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Vince Mercer AIM Project www.aimproject.org.uk www.aimproject.org.uk ‘Restorative Approaches to addressing adolescent HSB’ ai m.

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Presentation on theme: "Vince Mercer AIM Project www.aimproject.org.uk www.aimproject.org.uk ‘Restorative Approaches to addressing adolescent HSB’ ai m."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vince Mercer AIM Project ‘Restorative Approaches to addressing adolescent HSB’ ai m

2 What I hope to cover…. The background to AIM restorative work in child/adolescent SHB cases Strengths and weaknesses of this approach The importance of assessment Practice standards

3 A long walk across the street….

4 A combination of two elements AIM PROJECT Focus upon creation of good practice tools Rooted in combination of practice/research knowledge Emphasis upon assessment Need to address HSB in holistic sense, inclusive of victim/family perspective GM YJT Family Group Meetings Project Focus upon serious/complex cases Emphasis upon engagement with social ecology of offender Model of FGM with planning needs for both Victim and Offender

5 RJ in HSB????? Nightmare on Restoration Street……..

6 Exercise 1 In Groups list what are the types of restorative nightmares we would wish to avoid in cases of HSB when attempting to bring ‘offender’ and ‘victim’ together in dialogue. Group these under the headings; Victim Nightmares Offender Nightmares Facilitator Nightmares

7 Exercise 1.2 On the flip chart sheet indicate whether they are ‘nightmares’ to be identified in assessment, addressed in preparation, or managed in the meeting

8 Area’s of restorative potential….. Familial/ relational context Previous exclusion of real victim perspective Possibility to link into victim support service Benefits to offender intervention programme Congruence of interest between victim/offender/family

9 Relational context In cases of youth SHB over 96% of offender have some form of relationship with victim In 40/50 % cases intrafamilial (Ryan) Simons Hackett’s research on family responses to yp displaying SHB 27% were wholly intrafamial and a further 27% were both intra and extra familial (2012)

10 Rationale for including Family Parents are a source of internal working models for yp Parents key role models; relationships/ problem solving Family values shape yp values; gender entitlement Its often where the victim is…. Critical role in assessment and care planning Continuing influence on yp therefore have a key role in supervision Most yp return to family

11 Issues that parents may bring Need to have their ‘story’ heard what it was like for them Shock, Trauma, Shame, Anger and Guilt leading to possible invitations to deny/minimise/ reject/marginalise (Letournea 2009, Duane 2002 after Hackett S 2012) Understanding why he ‘did it’ Information on prognosis; son’s future risk. Information about impact upon victim What they can do? Outlining additional problems/ wider relational fracture/ self blame/ blame other parent/victim

12 Consequences of failing to engage parents and carers Family left isolated Resentment of and resistant to agencies Minimising and denial of the problem Rejection/ marginalisation of the young person Constricts assessment and planning Lack of focus on vulnerable siblings and or other victims Increased risk of treatment drop out / recidivism; recent outcome research supports the view that failure to engage /involve families seriously impairs potential for positive outcomes (Letournea 2009 after Hackett S 2012)

13 Inclusion of the Victim? Not directly but through Victim Awareness/Impact work to increase empathic response; National survey of sex offender interventions in the US indicated that 87-95% included victim empathy work Some limited involvement of victim experience through ‘Victim Clarification’ Model Anxiety about being ‘compromised’ in approach to work with offender if ‘too close’ to reality of victim experience A limited conception of harm Initial focus upon ‘safe’ cases in developing UK restorative practice Fear of doing more harm.

14 Links into victim services…an unfinished story… Creation/expansion of SARC’s in England/Wales Focus upon good forensic evidence gathering to bridge ‘the justice gap’ Support/counselling/advo cacy to victims Hospital based Poor partnership with community services Strong sense of victim rescue/crusade Reluctance to recognise the complexity of relational context ‘silo’ working and fear of ‘contamination’ with offender perspective

15 Desistance Studies Traditional focus upon why people offend?…more recently on how/why people stop? Key desistance factors;  Maturation,  Stable employment/training/  Attachment to strong positive social bonds,(relationships/family).  Transformation of personal identity Maruna (2001) identified change in personality/self concept ‘I did a bad thing…now I can do a good thing…’ But the formal CJS offers little in the way of ‘rituals of redemption’ only rituals of stigmatisation/condemnatio n

16 Shame on you…. Shame is not toxic....it is a mark of our humanity…’ Schneider,C.D. ‘Shame Exposure and Privacy’, Norton NY, (1992)

17 Strategies to avoid shame lead to.. Complete or partial denial of the harm Attempts to mimimise, justify or deny the action Blaming of others Attrition of sense of self worth and or capacity to change Withdrawal Attack others… Attack self….

18 Importance of shame management Alan Jenkins (1998) recognised that one of the greatest inhibitors to young peoples engagement in therapeutic work on HSB is the intense feeling of shame Ruth Mann (2012) identifies shame as a significant factor leading to the suppression of empathic responses by offenders to their victims of sexual harm

19 Compass of Shame ; Response Attack Self Withdraw Attack other Engage Derived from D.L Nathanson ‘Shame & Pride;Affect,Sex and the birth of self’ Norton, London (1992) At experiencing an acute sense of shame an offenders response may be described in one of four cardinal points of the shame compass…

20 Stigmatising shame vs Reintegrative approaches Braithwaite's concept of restorative integration, not stigmatising Shame acknowledgment and expression in a respectful/ ethical manner before those who matter most

21 The wider factors the therapeutic worker (with Darren) identified which the restorative approach delivered Emotional regulation Emotional expression Empathy Perspective taking Openness to victims feelings, thoughts and experiences Future focus Family positions Acceptance of responsibility remorse expression Shame management Appreciation of wider impact Awareness of impact on family Forgiveness? Self forgiveness? Understanding meaning and actuality of victimisation Understanding why specific individuals were targeted Facilitates partnership work with family Plan for release/ Victim perspective on parole

22 Area of cross over/mutual interest VICTIM Need to be believed and acknowledged Disown responsibility for offence To accept and acknowledge violation caused by offence To share acknowledgement of the harm/impact of the offence OFFENDER Need to address denial/minimisation Own responsibility for offence To appreciate and acknowledge the extent of harm To accept the impact of the harm on others

23 And more… VICTIM Creation of a safe environment in which to function Restoration of sense of self not defined by victimhood To explore impact in relational context/restoration of role and relationships To receive apology? OFFENDER Creation of a safe environment in which to safely function Creation of sense of self not defined by offence, or label To understand impact in relation context/creation of safe role and relationships To receive forgiveness?

24 Pressner and Lowencamp said… ‘The more the danger that the crime situation entailed for the victim, as in cases of intimate violence, the more urgent is the need for standard assessment’ Restorative Justice and Offender screening- Jnl of Criminal justice Vol

25 The framework is… To assist in structured restorative practice decision making… informs preparation; Intention is to widen and inform the potential of practice/ not deny and shut it down It has research/evidential elements but largely based upon 10+ years of patient practice and reflection Fits into requirements of current Best Practice Guidance and assists with professional development of practitioners

26 It requires… Some flexibility/sensitivity in application and interpretation A level of restorative skill/insight/knowledge beyond basic restorative practice Layered on top of an offender ‘criminogenic’ assessment Working to Best Practice standards (HO 2012) NOS 2013, AIM Best Practice Guidance in cases of HSB

27 The HSB RJ Framework is Changing….. Being revised and updated in line with ongoing research/practice knowledge Extended to cover all SENSITIVE and COMPLEX cases (as per Best Practice Guidance)

28 Issues not covered…. Level of restorative skills Adaptation/amendment of restorative models Agency competence to support practitioners Victim led not offender led referral route Engagement with victim services On going research and EU DAPHNE RJ and SV Project

29 An illustration… Opening the box…. Jo’s account

30 References Hackett, S Balfre, M and Masson, H (2012) ‘Family Responses to Young People who have Sexually Abused; Anger, Ambivalence and Acceptance’ in Children and Society AIM Project ‘ Revised Assessment framework for restorative approaches to SHB’ (2013) AIM Project ‘ Best Practice series’ Restorative Meetings and SHB’ (2007) Mercer, V, Henniker,J: ‘Restorative Justice; Can it work with young people who sexually abuse?’ in ‘Working with Children and Young People who sexually abuse; taking the field forward’ Ed Calder M, (2007) Mann RE, Burnett,G ‘Empathy, Cognition and sexual reoffending’ NOS Management Service 2012 Maruna S, ‘Making Good’ (2001) and ‘Virtue’s Door unsealed and never sealed again; Redeeming,Redemption and the seven year itch’ (2009) in Contemporary issues in Criminal Justice Policy. Jo’s Story in ‘Resolution’ Ed 40, Spring 2011, Restorative Justice Council Braithwaite J, 1989 ‘Crime, Shame and Reintegration’


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