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RJ in the UK today The State of RJ in the Criminal Justice System in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2011 Geoff Emerson – RJ Manager, Thames Valley.

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Presentation on theme: "RJ in the UK today The State of RJ in the Criminal Justice System in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2011 Geoff Emerson – RJ Manager, Thames Valley."— Presentation transcript:

1 RJ in the UK today The State of RJ in the Criminal Justice System in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2011 Geoff Emerson – RJ Manager, Thames Valley Probation

2 Opening Remarks England and Wales and some comments on Northern Ireland – not Scotland Criminal Justice – not schools or workplaces Problems of definition RJ Conferences or RJ approaches RJ Conference model RJ approaches – from conferences to empathy exercises without victim presence

3 Northern Ireland Recent legislation related to Northern Ireland Agreement Unique experience of conflict between Protestant and Catholic communities and processes of resolution Youth Conferencing in Justice – a conference based model. RJ being undertaken on a very significant scale

4 England and Wales – History 1 Long history of adversarial and retributive justice from 12 th Century to 1980s RJ Pilots in 1980s reported in early 90s to a punitive political and press reaction Thames Valley Police operate RJ approach to cautions with considerable success Late 90s Labour Government introduce RJ to Youth Justice arena.

5 England and Wales History JRC Research the Conference model in adult and youth settings (violence & burglary) Results show 14% reduction in rate of re- offending and 85% victim satisfaction Police develop use of RJ to deal with a range of crime problems and anti-social behaviour – increased use of discretion – ‘street RJ’ Coalition Government seek views on use of RJ in CJ process – with emphasis pre-sentence.

6 Which methods are being applied? The whole range from conferences with victim and offender present with family friends and supporters to victim empathy exercises in prison and probation settings. Thames Valley Probation use RJ Specified Activity Requirement as a Community Sentence option in court for adults – violence & burglary. Youth Offending Teams, Police, Probation, Prisons and Voluntary agencies use RJ approaches widely, but little is victim led.

7 Which agencies use RJ and How? Police: - street/problem solving RJ. Conferencing with PPOs and with youth Youth Offending Teams use various RJ approaches in cautions, Referral Orders and Youth Rehabilitation orders. Probation use RJ as part of intensive alternatives to custody and Thames Valley (described above) Prisons do a limited amount of face-to-face conferences and a lot of ‘Victim Empathy’ programmes – Sycamore Tree and SORI

8 Numbers No national statistics Thames Valley 1.75 starts 2.60 Completions 3.20 conferences And work with Prolific Offenders and drug misusers.

9 RJ and stages of the CJ Process Pre-court: Cautions and final warnings (youth) Conditional cautions Sentence: Referral Orders & YROs (youth) Deferred Sentence, Community Orders & Suspended Sentence Orders. Post sentence: - in prison and after release. NOTE: Extensive use for youth, little use for adults.

10 Finance YOTs – Central and local government Police – Central and local Probation – Central Voluntary agencies – local and charitable – SLAs and contracts No specifically allocated RJ funding – hence big local variation in service delivery.

11 Agencies working together Government encouragement through Good Practice Guidance, but no direction or specific funding. Change may be on the way – Green Paper. Local Criminal Justice Boards Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships YOT Boards Local multi-agency partnerships are crucial to successful delivery.

12 Measurement of success Ongoing evaluation following JRC research Thames Valley measurement of Victim Empathy distortion

13 Acceptance by country and system Deep suspicion in media Politicians respond to media portrayal of crime by acting tough – some developments in relation to Prison works debate – short sentences don’t Public have high level of fear of crime unrelated to actual risk (which is falling significantly) Many CJ professionals strongly in support of RJ Big academic focus on RJ Does Green Paper herald an opportunity to move forward?


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