Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Fall 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Cirleen DeBlaere, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tamara D’Anjou-Turner, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Catharina Chang, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Beck, Ph.D.


Responses to harm and crime in the United States typically utilize the criminal legal system’s retributive approach, which often contributes to cycles of harm rather than facilitating healing (Davis, 2019; Lenzen & Stahler, 2020). In response, alternative responses to harm like transformative and restorative justice are growing in popularity (Fileborn & Vera-Gray, 2017). These approaches to justice are often conflated, but rarely compared (Nocella & Anthony, 2011). First, a systematic literature review of transformative and restorative justice utilizing a qualitative content analysis (QCA) identified the two interventions' definitions, comparisons, and perceived attitudinal outcomes. The major themes of healing for both justice processes and a distinct divestment from the current criminal legal system in transformative justice processes were identified. Second, a three-arm randomized control trial study design included a group that received no intervention (control group), a transformative justice educational intervention, and a restorative justice educational intervention. Results indicated a decrease in endorsement of retributive justice attitudes after both alternative justice educational interventions (i.e., transformative and restorative justice). Additionally, the study did not find that victimization functioned as a moderator of the effect of educational interventions on attitudes towards retributive justice approaches. Further, this study found predictive outcomes of transformative and restorative justice educational interventions on actual decisions to choose restorative and transformative justice processes above the current criminal legal system.

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