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The Influence of Belief in Offender Redeemability and Decision-Making Competence on Receptivity to Restorative Justice
Keywords: Restorative justice, Stereotypes, Redeemability, Decision-making competence
Abstract: Restorative justice (RJ) processes offer a way to address the material, emotional, and relational harm caused by wrongdoing. As practitioners aim to grow the use of RJ processes such as victim-offender conferencing (VOC) for both youth and adult cases, there are questions about people’s receptivity or ripeness for such growth. The purpose of this study was to examine how beliefs people hold about youth and adults’ redeemability and decision-making competence influence their perceptions of justice outcomes, their evaluation of VOCs’ effectiveness and appropriateness, their support for the use of VOCs, and their willingness to participate in a VOC. The study’s findings are useful for understanding the factors that shape people’s justice goals as well as their support for RJ.