The use of restorative justice looks set to increase over the coming years. There is general academic consensus that restorative justice performs highly in terms of victim
satisfaction and Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) have demonstrated that it can significantly reduce the reoffending of those offenders who take part. However, much of the evidence is based on research with male offenders. This report examines the experiences of female offenders (women and girls) in restorative justice conferences, through a literature review of the available evidence and then through interviews with restorative justice practitioners who have worked with both male and female offenders.
The interviews with practitioners focused on the following questions:
1 Do restorative justice practitioners treat male and female offenders differently?
2 What types of cases involving female offenders go to conference?
3 Do practitioners notice any differences between male and female offenders in terms of how they react to the restorative justice process?
4 Are there risks with female offenders that practitioners think should be given particular consideration?