As of the early 20th century, there has been a rise in violent crime committed by women. This is due to a change in gender roles that result in women having a lack of informal control, giving women the mindset that they are more assertive (Kruttschnitt, et. al, 2008). It has been found that women as a whole are less likely to reoffend after attending a restorative justice conference (Hayes, 2005). Due to the female violent offenders only being a minority offender group (Bonta, et.al, 1995), there are gaps in research in terms of the effectiveness of restorative justice on their recidivism rates (Latimer et.al, 2005). This research proposal will aim to address the gaps in this research by outlining the theoretical framework that backs the ideology that restorative justice may potentially be more beneficial and have a more positive outcome for females than males. Firstly this paper will discuss the current literature, outlining the effectiveness of restorative justice, the research surrounding the rise in female violent offenders, and the potential success of the two variables in reducing future recidivism. And finally, a research question and hypotheses will be outlined in order to potentially influence future policy change.
3. Literature Review
Restorative Justice conferencing has been seen to be successful in reducing recidivism. This method of justice involves the offender(s), victim(s) and/or stakeholders of an offence to meet in a professionally mediated environment to discuss the offence and negotiate an outcome (Tuddenham, 2001). The term “Restorative Justice” is referred to as practices that are aimed at making the offender aware of the material and psychological damage or harm that has been caused to their victim as a result of their offending (Sapouna, et. al, 2011), and to keep them accountable for their actions (Umbreit, 1995).
The RISE experiment, conducted by Strang, et. al, found that restorative justice is effective and can reduce recidivism in violent offending committed by youth offenders by 38 crimes per 100 per year. This study was conducted by having a follow up period for offenders to measure repeat offending. Key findings from the RISE experiment found that it was significantly less likely for offenders committing a violent offence to reoffend compared to the offenders that went to court (Strang, et. al, 2006). In addition to the statistics, which deem restorative justice conferencing successful, there is empirical research that shows that the risk of recidivism will reduce in individuals that report that they have been treated fairly by the justice system when attending the conferences, and they are more inclined in the future to comply with the law (Walgrave, 2011). A variation analysis conducted by Hennessey Hayes found that women that attend conferences are less likely to reoffend than males (Hayes, 2005). However, there was an issue found with Hayes research was that only 24% of the offenders...