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Measuring Success

Lead Researchers: Bruce Archibald, Don Clairmont, Diane Crocker & Jennifer Llewellyn
The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program (NSRJP) has undergone an extensive evaluation that measured its success by the official outcomes and expectations laid out by the program. This project will not repeat such an evaluation, but instead will investigate the measures or indicators of success themselves. It will examine the appropriateness of the NSRJP’s current indicators of success and what other measures might be appropriate. The second phase of this project will design pilot projects to investigate the feasibility of particular measures of success.
With respect to assessing the success of the NSRJP, the initial description of the Pprogram identified two primary indices of success, both measured in relation to the traditional justice system: cost savings and reduced recidivism. Other indicators need to be explored as measures of the restorativeness of the program. These may include, but are not limited to:
  • participant satisfaction
  • community development/empowerment
  • reception/integration into the criminal justice system
  • compliance rates with restorative justice agreements as compared to compliance in the criminal justice system
  • recidivism rates as compared with cases which have gone through the mainstream system either via guilty plea or trial, separating these latter procedural options if possible
  • cost per case as compared with the mainstream justice system
  • reduced/increased costs in the medical system
  • improved/worse discipline in schools
  • less/more stress on the social services system