The United Nations recognizes restorative justice as a system of attention to delinquency based on dignity, participation and respect for all involved parties. Article 18 of the Mexican Constitution as well as Sonoran state law establishes a framework for alternative justice. Sonora implemented its first treatment program for juvenile offenders in 2009 with 417 adolescents. The rate of recidivism fell from 30% to 6%. Another program provided assistance to adolescents already in police custody. It allowed the fiscal discretion to send the case to a specializing fiscal in restorative justice who would then assign the case to a facilitator. Facilitators conducted restorative meetings with affected parties and retained a written restorative justice agreement. Facilitators and community members would continue to monitor each case. All participants showed satisfaction in the fifteen finalized cases. Results from these programs indicate restorative justice serves a function in reducing recidivism among juvenile offenders.
Keywords: Restorative justice, effectiveness, Mexico, restorative conferences, socioeducational support, community participation