How Does It Work? Mechanisms of Action in an In-Prison Restorative Justice Program [2016]

Research is limited on mechanisms of action in restorative justice interventions. This multimethods study delineates the change processes underlying a successful in-prison group treatment program by (a) examining shifts in offenders’ self-schemas and (b) identifying key program components that influence this movement. Researchers assigned to small groups as “co-facilitators” gathered data using participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and psychological assessments at three time points. Mechanisms of action include group norms and behaviors that contrast with prior experiences and uncover offenders’ self-schemas through intrapsychic processes, which prompt them to test and act upon new possible selves through the group process.

Marilyn Armour, Shannon Sliva
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol 62, Issue 3, 2018