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Restorative processes are often used instead of court hearings. So what role do judges play in initiating and overseeing them? These articles address judges' use of and attitudes toward restorative justice programmes. Also included are manuals for court-referred restorative justice programmes.

Editor. Interchange: A California judge promotes restorative justice
A judge "falls in love" with restorative justice and victims, youthful offenders and communities in Santa Clara County, California benefit from the results. Author's abstract.
Van de North, John. Problem-Solving Judges -- Meddlers or Innovators?
Problem-solving courts are getting a lot of attention these days from those working in the field of criminal justice. Problem-solving courts are designed to focus on specific and recurring conditions, such as mental illness and chemical dependency, that accompany and often underlie criminal behavior. The question seems to be whether these courts are an ill-conceived fad or will have - and should have - a permanent place in addressing criminal behavior in the community. Although there are data demonstrating that problemsolving courts are producing positive results, some have suggested that such courts may be using a disproportionate amount of resources for a limited number of participants. The cost/benefit debate is beyond the scope of this Article. However, I will address another group of critics who maintain the judges in these courts are acting as social workers rather than jurists and are inappropriately meddling in legislative matters. (excerpt)
Anonymous. Judges See Potential 'Across the Board'
As restorative justice has gotten increasingly popular in the Aukland area, more and more judges are making referrals for offenders to attend victim-offender conferences. Cathy Brown, a restorative justice co-ordinator, hopes for more referrals to be made for multiple conviction offenders, not just first-time offenders. She also emphasizes the need for proper timing so that the victim does not feel rushed into contact. Police officers are attending conferences in large numbers and are giving positive feedback about what they experienced.
Leip, Leslie and Bazemore, Gordon. Victim Involvement in the Juvenile Court: Judges' Perspectives on the Role of A Key Stakeholder in Restorative Justice.
Balanced and restorative justice (BARJ) is a new framework for juvenile justice reform. The BARJ approach focuses on community needs and expectations in juvenile justice intervention – that is, needs and expectations that justice systems will improve public safety, sanction juvenile crime, and rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders. In this view, responding to the harm of crime is best accomplished with involvement from crime victims, citizens, and offenders in a process that maximizes their participation. For crime victims and community members to become fully engaged in the response to youth crime, juvenile justice professionals must begin to think about these stakeholders in different ways. This in turn will likely change the very role of the juvenile justice professional and the mandate of the juvenile justice system. In this context, and with emphasis on the perspectives of juvenile court judges, the authors of this paper examine the benefits and obstacles of engaging crime victims in the juvenile justice process. Their reflections are based on findings from a national survey of juvenile court judges in the United States, as well as from data derived from focus groups in four states.
Leip, Leslie and Bazemore, Gordon. Victims' Needs, Restorative Justice and the Juvenile Court: An Exploratory Study of U.S. Judges
A random sample of 200 juvenile court judges was selected from a national population of 2,500 identified through the 1997 National Directory of Children, Youth and Families Services and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The questionnaire included 26 items that asked judges to agree or disagree, using a seven-point scale, with statements about improving juvenile justice. In addition to variables based on demographic and career information, several independent and dependent variables were developed based on the judges' responses to the questions. Researchers used three items on the questionnaire to develop general indicators of judges' orientation toward victim needs and the offender's obligation to restore victim's loss as a focus of juvenile justice intervention. Independent variables were divided into three theoretical categories: individual experiences, which include demographic and background variables; organizational environment; and professional ideology or orientation. Survey findings show moderately strong support among judges for an emphasis on victims and repairing harm in juvenile justice intervention. Similarly, relative to other priorities, this emphasis ranks relatively high on the list of judicial priorities for sanctioning and disposition. Less encouraging, from a restorative justice perspective, is the fact that accountability to victims as an overall goal of juvenile justice is given lower priority than public safety, rehabilitation, and deterrence. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
McLeod, Colleen and Bazemore, Gordon. Restorative Justice and the Future of Diversion and Informal Social Control
Bazemore and McLeod observe that restorative justice proponents often suffer from a problem of 'disconnect' in the discourse of mainstream debates about juvenile justice policy. Proponents tend to focus on restorative justice as a more satisfying process for individual victims, offenders, and their supporters. In contrast, policymakers and juvenile justice administrators, while they may be interested in restorative justice, want to know how restorative justice connects with the larger juvenile justice agenda and with general public concerns about community safety, sanctioning and censuring of crime, fairness, and justice. In particular, Bazemore and McLeod point to the need to strengthen community capacity for informal social control in response to youth crime. Hence, they argue for a restorative justice 'model' or guiding philosophy of intervention that would connect restorative principles and informal social control at the policy level in that arena of juvenile justice generally referred to as diversion. In pursuit of restorative justice at this policy level, they discuss diversion in American juvenile justice, libertarian and interventionist approaches to diversion, informal social control, social support, and a restorative justice approach to diversion.
Donoghue, Jane C.. Anti-social behaviour, community engagement and the judicial role in England and Wales.
A problem-solving approach to anti-social behaviour (ASB) cases has recently been embedded into magistrates' courts in England and Wales. This approach incorporates core components of the AntiSocial Behaviour Response Court (ASBRC) model and is underpinned by principles of community justice. This article summarizes some of the main findings of an 18-month ESRC-funded study that investigated how far the ASBRC model has been absorbed into mainstream courts in England and Wales. This research suggests that courts have not embedded community justice principles, nor have they altered their focus to incorporate a significant degree of liaison with the community. The article concludes with some observations on the implications of the findings for the development and enhancement of community engagement and community justice principles. (author's abstract)
Stephens, Megan. Lessons From the Front Lines in Canada's Restorative Justice Experiment: The Experience of Sentencing Judges.
abstract unavailable.
Fellegi, Borbála. Reconciliation between retribution and restoration: attitudes of judges and prosecutors towards restorative justice in Hungary
PowerPoint slides from a presentation exploring the 'concerns and motivations of judges and prosecutors' just prior to the implementation of restorative justice.
Preston, William T.. Working with Judges to Affect Change in the Criminal Justice System.
Advocates of a restorative approach are often intimidated by judges. That intimidation can lead them to confront judges with the weaknesses of the traditional criminal justice process, or present restorative justice concepts in language to which it is difficult for judges to relate, or avoid talking to judges at all. These approaches are not effective, and can create barriers that alienate judges from restorative justice, because they are not based in an understanding and appreciation for the roles and responsibilities judges have in our traditional court process. Bruce Kittle, formerly of the Restorative Justice Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School, gives us practical ideas about introducing restorative justice to judges. (excerpt)
Bayda, E. D. The Theory and Practice of Sentencing: Are They on the Same Wavelength?
Posing a hypothetical case of a trial judge considering a sentence for an Aboriginal person convicted of theft, E. D. Bayda, Chief Justice of Saskatchewan, discusses the theory and purposes of sentencing, as stated in the Criminal Code of Canada. Bayda examines the trial judge’s thinking in relation to popular views on sentencing, particularly the tendency toward punishment through imprisonment as against alternative sanctions (such as restitution, reparation, and community based sanctions) which aim more for healing and restoration.
Leip, Leslie and Bazemore, Gordon. Victim participation in the new juvenile court: tracking judicial attitudes toward restorative justice reforms
Recently, the restorative justice emphasis on repairing harm has helped to link victim involvement to a broader juvenile court mission that includes victims, offenders, and communities as stakeholders in the juvenile justice process. Based on a national survey of juvenile court judges in the United States and qualitative data from focus groups in four States, the authors examined attitudes toward crime victim participation at several levels of the juvenile justice system. The impact of individual experience, organizational environment, and professional ideology on these attitudes was assessed using multivariate analysis to explain differences in support for the focus on victim involvement as one component of restorative justice. Survey findings revealed no clear or uniform consensus among judges about the role of crime victims in juvenile courts and in the juvenile justice process. Implications for the implementation of restorative justice policies and practices and for future research are considered. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
U.S. Department of Justice. Victims, Judges, and Juvenile Court Reform Through Restorative Justice
The Victims, Judges, and Juvenile Court Reform Through Restorative Justice project was funded by the Office for Victims of Crime with the overall goal of improving the juvenile court response to crime victims. Four focus groups were held during the spring and summer of 1997, bringing together a total of 20 juvenile court judges and 18 crime victims to hear each other's perspectives about problems in juvenile court. In addition, participants engaged in a structured dialogue about the source of the problems and potential solutions, especially those that might be developed in accordance with restorative justice principles.
Bazemore, Gordon. Crime Victims and Restorative Justice in Juvenile Courts: Judges as Obstacle or Leader?
The central role of crime victims in restorative justice creates a number of dilemmas for offender-driven justice agencies. Neither the traditional juvenile justice response to youth crime focused on the "best interests" of the child nor the new retributive emphasis provide a role for crime victims as recipients of service or participants in juvenile justice. Based on the results of focus groups with juvenile court judges and victims of juvenile crime in four states, this paper presents qualitative findings on judicial support and resistance to the idea of the victim as a "client" of juvenile justice and a coparticipant in the justice process. The implications of restorative justice for reform in juvenile courts are also examined.
Pitchers, Justice. The Management of Cases, Judges' Roles in the Proceedings, and the Use of Alternative Dispute Settlement Methods: The Criminal Perspective
This report begins by arguing for increased transparency in the criminal justice system and touching on the subject of funding for and excessive workloads in most criminal justice systems. It then goes into a basic overview of what restorative justice is and in what ways is it effective. The report continues by delving into several questions about the practice of mediation, including the role of judges in mediation and other types of court actions.
Hyams, Ross and Batagol, Becky and King, Michael S and Freiberg, Arie. Non-Adversarial Justice
This comprehensive book provides a large overview of emerging trends in Australian criminal justice. While the current system operates under adversarial justice, there have been increasing movements away from it. Some alternative forms of non-adversarial justice that have developed are therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, preventive law, creative problem solving, holistic approaches to law, and appropriate or alternative dispute resolution. Each approach is presented in its own chapter, with information about their backgrounds, potential benefits, and potential drawbacks. The authors then compare and contrast procedure under adversarial justice and non-adversarial justice in the context of family law. Then the book shifts away from modes of justice to specific developments in the legal system that reflect growth away from adversarial justice. These include problem-oriented courts, diversion schemes and intervention programs, indigenous sentencing courts, and managerial and administrative justice. Lastly, the authors develop what the application of adversarial justice to coroners, court management (specifically the development of the judicial role), lawyers, and legal educators would look like.
Robert, J.J. Michel. Judges as Mediators in Criminal Matters: The Canadian Experience
The story begins with the implementation of one of the first systems of civil and commercial mediation ever developed in the modern judicial world at the level of the top court of Quebec, the Court of Appeal. The story then continues with the extension of the mediation system to all aspects of criminal litigation and this not only at the Court of Appeal, but in all the criminal courtsof the province. IN A NUTSHELL: a fully integrated system of civil, commercial and criminal mediation. (excerpt)
Talbot, Mary E. . Public Responsiveness to Victim's Recommendations in their Sentencing Decisions: Role of Victim's Race, Victim Impact Statement and Judge's Instruction.
This research proposal is aimed at understanding the gap in justice between Caucasian victims and African American victims. The literature on Victim Impact Statements (VIS) provided in the penalty/sentencing phases in trials may provide some solutions to level the playing field. VIS serves as a voice for the victims or crime, and helps the jurors to see the victim as human being rather than a faceless victim. Studies have shown that the greater harm caused is related to greater blameworthiness of defendant (Feigenson, Park, & Salovey, 1997). Moreover, this research assesses whether the public supports restorative sentencing options for convicted offenders of burglary and aggravated battery, and whether this support generalizes to offenders who victimize African-American as well as Caucasian individuals. (Excerpt).

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