Program

Jun 20, 2012

OVERVIEW

The Canberra Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE) is a restorative justice intervention that assigns juvenile offenders to conferences instead of court hearings. It is designed to reduce reoffending by lessening the stigmatization that offenders face. RISE was evaluated with youth violent offenders, shoplifting offenders, and personal property offenders.  It was not found to reduce rates of reoffending.  The intervention had an impact on the offenders’ feeling that they had repaid their debt to their victims and society.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Juvenile shoplifting or personal property offenders, youth violent offenders, and drunk driving offenders.

RISE is a restorative justice intervention that diverts youthful offenders from the traditional justice system. It is based on research showing that people who feel they have been treated fairly by the justice system are less likely to break the law again. The intervention involves assigning offenders to conferences rather than court hearings. The conferences are meant to be less stigmatizing than court hearings, and the intervention aims to reduce reoffending.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Study 1: Sherman, L.W., Strang, H., & Woods, D.J. (2000). Recidivism patterns in the Canberra reintegrative shaming experiments (RISE). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

Evaluated population: RISE was conducted in Canberra, Australia.  The program involved youth violence offenders, juvenile shoplifting offenders, juvenile personal property offenders, and drunk driving offenders. However, since the drunk driving sample was not predominantly youth, it is not discussed here. Youth violent offenders were all under 30 years old, while juvenile personal property and shoplifting offenders were all under 18 years old. The youth violence sample included 89 cases and 110 offenders. The juvenile shoplifting sample included 108 cases and 135 offenders. The juvenile personal property sample included 162 cases and 238 offenders.

Approach: Cases were randomly assigned to the conference (intervention) or court (control) condition. Data were collected on offending rates before and after assignment to conditions. Data were analyzed only for offenders with at least one year of follow-up data available. Each type of offense was analyzed separately.

Results: There was a positive impact on reoffending rates for the youth violence sample, but it was not statistically significant. Among the juvenile shoplifting sample, there was no significant difference in reoffending rates between the conferencing and control groups, although the conferencing group’s reoffending rate was lower. There was no impact on reoffending rates among the juvenile personal property offenders.

Study 2: Strang, H., Sherman, L. W., Woods, D., & Barnes, G. (2011). Experiments in restorative policing: Final Report on the Canberra reintegrative shaming experiments (RISE). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

Evaluated population: See Study 1 (above).

Approach: Cases were randomly assigned to the conference (intervention) or court (control) condition.  Data were collected on the offenders’ attitudes toward the justice system, attitudes toward treatment, and likelihood of reoffending about 2 years after the finalization of treatment.  Only those who completed the 2 year follow-up interview were included in this analysis.

Results: The conference treatment had a significant impact on the offenders’ perceived ability to repay their debt to their victims and to society.  Notably, juvenile shoplifters in the conference intervention felt that their treatment was severe.  There was no impact of the intervention on the offenders’ perception of the treatment’s impact on their likelihood to reoffend.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact Information

Heather Strang, Ph.D.

Centre for Restorative Justice

Research School of Social Sciences

Australian National University

Canberra ACT 0200

Email: heather.strang@anu.edu.au

Website: http://www.aic.gov.au/criminal_justice_system/rjustice/rise.aspx

References

Sherman, L.W., Strang, H., & Woods, D.J. (2000). Recidivism patterns in the Canberra reintegrative shaming experiments (RISE). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

Strang, H., Sherman, L. W., Woods, D., & Barnes, G. (2011). Experiments in restorative policing: Final Report on the Canberra reintegrative shaming experiments (RISE). Canberra, Australia: Australian National University.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), Youth (16+), Young Adults (18-24), Juvenile Offenders, Delinquency

Program information last updated on 6/20/12.