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Restorative Justice
 

Restorative Justice

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Lecture on restorative justice in the UK

Lecture on restorative justice in the UK

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Restorative Justice Restorative Justice Presentation Transcript

  • Restorative Justice
  • Historical and world context
    • Crime not always seen as transgressing society, rather as a conflict between community members
    • So communities themselves persuaded the offender to compensate and repent
    • Western public punishment systems began in 12 th century and were imposed in colonialisation
  • Who is the offender?
    • An enemy ? – we segregate and punish
    • One of us ? – we strengthen rather than weaken our ties with them
    • This means holding offenders accountable and requiring reparation and repentance
    • This in turn involves the offender in appreciating the consequences of their actions
  • Community owning justice by ….
    • mediating
    • enforcing agreements
    • supporting and monitoring offenders
  • Not a winner & loser but….
    • move away from formal courts to informal meetings
    • freedom to determine the nature of the problem rather than have it defined legally
    • agreement rather than coercion
  • In the Criminal Justice process…
    • the offender is seen as having committed an offence against the state
    • victims have very limited opportunity to say how they have been affected by crime
    • the system keeps victims and offenders apart while others speak for them.
    • the offender is not encouraged to accept responsibility.
  • Restorative justice however…
    • sees the harm done by crime an offence as against a person or organisation
    • allows victims the opportunity to participate
    • brings victims and offenders together with an impartial facilitator to consider from all points of view what has happened and find out what can be attempted to help put it right
    • encourages responsibility and reintegration
  • It can provide victims with…
    • an opportunity to explain the impact of the crime
    • an acknowledgement of the harm caused
    • a chance to ask questions
    • some control and choice
    • peace of mind about the future
  • It can provide the offender with…
    • the opportunity to explain what happened
    • the opportunity to try to put right any harm caused
    • some self-esteem
    • re-integration into the community
  • Victim-offender mediation
    • Victim-offender mediation involves working with individuals seeking to repair the harm of crime that the victim has experienced and the offender has caused.
  • Mediation enables the victim to….
    • tell the offender how the crime has affected them
    • ask questions to which only the offender could give answers
    • receive an apology
    • discuss how the offender can repay any losses
    • feel that they have a role within the process of justice
    • discuss how the offender can compensate for the crime
    • discuss what is going to reduce the likelihood of the offender re-offending
  • Mediation enables the offender to
    • tell the victim why the crime was committed
    • offer an apology
    • take responsibility to make things right
    • paying the victim back for their losses
    • take responsibility for actions
    • express a wish to be seen as more than just the perpetrator of a series of criminal acts
  • Role play: mediation
  • Boy
    • A 15-year-old boy was visiting a friend and complaining about lack of money. The friend suggested “doing a house”. One nearby was empty; he had seen the women go out. The two broke in and stole a video recorder. They carried it out under a coat and then hid it to recover later. Unfortunately, someone else recovered it and they never saw it again.
  • Householders
    • The woman who lived in the house with her husband and two small children returned home and discovered the burglary. She felt violated. Someone had been in her home. She could not stop her mind wondering, “what if she had come home when the burglars were there?”, “would they have hurt her or her children?”. For days she kept washing her hands to get rid of the dirty feeling and for weeks her heart pounded every time she put the key in the door after going out. She worried too about her husband’s, health. The husband imagined the friend was the boy next door. Every time he saw him he got angry.
  • Does rj prevent re-offfending?
    • anecdotally yes:
    • one study shows 12/350 re-offences after rj and 100/350 after normal process,
    • but
      • participants are often selected as hopefuls
      • and
      • - difficult to prove offenders’ attitude shift from denying crime impact to understanding victim
  • Does rj satisfy victims?
    • With punitive justice : offender punished
    victim satisfied victim anxious & guilty With rj: victim compensated, healed, empowered But: victims less satisfied with rj than offenders, police and community Also: so many variables that it’s hard to prove that victims get a better deal
  • Family Group Conference
    • Initially developed out of Maori community traditions of resolving family problems
    • A model for decision-making about a child or young person
    • Involves the wider family network, in partnership with and supported by statutory agencies.
  • FGC involves…
    • Convened by an independent co-ordinator
    • A meeting of extended family and professionals in order to consider concerns and make plans to resolve the child's problems and meet their needs
    • The process is flexibly applied to each family's situation
  • FGC process
    • Preparation - as wide a family network as possible are invited
    • Information - professionals give information which is clarified by the family
    • Private family time - for the family to discuss and come up with a plan on their own
    • Plan and agreement
    • Implementation/monitoring
  • Key elements of a FGC
    • wider family and close friends
    • child or young person participates
    • an independent co-ordinator
    • private time and decision-making by the families
    • professionals as consultants not decision makers
    • support and respect for the family's plan and the implementation of it, unless the plan is unlawful or leaves a child at risk of significant harm
  • Role play: family group conference