigated people’s perceptions of the acceptability of restorative justice procedures for handling crimes that differ in severity. Results from Study 1 supported our hypothesis that as crimes increase in seriousness, people require a restorative justice procedure that also has a possible retributive component (i.e. a prison sentence). Study 1 also demonstrated that individuals assigned lower prison sentences for offenders who successfully completed a restorative procedure as compared to a traditional court procedure. The results from Study 2 replicated those from Study 1, as well as demonstrating that offenders who failed to successfully complete the restorative procedure received no reduction in prison sentence. These findings suggest that in order for citizens to view a restorative justice procedure as an acceptable alternative to the traditional court system for serious crimes, the procedure must allow for the option of some retributive measures.

Keywords

restorative justice retribution rehabilitation public policy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGreen Hall Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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