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Restorative Youth Justice: A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Its Benefits and Limitations

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By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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Abstract

This case reports on a qualitative study that used grounded theory methodology to explore how interventions embedded in the principles of restorative justice contributed to a reduction in youth offending. These interventions were the focus of this study as it sought to elicit the perceptions of four Youth Offending Team workers about the merits of restorative justice interventions in an inner city area in the United Kingdom through semi-structured one-to-one interviews. Several categories emerged as central to the restorative justice process in the analysis; however, for the purposes of this grounded theory case study, the analysis will be limited to the processes rehabilitation and reparation. Rehabilitation relates to cognitive-behavioral change designed to enable young people to understand the consequences of the offense and was seen by the participants to be a more effective crime prevention strategy than other forms of punishment. Reparation was conceptualized as key to restoring relationships and broken links due to the offense committed; however, withdrawal of the victim from the mediation process was highlighted as requiring urgent attention to fully realize the rehabilitative and reparative goals of restorative justice.

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