Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Laura Agnich

Committee Member 1

Chad Posick

Committee Member 2

Barbara King


The current criminal justice system is often brought under scrutiny for its perceived lack of procedural justice, low rates of victim satisfaction and a pattern of sentencing disparities among populations of racial minorities and people of low socioeconomic status (Palmer, 2015; Hamilton, 2017; Cornwell & Waite, 2009). Alternative justice programs have been growing in number for decades, as well as continually developing their processes to improve outcomes for victims and ameliorate sentencing disparities. This study examines the extant literature on alternative sentencing programs, specifically restorative justice programs, to provide empirical evidence contributing to the development of a creative justice framework as an alternative for traditional sentencing practices. This study aims to create an operational definition of creative justice distinct from restorative justice and deduce its applicability to multiple types of crimes. Semi-structured interviews with practitioners in the fields of criminal justice, law, and victim advocacy, and a content analysis of news articles about the utilization of practices that fit within a creative justice framework were conducted. The interview results describe the participants’ experiences with victims, offenders, and restorative justice programs. Additionally, the participants were asked their expert opinions on the development and implementation of a creative justice framework. Overall, participants acknowledged the potential benefits of creative justice, provided suggestions for its use, and discussed the need for the continuation of research in this area. The limitations, implications, and suggestions for the use of creative justice are discussed to guide future investigations and provide a theoretical basis for a creative justice framework.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Included in

Criminology Commons