Face-to-Face Restorative Justice Conferences for Intimate Partner Abuse: An Exploratory Study of Victim and Offender Views.
Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Nettleton, C., & Strang, H. (2018). Face-to-Face Restorative Justice Conferences for Intimate Partner Abuse: An Exploratory Study of Victim and Offender Views.. Cambridge Journal of Evidence-Based Policing, 2 125-138. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41887-018-0028-0
RESEARCH QUESTION In what proportion of intimate partner abuse cases (in which offenders have made some level of formal admission of wrongdoing) would victims, offenders, or both be willing to attend a face-to-face restorative justice conference, at least in principle? DATA The study included offenders, victims and dyads in 75 low harm cases of IPA, defined as punishable by 10 or fewer days of Cambridge Crime Harm Index value for the offence. Eligible cases were limited to couples involving a male offender who had admitted responsibility for the harm and a female victim, both age 18 years or over, in cases finalised within six months of the incident and with no new incidents since the presenting offence. Of 75 eligible cases of IPA for which contact was attempted with 150 people, 54 people agreed to grant interviews: 34 victims (45% of those successfully contacted) and 20 offenders (49% of successful contacts) completed interviews, including 13 cases in which both offender and victims gave interviews. METHOD Structured phone interviews were conducted by police officers or staff within ten months of case reporting. The key feasibility measure was a statement that the interviewee would be “likely” to agree to participate in a face-to-face RJC for crimes in an IPA relationship, based on a five-point Likert scale. FINDINGS There were 14 (41%) victims and five (25%) offenders who indicated they would likely or definitely be willing to participate in a RJC if one were offered to them now. Seven of the 13 dyads matched on some degree of willingness to participate between both parties. Victims and offenders with some reason for ongoing contact with the other party tended to be more interested in RJCs than those who had severed contact. Victims reporting lower current levels of fear of the offender and who self-reported fewer prior offences were more willing to participate in RJCs. Cases in which victims indicated willingness had more often resulted in a caution than a charge. CONCLUSIONS These findings demonstrated an appreciable level of interest in RJCs among victims and offenders in IPA cases with low harm. Based on the results of this study, a controlled trial could be considered offering this intervention to couples fitting the eligibility criteria of this study, with emphasis on couples most likely to accept the offer.
College of Policing and Surrey Police UK.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41887-018-0028-0
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/288147