A glimpse into the role of personal values within the restorative justice process: a qualitative study with restorative justice facilitators

Chelsea J Mainwaring, Anat Bardi, Rosie Meek

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Restorative justice is a process whereby offenders and their victims communicate to address the harm caused by the crime. Currently, there is little research looking at what characterises victims and offenders who are willing to participate in this process, who benefits, and what changes occur after participating. Personal values may be important in understanding such questions because they can influence human behaviour, appraisals of behaviour, and can change following life experiences. Hence, the aim of this study was to investigate the role that the values within Schwartz’s value theory may have in answering these questions. This was accomplished through a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 12 restorative justice facilitators. Consistently, the motivations they observed for both victims and offenders participating in restorative justice included themes of prosocial values. Additionally, prosocial values were among those highlighted as being important for the realisation of the benefits of restorative justice. There was also some preliminary evidence that this process may change what values are important for both victims and offenders. Overall, these findings have implications for restorative justice providers; a greater understanding of motivations, who will benefit, and how restorative justice can be presented to appeal to a wide audience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-85
Number of pages26
JournalContemporary Justice Review
Issue number1
Early online date4 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2019


  • Restorative justice
  • values
  • restorative justice facilitators
  • victim
  • offender
  • communication

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