Prison Pilot Programs and Processes
For a small organization Hawai‘i Friends has been extremely effective in developing and measuring the effectiveness of unique restorative justice (RJ) programs and disseminating information about them across the world.
Since 1996 Hawai‘i Friends has promoted restorative justice, which is based on democratic decision making and applies public health education principals, i.e. it is empowering, relies on active learning experiences for affecting positive behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes for individuals and communities. Restorative justice offers offenders an opportunity to learn from wrongdoing. Restorative justice is based on the ancient conflict resolution practices of many indigenous cultures including Hawaiians.
Most restorative justice experiences result in increased optimism of participants and observers. RJ has been studied worldwide and has been shown to reduce recidivism in a number of settings, i.e. prisons, juvenile and adult court cases, schools. See, Sherman & Strang, Restorative Justice: the evidence, 2007 at http://www.smith-institute.org.uk/download-pages/download_restorative-justice-full-report.htm. Restorative justice deals with wrongdoing and social injustice where specific offenders may not be identifiable (See, Braithwaite, Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation, 2002).