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Title: The feasibility of utilising Restorative Justice within the Serious and Organised Crime context
Author: D'Souza, Nikki
ISNI:       0000 0004 9349 0204
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis outlines the results of a ground-breaking study which explored the potential for utilising Restorative Justice (RJ) within the context of Serious and Organised Crime (SOC) offending – a relatively unexplored area of policing work. There is evidence of the utilisation of RJ within serious and complex offences (with domestic violence and terrorism for example), but one particular set of offences, offenders and their victims are excluded from being considered for this intervention, namely serious and organised crime offending. This study sought to explore why this was the case and what the potential is for such an application. The research involved interviewing SOC prisoners, SOC offenders and ex-offenders living in the community, SOC victims and industry experts (both those working as SOC police experts and those specialists delivering RJ) to gather their views and opinions about extending the use of RJ to this context using a qualitatively dominant mixed methods approach. Offenders and victims were asked if they wished to participate in an RJ intervention and if they did, the researcher pursued this in the form of case studies. Strong differences in opinions are evident between the RJ and SOC experts in the main, with the RJ expert sample being overwhelmingly in favour of trialling such an approach in the SOC context and the SOC expert sample expressing caution and a lack of faith in restorative justice to achieve its stated outcomes for most SOC offences, SOC offenders and their victims. Despite high initial willingness to pursue RJ, the attrition rates among offenders is significant – but where there is motivation, it is sustained over a considerable period of time and results in excellent outcomes for both offenders and victims – comparable to short-term outcomes in non-SOC contexts. The findings put a spotlight on the limitations as well as the possibilities of deploying RJ in this context. The case studies demonstrate the complexities and sheer hard work required to translate the theory into practice in this specific context, but also reinforce the need for police forces to discharge their statutory responsibilities under the revised Victims Code (2015). This study provides an insight into why this status quo exists and contributes to the body of knowledge about the use of RJ by police forces and the complexities involved when RJ is used with SOC offenders and their victims. The work represents a ground-breaking research area with significant high-impact implications for operational policing activities and for the development of academic knowledge, with the potential to address recidivism, community cohesion, offender reintegration and victim satisfaction – key imperatives in the pursuit of justice and meeting wider societal and governmental objectives.
Supervisor: Shapland, Joanna ; Brown, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available