SAGE Journal Articles

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Hipple, N., Gruenewald, J., & McGarrell, E. F. (2014). Restorativeness, procedural justice, and defiance as predictors of reoffending of participants in family group conferences. Crime & Delinquency60, 1131–1157.

Prior research has suggested that family group conferences (FGCs), a particular form of restorative justice, hold promise in reducing reoffending among youths, at least for some types of offenses. Most prior research, however, has simply assessed whether participation in a FGC resulted in reduced rates of reoffending compared with control or comparison groups in court or diversion programs. These prior recidivism studies have largely left unaddressed the characteristics of the FGCs that may produce differences in reoffending. The exceptions are two studies, from New Zealand and Australia, respectively, that relied on variation analyses to assess whether differences in the FGC processes affected future offending. This research builds on these two studies and tests as to whether FGC characteristics derived from reintegrative shaming, procedural justice, and defiance theory account for variations in reoffending. The data have been obtained from a sample of youths (N = 215) who participated in a FGC as part of the Indianapolis Juvenile Restorative Justice Experiment (IJRJE). The findings suggest that the more the FGC appeared to follow principles of restorativeness and procedural fairness and avoided defiance, the less reoffending occurred. Specifically, offense type and conference restorativeness influenced the probability of recidivism at 6 months, whereas offense type and race influenced the probability of recidivism at 24 months.

James, A. S., & Arthur, J. L. (2007). Serious mental illness and arrest: The generalized mediating effect of substance use. Crime & Delinquency53, 581–604.

Past studies of the mediating effects of substance use on the criminal justice involvement of the mentally ill have tended to focus on a single disorder, schizophrenia, and on violent crimes. This study examined the generality of the relationships among psychiatric disorders, substance use, and arrests for violent, nonviolent, and drug-related offenses using data collected for the 2001 and 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Logistic regression models showed that for violent offenses, the statistical association between serious mental illness (SMI) and arrest across psychiatric diagnoses was substantially but only partially mediated by substance use. For nonviolent offenses and for drug-related offenses, the relationship between SMI and arrest was almost completely mediated by substance use and reduced to statistical nonsignificance. These findings suggest that co-occurring substance use increases the chances a person with any SMI, not just schizophrenia, will be arrested for any offense, not just violent offenses, but that the magnitude of this relationship varies by offense type and, to a lesser extent, by disorder.

Weidner, R. R., Frase, R., & Schultz, J. S. (2005). The impact of contextual factors on the decision to imprison in large urban jurisdictions: A multilevel analysis. Crime & Delinquency51, 400–424.

This study examines the influence of social and legal contextual factors on the processing of individual felony cases in large urban jurisdictions for 1998. Results of hierarchical logistic regression analyses that control for the effects of individual case-level factors show that three jurisdictional characteristics--use of sentencing guidelines, level of crime, and racial composition--influence the decision to imprison. These findings suggest that the type of sentence one receives and the reason one receives it partially depend on where it is meted out. This research demonstrates the importance of accounting for case-level factors in studies of cross-jurisdictional differences in punitiveness.