Comparing victim offender mediation and restorative conferences. Tim Chapman

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III Jornada de Justícia Restaurativa
Centre d'Estudis Jurídics i Formació Especialitzada, 18 de març de 2014

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Comparing victim offender mediation and restorative conferences. Tim Chapman

  1. 1. Tim Chapman University of Ulster
  2. 2. * Latin Mediare – to be in the middle or centre * An intervention designed to bring about a settlement or compromise between people in dispute. * Latin Conferre – to bring together: ferre means to carry * A meeting bringing together people with a common interest in restoring what has been violated, lost or damaged by an injustice.
  3. 3. Victim Offender Narrative Family Group Restorative Restorative Mediation Mediation Conferences Conferences Circles The critical importance of context and culture Script or Narrative Model
  4. 4. Community system * Community Restorative Justice Ireland * Alternatives NI School system Children’s Services * Family Group Conferences * Children’s Units State system * Low risk – Police restorative cautioning * Medium risk – Public Prosecution Service referral for diversionary conference by Youth Conference Service * High risk – Youth Court referral by Youth Conference Service * Priority young offenders programme * Probation Service * Prison Service – rehabilitation and resettlement
  5. 5. *Statutory since 2003 *Mainstream within the youth justice system *Prosecution referred *Youth court referred *Offenders and victims decide *All offences other than those with a mandatory sentence *Referrals and ratification by PPS or Youth Court
  6. 6. *15,000 youth conferences since 2003 High victim participation 90%+ victim satisfaction High completion rate (95%) *Reoffending rates (2008) within one year: Custody – 68.3% Community based disposals – 53.5% Youth Conference Orders – 45.4% Diversionary conference plans – 29.5%
  7. 7. Harm Community Person responsible for harm Injured party Community safety and reintegration Reducing risk and working towards a better life Accountability, protection and repairing the harm
  8. 8. * Focus on crime as a conflict between two people which should be settled privately. * Focus on crime as harm and the aim of reducing suffering and preventing further suffering. Recognises the ‘ripple’ effect of harm on others and that harm has a social context and public significance. Draws on criminological theory – stigma, desistance, reintegration.
  9. 9. * The key parties are the offender and the victim * Key parties include the offender, the victim and the community and each party’s community of support. Does not always include the direct victim
  10. 10. * Preparation – explanation of the process, consent, clarifying positions and expectations. * Meeting – not always necessary or desirable. * establishment of ground rules framing the boundaries of mediation * parties detail their stories * identification of issues * clarify and detail respective interests and objectives * search for objective criteria * identify options * discuss and analyze solutions * adjust and refine proposed solutions * record agreement in writing * Ratification and Review * Preparation - High priority given to preparation. Focus on the harm and “Thickening the Story”. truth. Truth is both forensic and narrative. Attention to emotions, needs, questions and requests. * Conference – Face to face desirable. * Ground rules and statement of facts * Person responsible for harm makes self accountable to the persons whom they have harmed. * This means the parties’ stories are questions are critical. Inquiry into empathy, remorse and connection. * Dialogue mat transform the truth, identify and clarify needs and generate agreed actions. * Ratification * Supervision and support
  11. 11. * Conflict is normal and the mediator is morally neutral about it and impartial towards the parties. * But also proactive and strategic in negotiating a settlement. * The mediator is ‘in the middle’. * Openly against harm and the suffering it causes. * The person is not the problem; the problem is the problem. * On everyone’s side. Everyone’s needs must be met. * The process enables the parties to have their needs met. * The facilitator should ‘get out of the way’ and trust the process. * The harm is ‘in the middle’.
  12. 12. * A resolution to the conflict which is satisfactory to the parties and in some cases the court. * An agreed plan to address the consequences and the causes of the harm which is satisfactory to all parties and to the public, prosecutor or the court. * Victim satisfaction and reduced reoffending * Civic culture of respect and responsibility * Greater social cohesion
  13. 13. Thank you

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