The effects of a restorative justice programme (Halt) on educational outcomes and recidivism of young people

Melvin Vooren*, Iryna Rud, Ilja Cornelisz, Chris Van Klaveren, Wim Groot, Henriette Maassen van den Brink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives This study examines the effects of a restorative justice programme in the Netherlands on educational outcomes and repeated delinquent behaviour of young people who have committed a criminal offence. Methods We use data from a field experiment, in which the participants are randomly assigned to a restorative justice programme. We link the data from the field experiment to longitudinal administrative data on education and criminal records and correct for selective attrition by implementing an instrumental variable approach. Results The results show that participation in the restorative justice programme increases the probability of recidivism one year after the programme by 39.3 percent from a base rate of 17.1 percent and decreases tertiary educational attainment by 29.1 percent from a base rate of 30.9 percent. Conclusions Altogether, the results of this study suggest that despite the design backed by criminological and sociological theory, a restorative punishment from the Halt programme does not succeed in reducing criminal involvement and improving the educational outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691–711
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of experimental Criminology
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2022


  • Restorative justice
  • Education
  • Juvenile crime
  • Field experiment

Cite this