Research Project

Adriana Scanteianu

Major: Mathematics
Minor: Urban Studies
Faculty Advisor: Professor Andrey Tomachevskiy

Policy Presentation Theme: Security and (In)Justice

There are many flaws in our current criminal justice and carceral system, but perhaps the most gripping is the exclusion of victims’ input regarding the resolution of interpersonal violence. This research aims to create and analyze game theoretical models of the current criminal justice system, as well as a restorative justice bargaining model similar to that pioneered by Danielle Sered at her organization Common Justice in Brooklyn, NY. Current justice system games were developed using a modified Prisoner’s Dilemma, while the restorative justice bargaining model was created by cooperative modifications to the Ultimatum Game. Although the restorative justice bargaining model did not suit all crimes or situations, this research found that involving both victim and defendant in resolution bargaining can lead to a more just outcome. Results also indicated that defendants facing longer prison sentences are more likely to choose the restorative justice bargaining approach over traditional methods. Much work and experimental practice remains to be done to elucidate how effective restorative justice is in the real world.