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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Restorative Justice for Juveniles

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2021

This literature review summarizes and lists literature that addresses restorative justice for juveniles, including its theoretical framework, goals, target populations, various models, and evidence of its effectiveness.


An introductory statement for this literature review notes that restorative justice “emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior” (Bazemore, 1998). Restorative justice programs for juveniles feature a non-adversarial process that encourages accountability for juveniles in addressing the harms to victims caused by the juvenile’s unlawful behavior. Rehabilitation for the juvenile involves his/her acknowledgement of the harm he/she has caused to the victims and performing actions to help remedy the harms. Typical restorative justice programs bring together the victims, justice-involved youths, community members, and other key stakeholders in a variety of settings that facilitate identifying harms caused by the juvenile’s actions and determining appropriate corrective actions the juvenile must take to address those harms. The presentation of this literature review includes summaries of the following topics covered in the literature listed: 1) theoretical framework; 2) target populations; 3) goals and models; 4) outcome evidence; and 5) conclusion. The conclusion states that “in general, restorative justice programs have shown promising outcomes for both justice-involved youths and victims of crime, although some effects remain mixed for both the justice-involved youths and the victims.” 81 references

Date Published: August 1, 2021