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Recidivism Patterns in the Canberra Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE)

NCJ Number
Lawrence W. Sherman; Heather Strang; Daniel J. Woods
Date Published
November 2000
53 pages

Data from experiments conducted in Australia through the Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE) formed the basis of an analysis of the effects of diversionary restorative justice conferences on recidivism.


The research used information from almost 1,300 offenders and focused on four types of offenders: violent offenders, drunk drivers, juvenile property offenders, and shoplifters. The analysis compared these cases with those handled through regular court procedures. The offenders were randomly assigned to court or to a conference. Most of the cases had at least a 1-year follow-up period; the drunk drivers had a 2-year follow-up period. Results revealed that the diversionary conferences caused a decline of 38 crimes per 100 offenders per year in offending rates by violent offenders. Offending by drunk drivers declined by 6 crimes per 100 offenders per year. However, no difference occurred in repeat offending by juvenile property offenders or shoplifters. The analysis concluded that multiple randomized experiments are advisable for testing a new method of justice and that restorative justice can be effective, but it may not be effective for all types of offenses. Figures and footnotes