U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Restorative Policing Experiment: The Bethlehem Pennsylvania Police Family Group Conferencing Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 1998
147 pages
This report evaluates a restorative justice program operated by the police in Bethlehem, PA.
The Bethlehem Pennsylvania Family Group Conferencing Project determined that: (1) Typical American police officers are capable of conducting conferences consistent with due process and restorative justice principles, given adequate training and supervision; (2) Conferencing did not transform police attitudes, organization culture or role perceptions, but those with the most exposure did move toward a more community-oriented, problem-solving stance; (3) Police-facilitated restorative conferences can produce conflict-reducing outcomes, most clearly in cases of interpersonal violence; (4) Victims, offenders and parents who participated accepted the police-based restorative justice; and (5) Police-facilitated restorative conferences produced participant satisfaction and perceptions of fairness at least as high as other restorative justice programs and the courts. Notes, figures, appendixes

Date Published: May 1, 1998