Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP)
Evaluations & Outcomes
|Gilligan & Lee (2005; n.d)|
RSVP is a mandated program operating under the San Francisco Sherriff’s Department that targets inmates convicted of violent offenses with offender accountability programming, and also includes victim and community restoration components. RSVP participants are housed together in one 62-bed unit and undergo in-jail programming for 12 hours per day, six days per week. The in-jail programming consists of three two-and-a-half hour sessions of the “MANALIVE” inmate accountability discussion program each day, weekly visits to the jail by survivors of violent crime, and a drama program. The in-jail programming lasts for the duration of the participant’s length of stay, which, for the purposes of this study, was between 8 and 16 weeks. The MANALIVE programming, drama program and Life-Skills counseling were continued in the community as a condition of parole for at least the first year following release and administered out of a Post Release Education Program office run by the Sheriff’s Department. The program targeted individuals with a wide range of criminal histories and current convictions, from first time offenders to repeat violent offenders.
Recommendations for Practice
- The positive results of this program lend support to the growing body of research evidence that interventions prioritizing restorative and therapeutic practices can are more effective in reducing recidivism than purely punitive models.
Suggestions for Future Research
- The results of this study support the implementation of institutional restorative justice programming but future research is necessary to determine the minimum dosage necessary to significantly improve recidivism outcomes.
- The researchers hypothesize that post-release supervision is a critical component to success. Additional research is necessary to unpack how supervision and services in the community impact recidivism outcomes following institutional programming like RSVP.