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Restorative Justice: RSVP

Violence is learned. Violence can be unlearned.

Resolve To Stop Violence.

RSVP: Value Proposition

Bring RSVP to Massachusetts by 2018

Key Metrics

Key activities we would measure include:

1. Reduction in recidivism for violent offenses

2. Reduction of violence in prisons

Unique Value Proposition

Why is the RSVP program unique and worth paying attention to?


Practical - for every $1 spent on RSVP, $4 is saved (Gilligan, JPH, 2005)


Evidence based - RSVP reduced recidivism by 83% and reduced in-house violence to zero over 1 yr compared with correctional units that did not participate in RSVP (Gilligan, JPH, 2005). In the year prior to implementing RSVP, there were 300 incidents of in-house violence at the San Francisco County Jail and 89 of those incidents were directed against correctional officers. Overall, there have been only two incidents of in-house violence in the seventeen years since RSVP was first implemented and zero incidents of violence involving correctional officers.


RSVP has been replicated in NY and TX; expanding in CA where it has enjoyed broad public support


Originators of RSVP willing to participate in expansion

Cost Structure

Startup costs for training: $100k


Pilot Site Annual Budget: $500k for personnel, training, travel, toxicology testing, contracts for drama workshop, equipment

Life Time Value 

$4 saved for every $1 invested


Current cost of incarceration is $47K per prisoner per year (Gilligan, JPH, 2005 and Rachelle Steinberg,

Assistant Superintendant of South Bay Correctional Facility)