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Two-year resanctioning study:\ud a comparison of restorative and\ud traditional cautions

By Aidan Wilcox, Richard Young and Carolyn Hoyle

Abstract

cautions. The work follows on from a previous study of restorative cautions in Thames Valley\ud (Hoyle et al., 2002) which found that around one-quarter of offenders reported that they had\ud either desisted from crime or reduced their offending at least in part because of the restorative\ud caution. The aim of the current study was to investigate this finding further through a large-scale\ud resanctioning study.\ud The first part of the analysis compared the resanctioning rates of over 29,000 offenders in\ud Thames Valley and the two comparison forces controlling for relevant offender characteristics.\ud The second analysis compared the different types of caution within Thames Valley, again\ud controlling for offender characteristics. The impact of restorative cautioning on various subgroups\ud of offenders was also considered, as well as the frequency and seriousness of subsequent\ud offending. Taking the results of the analyses together, there was no evidence to suggest that\ud restorative cautioning had resulted in a statistically significant reduction in either the overall\ud resanctioning rate or the frequency or seriousness of offending. Importantly, there was also no\ud evidence that restorative justice had increased resanctioning rates. Although reliable cost data\ud were not available, the cost per caution in Thames Valley is likely to have been less than in\ud comparable schemes. It is also important to note that Hoyle et al. had demonstrated the many\ud other benefits of the initiative for both victims and offenders.\ud Acknowledgements\ud We would like to acknowledge the support of the Home Office who funded this resanctioning\ud study. In particular we are grateful to Robert Street, Becca Chapman and Rosalyn Xavier at the\ud Research Development and Statistics Directorate. Superintendent Mel Lofty, (former) Chief\ud Inspector Mike Vince, PC Fran Stride and Andrea Hughes from Thames Valley Police kindly\ud provided access to their restorative cautioning database and also helped locate missing Police\ud National Computer (PNC) identifiers. We would like to thank Sussex Constabulary (in particular,\ud Elizabeth Cowlett, Chief Superintendent David Gaylor, David Cook and Mike Hands) and\ud Warwickshire Constabulary (especially Superintendent Chris Jackson, Gunaid Gharda, Ray\ud Hewsby, Colin Lovegrove and Richard Angrave) for co-operating with the research. Finally, we\ud are grateful to Brian Francis who acted as peer reviewer for this study

Topics: H1, HM
Publisher: The Home Office
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:5846
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