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Restorative Justice & The Probation Service

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1 Restorative Justice & The Probation Service
An Overview of Restorative Justice within Probation Service Practice & Presentations from Probation funded community based Restorative Justice Projects

2 Probation Service and Restorative Justice - An overview
Probation Service Mission, Values and Ethos Probation Service Strategic Goals Restorative Justice in the Probation Service Probation Service and Victims

3 Strategic Goals: To reduce re-offending to create safer communities
Reduce re-offending and victimisation through promoting and managing community sanctions Build and develop strategic alliances and partnerships Enhance our organisational capability, excellence and innovation

4 Restorative Justice within Probation Practice
Dedicated Restorative Justice projects (Reparation Panels / Victim Offender Mediation) Family Conferencing - Children Act 2001 (Conferencing) Community Service / Community Return ( Reparation) Midlands Traveller Conflict and Mediation Initiative (Victim / Offender Mediation) Development of Restorative Thinking and Restorative Dialogue in the Assessment and Supervision of Offenders

5 Probation Service and Victims
Victim Charter Victim Services Co-ordinator – ‘Single Point of Contact' Information, Support & Referral Victim Impact Assessments Victim Sensitive Approach to Working with Offenders

6 RJS and NCRP established 2000
Brief Overview 2000 – Restorative Justice Services & Nenagh Community Reparation Services RJS and NCRP established 2000 Providing Reparation Model to local courts Low tariff offences First time / low level Offenders Completion DPOA / Strike out RJS – also provides Victim / Offender Mediation

7 Core elements of the Restorative Model
Court referred - Pre- sentence Reparation panels (Stakeholders) Contract of reparative actions Supervision of contract Return to court for sanction

8 National Commission on Restorative Justice - Report 2009
Recommendations … Particular focus on 3 models Offender Reparation Victim Offender Mediation YPP Conferencing Acknowledging potential benefits for victims Improve cost effectiveness of the models Existing services to expand Accommodate higher tariff cases / offenders Increase number of case referrals

9 Advancing National Commission Report Recommendations / Targets
Structural and organisational change Reallocation of resources Reviewing the service delivery model Facilitating the participation of victims Expand the geographical area of service delivery and provide service to more Courts Promote the Higher Tariff model and engage the key stakeholders in the new locations and courts Identify opportunities for further involvement and input from community sector

10 Results and Outcomes Positive buy in from the stakeholders
Significant increase in number of referring courts and referrals Models now processing Higher Tariff offences Changing profile of the referred offender Increased focus on victim interests Court sanction – changing context

11 Challenges and Opportunities
Managing future growth within the context of current resources whilst maintaining a high standard of service delivery and ensuring best practice Ensuring the RJ models are delivering for all - Participants - Stakeholders Continuing to be proactive in identifying and providing appropriate roles for the Community Sector Consolidating and strengthening relationships with the stakeholders and learning from each others experiences

12 Aims of the Limerick RJ Project (in conjunction with YPP)
Promote Community Safety Reduce the incidence of youth crime and anti social behaviour Reduce the Fear of Crime Le Chéile Restorative Justice Project

13 What the Restorative Justice Project is
A Limerick Based project – which aims to establish a model/framework for professional practice in Restorative Justice with Young offenders. Working with young people aged 12-18years. It is a multi agency response to youth offending. It promotes a new way of thinking in terms of RJ practices across the community, voluntary and statutory sector. Le Chéile Restorative Justice Project

14 Le Chéile Restorative Justice Options: Restorative Conference
Restorative Justice Initiative Le Chéile Restorative Justice Options: Restorative Conference Victim Offender Mediation Victim Impact Panel Victim Empathy Programme Reparation

15 Case Study Violent Assault Two Victims Gang of Youths Alcohol
Peer Pressure Night Time These were the ingredients when mixed together, caused one of our young people to end up in the Criminal Justice System. As a result he was put on probation & referred to the RJ Project, three years after the incident. Everyone here has probably seen a case like this on TV or in the media. Take a moment to think about this young person. Is the young person male/female, your neighbour, at school with one of your children, someone that you want associating with your family or loved ones. Silence…… This young person has taken full responsibility for his actions and has being working with me for the last few weeks. Restorative Justice has provided him with the tools and guidance to enable him to express in a healthy way, his remorse for his actions. I am now going to read you a letter that this young person has wrote. After reading the letter, ask group to think back to their original thoughts and does this sound like the same person that you imagined? 15

16 Quotes Young Person: “I was stuck for words I didn’t know how to say I was sorry”. Victim: “Very positive, rewarding & a very worthwhile process”. Family Member: “Why wasn’t this done years ago. I have seen huge changes in my son since he started working here. I trust him more”. From my experience in this it is a win-win process. Everyone gets something out of it. These are quotes from young people, victims & family members who have all being through the Restorative Justice Process. Others include; ‘Who would have thought that something so negative & painful could be used, years later, for good’. ‘It was cathartic for me, I was able to put the past behind me while moving on whilst telling my story’ ‘’I felt compassion for the young person’. ‘It humanised the people who committed the crime’. 16

17 Limerick RJ - Progress to Date
RJ Advisory Group CSC- RP Subgroup IIRP Training Training Modules for RJ & VIP designed RJ Volunteers Trained and in supervision Pool of Victims trained for Victim Impact Panel Victim Empathy Programmes designed Prescriptive procedures for all RJ models Host Agency for Reparation identified and staff trained. Interagency collaboration with statutory, community and voluntary sector Procedures outlined for engaging victims of crime with An Garda Siochana and Support After Crime

18 Next Steps Extend and strengthen our dedicated restorative justice projects Increase awareness and promote the use of restorative justice as a viable sanction Increased role for Community Members/ Volunteers Develop more inclusive and sensitive victim services Implement good practice and consistent standards

19 To Conclude … Offenders are at the centre of what we do Victims are at the centre of our concern Community is at the centre of our practice Restorative Justice has the potential to be at the centre of the solution

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