Australian Institute of Criminology

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Restorative justice

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith ACT, Dr Heather Strang
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM 18 February 2010

Dr Heather Strang 

Presentation overview

Restorative justice (RJ) continues to be a topic that excites passions among both supporters and detractors. The claims of its advocates have been considerable, while opponents dismiss it as irrelevant to mainstream criminal justice. Neither side base much of their argument on empirical data, even though RJ has now been the subject of more rigorous research than many other justice interventions. Research conducted over the past 15 years by Heather Strang, Lawrence Sherman and their colleagues both in Australia and the United Kingdom has contributed considerably to the knowledge base of this way of 'doing justice'. In her presentation, Dr Strang will discuss what we now know with some certainty about the effects of face-to-face RJ on both crime victims and their offenders.

The presenter

Heather StrangHeather Strang is Director of the Centre for Restorative Justice in the Regulatory Institutions Network at the Australian National University. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. Dr Strang was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology in 2002, was appointed a member of the Scientific Commission of the International Society of Criminology in Paris in 2006, and became a member of the Advisory Committee for Victims of Restorative Justice in 2007. Publications include her book entitled Repair or Revenge: Victims and Restorative Justice (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Dr Strang is an experimental criminologist who has worked with police departments and criminal justice agencies in Australia, the US and UK. She is currently directing a ten-year follow-up of over 2,000 victims and offenders who have participated in restorative justice meetings. In the early 1990s, Dr Strang conducted a series of studies monitoring the character of homicide in each Australian jurisdiction based on information collected from police files. From 1995 until 2000 she directed the RISE (Reintegrative Shaming Experiments) project, evaluating restorative justice in Australia, and since 2001 has continued this research with eight restorative justice experiments funded by the British Home Office. She has a special interest in victims of crime which continues to be the focus of her own research.

Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE)