We would like to thank every one for attending the presentation today.
Before we begin I would just like to high light some house rules:
Please can you either turn your phone off or place it on silent.
If a toilet break is needed, they are down the corridor to your right
A fire drill has not been arranged today but in the event of a
fire, please vacate the room to your left and go down the stairs
following signs to safety point outside in the car park.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of this presentation is to give an understanding of what and
how Restorative Justice works.
To do this there are 8 key Questions
1. Define – what it is
2. How does it work
3. What‘s the thinking behind RJ
4. What theories support its
5. What are the claims made about its capacity to reduce re
6. What are the skills required to successfully achieve victimoffender mediation?
7. What are the challenges and dilemmas involved in delivering
victim mediation and RJ work?
8. Your own observations
What is Restorative Justice?
O Restorative justice is where the parties with a stake in a
particular offence come together to resolve collectively
how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its
implications for the future (Marshall, 1996, pg37)
Restorative Justice Continued
O The aim of which is to discuss the crime and the harm
caused as well as how this might be put right.
O It involves bringing together a victim and his or her
offender at a meeting facilitated by a mediator.
The Principles of Restorative Jusice
O 1. Justice requires that we work to restore those who
have been injured.
O 2.Those most directly involved and affected by the crime
should have the opportunity to participate fully in the
response if they wish.
O 3.Government‘s role is to preserve a just public
order, and the community's is to build and maintain a
The Key Values of Restorative Justice
O They are four key values
O Encounter-To create opportunities for victims, offenders and
community members who want to meet to discuss the crime
and its aftermath.
O Amends-To expect offenders to take steps to repair the harm
they have caused.
O Reintegration-To restore victims and offenders to a
whole, contributing members of society.
O Inclusion-To provide opportunities for the parties with a stake in
a specific crime to participate in its resolution.
Programmes identified with Restorative
O Victim-Offender mediation
O Victim Assistance
O Ex-offender Assistance
O Community Service
Aims of the Programmes
O Identifying and taking steps to repair harm.
O Involving all stakeholders.
O Transforming the traditional relationship between
communities and their governments in responding to
Victim Offender Mediation
Victim Offender Mediation concerns mediating between victims of crime and or their
families and the offenders who committed the crime against the victim, such cases have
involved issues relating to theft, manslaughter, assault, murder, robbery, affray, public
order offences, death by dangerous driving, threats to
kill, deception, fraud, burglary, indecent assault and rape.
Victim / Offender Mediation is a recognised safe and effective way for victims and their
offenders to make contact through a Mediator. This contact may take various
forms, from giving and receiving of information, to an actual face - to - face meeting.
Independent : The mediator is locally based and provides Victim/Offender mediation
completely independent of the courts, the police or any other agency.
Confidential: Any discussions involving mediation will be conducted in private with total
confidentiality. (CMS, Online, 2013)
A restorative conference is a structured
meeting between offenders, victims and both
parties‘ family and friends, in which they deal
with the consequences of the crime or
wrongdoing and decide how best to repair
the harm. Neither a counselling nor a
mediation process, conferencing is a victimsensitive, straightforward problem-solving
method that demonstrates how citizens can
resolve their own problems when provided
with a constructive forum to do so
(O‘Connell, Wachtel, & Wachtel, 1999).
Restorative Conferences Continued
O Conferences provide victims and others with an opportunity to confront
the offender, express their feelings, ask questions and have a say in the
outcome. Offenders hear first hand how their behaviour has affected
people. Offenders may choose to participate in a conference and begin
to repair the harm they have caused by apologizing, making amends
and agreeing to financial restitution or personal or community service
work. Conferences hold offenders accountable while providing them
with an opportunity to discard the ―offender‖ label and be reintegrated
into their community, school or workplace (Morris & Maxwell, 2001).
Restorative Conferences Continued
O Participation in conferences is voluntary. After it is determined
that a conference is appropriate and offenders and victims have
agreed to attend, the conference facilitator invites others
affected by the incident—the family and friends of victims and
offenders (O‘Connell, Wachtel, & Wachtel, 1999).
O A restorative conference can be used in lieu of traditional
disciplinary or justice processes, or where that is not
appropriate, as a supplement to those processes
(O‘Connell, Wachtel, & Wachtel, 1999).
O A Restorative Circle is a community process for supporting those in
conflict. It brings together the three parties to a conflict – those who have
acted, those directly impacted and the wider community – within an
intentional systemic context, to dialogue as equals. Participants invite
each other and attend voluntarily. The dialogue process used is shared
openly with all participants, and guided by a community member. The
process ends when actions have been found that bring mutual benefit.
O Restorative Circles are facilitated in 3 stages designed to identity the key
factors in the conflict, reach agreements on next steps, and evaluate the
results. As a circle form, they invite shared power, mutual
understanding, self-responsibility and effective action. (Restorative
The thinking behind Restorative Justice
Restorative practices has its roots in restorative justice, a way of looking at criminal
justice that emphasizes repairing the harm done to people and relationships rather
than only punishing offenders (Zehr, 1990).
In the modern context, restorative justice originated in the 1970s as mediation or
reconciliation between victims and offenders. In 1974 Mark Yantzi, a probation
officer, arranged for two teenagers to meet directly with their victims following a
vandalism spree and agree to restitution. The positive response by the victims led to
the first victim-offender reconciliation program, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, with
the support of the Mennonite Central Committee and collaboration with the local
probation department (McCold, 1999; Peachey, 1989). The concept subsequently
acquired various names, such as victim-offender mediation and victim-offender
dialogue as it spread through North America and to Europe through the 1980s and
1990s (Office of Victims of Crime, 1998).
What’s the thinking behind Restorative
O Restorative justice echoes ancient and indigenous practices employed in
cultures all over the world, from Native American and First Nation Canadian
to African, Asian, Celtic, Hebrew, Arab and many others (Eagle, 2001;
Goldstein, 2006; Haarala, 2004; Mbambo & Skelton, 2003; Mirsky, 2004;
Roujanavong, 2005; Wong, 2005).
O Eventually modern restorative justice broadened to include communities of
care as well, with victims‘ and offenders‘ families and friends participating in
collaborative processes called conferences and circles. Conferencing
addresses power imbalances between the victim and offender by including
additional supporters (McCold, 1999).
The thinking behind Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice service mandate The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, was the
first attempt to introduce widespread use of Restorative Justice into criminal justice
processing in England and Wales at a moment when legislative action was focused
on the prevention of offending by young people. The use of Reparation Orders was
introduced by the same Act.
The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, introduced an extension in the
use of Restorative Justice to young people who offend through the device of
Referral Orders for Juvenile Offenders pleading guilty in court for the first time. The
YOTs had primary responsibility for developing the interventions in support of the
Reparation Order, partly on their own and partly via liaison with other statutory or
community-based organisations. Much of the effort here was focused on consulting
with and supporting victims of youth offending.
The thinking behind Restorative Justice
Restorative justice gives victims answers to their questions, and offenders the
chance to make amends.
Restorative justice has been shown to deliver 85% victim satisfaction for victims who choose
to participate; and reduces the frequency of re-offending by 14% according to the latest MoJ
Restorative justice is not designed to replace criminal justice proceedings - although for
more minor offences it can be used as an alternative - but alongside and integrated with
criminal justice it can deliver benefits that traditional criminal justice on it's own cannot.
Restorative justice holds offenders to account, directly and personally, gives them an insight
into the real impact of their behaviour, and an opportunity to make amends. Restorative
justice gives victims the chance to have their say, to get answers to their questions, to
receive an apology and move on with their lives. (Restorative Justice, Online, 2013)
The theories behind Restorative Justice
O 1. Reversal of moral disengagement
O 2. Social and moral development
O 3. Emotional and moral psychological healing
O 4. Reintergrative shaming
Moral-psychological theory - concerned with the psychology of a person in relation to moral matters - someone engages
in activities which are harmful to others, they will tend to silence their conscience by means of various internal.
Psychological mechanisms of disengagement.
Rationalisations about good consequences which are imagined to outweigh the bad ones (moral justification). (‗If I
make enough money on this, I can later help others.‘)
Obscuring or otherwise lessening personal responsibility for the wrongful activity. (‗It wasn‘t my fault. I just did what I
was told;‘ ‗I played only a small part in it;‘ ‗Others do it, why can‘t I?‘)
Denial of the seriousness of the harmful effects on others. (‗They won‘t mind;‘ ‗They will be fine;‘ ‗It‘s only a few bits
and pieces (TV, stereo, jewellery, etc.), and they can claim it on insurance.‘)
Blaming, dehumanising, or otherwise derogating the victim. (‗Foolish folk. Should not have left the window open;‘
‗Stupid man. He tried to be a hero;‘ ‗He was a b**ard;‘ ‗She was a b*ch;‘ ‗Serves them right. They should not have
This can happen to both offender and victim.. by using restorative justice meetings as a form of disengagement method.
Often barriers can be broken down and challenged.
Emotional and moral psychological
Emotional and moral psychological healing.
Material and symbolic reparation - The process of material reparation results in a final settlement between
offender and victim and typically consists of specific agreements about compensating the
victim, community service, etc. The process of symbolic reparation is less visible. It is composed of
gestures and expressions of courtesy, respect, remorse, and forgiveness.
Reparation is what we give to victims to help them overcome damage they have suffered, to improve their
way of life, however not everyone is the same and we have to understand that as far as the victim is
concerned, this can only happen with time and the correct amount of care and attention.
For example: It is important that the offender shows remorse and truthfulness within their apology as it
helps the victim to accept and move forward.
Material reparation works towards repairing the harm caused by the offender and it compensates for the
damage associated with that harm, such as the medical costs ect. This often takes form of financial
Social and moral development.
Social and moral development.
Despite this, it is highlighted that victims are not expected to forgive the
offender, however if such a process is correctly performed and maintained, it is
hopeful that this process would benefit towards the forgiveness by the victims.
Looking back to childhood, we are reminded that good behavior is rewarded with
incentives and that punishment deferrers bad behavior. Learning from our mistakes
as well as those around us, is a key aspect to development, socially and morally.
This type of method works particularly well with young offenders especially when
they can see the extent of harm to the people around them, this includes the offender
and victim family. Offender meetings offer a huge insight to the views and opinions of
others close to both the victim and the offender, for instance why the offenders
behavior is wrong and why it wont be tolerated. Following this, it is important to then
focus on repairing the harm done.
Reintegrative shaming – offender focused.
Reintegrative shaming – offender focused.
Shaming happens when the person‘s behaviour is condemned but their self-esteem and confidence are upheld
through positive comments about them and gestures of forgiveness and (re-)acceptance.
John Braithwaite –―Crime is best controlled when members of the community are the primary controllers through
active participation in shaming offenders, and, having shamed them, through concerted participation in ways of
reintegrating the offender back into the community of law abiding citizens…”
For example, if we take a look at a family that has a strong bonding relationship where shaming and punishment are
only used when necessary, the relationships still maintain a high level of respect between them.
It is considered to be highly successful within victim, offender restorative meetings, particularly when offender family
members are present as it brings a realization of what they have done, to who they are. However despite being a
successful method within victim/offender meetings, there is little to suggest this method contributes towards the
restoration and healing of victims.
Secondly, as rare as it happens, sometimes the intergrative shaming can cause the reverse effect and leave the
offender feeling humiliated and shamed upon by everyone. The key to a positive outcome is to then reinforce
encouragement and self confidence by positive and reassuring comments forwarded by the offender supporters.
Misconception of the word ―shaming‖ as it implies that the offender is shamed and humiliated. It has a sense of an
What are the claims made about its
capacity to reduce reoffending?
Research commissioned by the UK Government, which was undertaken between
2004 and 2008 by a team headed by Professor Joanna Shapland at the University
of Sheffield, showed that 77% of victims offered an RJ session took the
opportunity. Offender participation rates were similarly high.
Another research project, led by criminologists Professor Lawrence Sherman and
Dr Heather Strang found that 27% fewer crimes were committed by offenders after
they‘d taken part in an RJ conference than those offenders who did not.
33% of offenders leaving prison are less likely to reoffend after RJ.
55% of those who have had non-custodial punishments are less likely to reoffend
The Government trials showed that 85% of victims were satisfied with the
process and 72% would recommend it to others.
The trials showed that through bringing about reductions in reoffending , RJ
saved the Criminal Justice System nine times what it cost to deliver. In other
words, for every £100 of tax payers‘ money spent on setting up RJ
sessions, £800 is saved on court time, legal representation, prison costs and
rehabilitation on a subsequent offence committed by the offender who took part.
Ministry of Justice figures show that 49% of adults released from prison are
reconvicted within a year. 72% of under 18s released from custody in 2008
reoffended within a year.
According to the National Audit Office, reoffending by ex-prisoners cost the
economy over £9.5 billion between the years 2007 and 2008.
New Zealand Court-Referred
Restorative Justice Pilot: Evaluation
Over two - thirds of the offenders were not reconvicted within 12 months of their
court-referred restorative justice conference. The actual reconviction rate of the
conferenced offenders (32 per cent) was significantly lower than the average rate for
the ten matched comparison groups (36 per cent).
Offenders with the following characteristics who attended a conference had
significantly lower actual reconviction rates relative to the same types of offenders
from the comparison groups: • violent offenders; • traffic offenders (driving causing
death or injury); • theft/other offenders (i.e. all offenders other than fraud and burglary
offenders); • offenders with one or two previous proved cases; • males; • offenders
aged 25 to 29 years or 30 to 39 years; • and, medium and high-risk offenders (i.e.
offenders with predicted reconviction rate of 25 per cent or more).
Mediating Criminal Domestic Violence
Results of the study found that for defendants without previous criminal convictions, the fraction of
court cases that are re-charged (6/16) is clearly different from the fraction of mediated cases that
are re-charged (2/55) to an extent that cannot be explained by random variation (p-value =
0.0025). The difference between court and mediation for defendants with previous criminal
convictions is too large to be easily explained by random variation.
Although cases were not assigned to mediation on a random basis, it appears from the study that
mediation had a significant effect in reducing repeat offenses. The effect was greatest when the
defendant did not have any previous convictions and the parties lived together. Even where cases
a defendant had previous convictions, the data shows mediation has an effect on reducing
recidivism. The seriousness of the assaults is not known and it may well be that the courts have a
higher levels of violence. Although, one of the mediated cases had an assault with a deadly
weapon charge so this may not necessarily be so.
Evaluating conferencing for serious
This study was of a conferencing project in Belgium for juvenile offenders who had
committed either a serious offence or a series of crimes. The New Zealand model of
conferencing was used in the project.
The recidivism of the juveniles was assessed through examination of court files six to
eighteen months after either the referral to the conference
There was no control group in this study.
78 per cent of the juveniles who took part in the conference had no new crimes
recorded in the judicial files compared to 22 per cent who were not involved in
It is also worth noting that most of the juveniles involved in conferences who did reoffend did not commit crimes for several months and, when they did, the crimes were
of a less serious nature than the crime(s) for which they were referred to a
Essex Family Group Conferencing
O The authors collected qualitative and quantitative data from 30 family
group conferences, convened to address offences committed by
young people considered to be in the top 20 per cent receiving
services from YOTs, with regard to seriousness of offending. Reoffending rates were 31.6 per cent for the year one sample (2000) and
7.1 per cent for year two (2001). This was measured at least
three, and up to seventeen months after the conference
What are the skills required to
successfully achieve victim-offender
Victim and Offender mediation has been shown to reduce the risk of re-offending, and helps the
victim move on in life. Mediation is an extremely effective way of empowering victims and also
helps the Offender to see the damage that they are doing to people, thereby encouraging them to
take responsibility for their actions.
For Victim – Offender mediation to take place, it needs a neutral party in place as mediator who
will be selected by the Mediation service selected for the task by the police, solicitor etc.
Skills a mediator need to possess will be a non-judgemental or non-bias attitude, towards both the
perpetrator and victim. They need to have the ability to create a rapor between perpetrator and
victim so they feel like they make amends surrounding their issues. The mediator will be trained
to notice uncomfortable body language, have an ability to give both the perpetrator and victim
benefits for being at the meeting and help to find a solution matching both parties.
A safe, comfortable environment needs to be created so all parties feel secure to complete the
mediation but always the knowledge of any mediation session is in the strictest confidence.
What are the challenges and dilemmas
involved in delivering victim mediation and
• Victims of crime and Mediation
• Offenders and Mediation
• Offender led Mediation
• Victim led Mediation
• Benefits for Victims
• Benefits for Offenders
• Benefits to a Community
• Benefits to the Justice System
Victims of crime and Mediation
Being a victim of crime can be a traumatic experience; feelings of
violation, anger, numbness and a sense of bereavement are all normal. Not all
victims react in the same way, everyone is an individual.
Mediation offers victims the chance to tell the person who - committed the crime
against them exactly how they feel.
Very often there are a lot of questions that victims need answers to. Common
questions are: Why Me? What did you do with my property? Do you realise how
I've been affected by this crime?
Mediation can and does help get answers to these questions. If the victim and
offender live in the same community, the victim may feel apprehensive. Mediation
can address all these issues.
Offenders and Mediation
O Some offenders do feel genuinely sorry for their crimes and need
to apologise to their victims as part of their wish to make amends.
Mediation gives the offender the opportunity of explaining to their
victims how and why they committed the crime.
O If the offender and their victims live in the same area they may feel
apprehensive of becoming a target for revenge or ostracism by
the victim, members of the victim's family or the community at
large. Mediation can address all of these issues and can also go
some way in making our community a better place in which to live.
Offender led Mediation
O Following an admission of guilt the mediator will interview the
offender in order to determine the level of remorse and the
mediator will also discuss with the offender what is expected if
they engage in the process.
If the mediator is satisfied and the offender agrees, an approach
will then be made to the victim.
O If the victim declines to take part in the mediation process then
the offender is informed that no further action is to be taken.
Victim led Mediation
O The mediator will assess the victims suitability, needs and motives for
wishing to engage in the mediation process before any attempt is
made to locate the offender (It is important that the victim's
expectations of the mediation process are not unrealistic).
O If the offender can be traced, the mediator will seek their views on
entering into the mediation process. If the offender cannot be traced
or declines mediation then the victim is informed and no further
action is taken.
Benefits for Victims
Have the offender right the wrong, in whatever way is possible and valuable to the victim
Opportunity to confront the offender with the real human impact of the offense; express thoughts
and feelings directly to the offender
Find out what the offender is like
Get answers to questions that only the offender can answer (Why did you do this to me? How did
you get into my house? Were you watching me? Is there anything that I did to cause this? Is there
anything I could have done to prevent this?)
Allay fears (often exaggerated) about the offender (Will he come back? What kind of a monster
would do a thing like this to me? Am I in danger?)
Opportunity to ask for/receive an apology
Opportunity to be seen as a person, instead of an object or a target
Become empowered as a primary and valued participant in the resolution of the offense, instead
of being left out or viewed as a nuisance, as commonly occurs in the traditional juvenile and
criminal justice processes
Hold the offender personally accountable to the victim
Help determine what restitution or other restoration the offender will provide and obtain it in a form
that is personal and meaningful to the victim
Greatly increase (4 times more likely, according to research) the chance that restitution will
actually be paid
Opportunity to have a personal impact on the crime problem by decreasing the likelihood that this
offender will re-offend
May avoid the need to appear in court/typically takes fewer weeks, months or even years
Opportunity to feel that justice has been done
Obtain the closure that brings peace of mind
Benefits for Offenders
Opportunity to make amends and meaningfully right the wrong, rather than just be
Chance to offer an apology or an explanation
Opportunity to truly understand the real human consequences of the offense
Opportunity to be seen as a person, rather than a monster or a criminal
Opportunity to participate in deciding what restitution/restoration will be given to
the victim and negotiate a restitution agreement that is reasonable and do-able
In appropriate cases where the offender is not dangerous to the community (first
offenses, minor offenses), the unique opportunity to avoid prosecution, a
juvenile/criminal record or incarceration, by righting the wrong to the victim instead
Opportunity to restore self-image as a good person and a competent person
Benefits to a Community
Lessen the impacts of crime on the community by increasing restoration of losses
Reduce the incidence of repeat crime by making offenders understand how they have hurt
Increase the experience of justice in the community
Reduce the impacts of incarceration on the community, i.e., locking up parents and
breadwinners; offenders who return to the community having received an education in crime
In situations where the offense is part of an ongoing interpersonal conflict or where the victim
and offender are likely to come in contact in the future, provide a framework for maintaining
peace in the community
By training volunteers to resolve offenses, overcome feelings of impotence and empower the
community to have a direct impact on its crime problem, rather than looking solely to
governments for problem-solving
Trained volunteers take new skills in appropriate dispute resolution back to benefit
neighborhoods and the community as a whole, in a wide variety of settings in which they interact.
Benefits to the Justice System
Meet the needs of crime victims and increase their sense of justice and satisfaction with the
juvenile/criminal justice system
Increase the public's experience of justice and increase public satisfaction with the juvenile/criminal
Greatly decrease the time generally required to process offenses in the traditional adversarial
Greatly decrease the expense of processing offenses in the traditional manner by leveraging
services from trained volunteers
Reduce incarceration costs by substituting creative alternatives for offenders who are not dangerous
and can usefully contribute to the community and the victim
Reduce court dockets, reduce the caseloads of juvenile courts, prosecutors, public
defenders, corrections officers, and reduce the volume of police calls, making these resources more
available for the cases that most need them
Increase the community's understanding and ownership of the criminal/juvenile justice process, as a
result of victim and volunteer involvement
The observations from Restorative Justice are:
O It can give the victims of a crime the answers they need therefore
giving them closure.
O It can give the offender a chance to apologise for their actions and
see the consequences of their actions.
O From case studies Restorative Justice helps to reduce the
reoffending of offenders.
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