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Conferencing Serious Juvenile Delinquents in Belgium
From November 2000 to October 2003, youth courts in Belgium piloted the use of the New Zealand model of Family Group Conferencing.
Located in Previous Editions / 2005 / March 2005 Edition
Mediation in Belgium: Law of 22 June 2005 Implementing Mediation in the Code of Criminal Procedure
In June 2005, a new mediation law in Belgium opened the door for victims or offenders to request mediation in any criminal case. In this article, David Eyckmans of the Forum for Mediation and Restorative Justice - vzw Suggnomè describes the new law.
Located in Previous Editions / 2006 / August 2006 Edition
File Biermans, Nadia And d'Hoop, Marie Nathalie. Development of Belgian Prisons into a Restorative Perspective
Biermans and d’Hoop explore in this paper the development of a restorative approach in the Belgian prison system.
Located in Full-Text Documents at RJ Online
Reflections from a semester abroad in Belgium
from the entry by Janine P. Geske in Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog: ....This fall I am living in the beautiful city of Leuven, Belgium, a city of about 100,000 people and located about twenty miles outside of Brussels. I am teaching at the Catholic University of Leuven Law School’s Criminology Institute where there is a vibrant and well-known restorative justice department. A group of professors here, led by highly respected Dr. Ivo Aertsen, as well as many Ph.D. students and researchers, are examining and writing about the impact of restorative justice programs in many different countries and cultures.
Located in Restorative Justice Online Blog -- RJOB
RJ Article Marien, Karolien. Restorative justice in Belgian prisons.
In 2000 the positive evaluation of this research led to the decision of the federal government that all Belgian prisons should evolve towards a restorative justice-oriented detention system. In order to guide this process of change one restorative justice adviser was appointed in each prison. An important remark here is that the size of the prison was not taken into account. Small prisons (with for example only 60 or 100 inmates) as well as bigger ones (with a few hundreds of inmates) all got one adviser. The reason for this was that the advisers were hired to work at the management level of the prison. They were supposed to work at the policy level of the prison, their task not being to work individually with inmates. The restorative justice advisers started working at the end of 2000. A circular letter of 4 October 2000 set up the framework within which the task had to be developed and which described, amongst others, the role of the restorative justice advisers. (excerpt)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article . Restorative justice in Belgian prisons: the results of an empirical research.
Justice – when spelled with a capital ‘J’ – should be discursive [31] and based on equal respect ([40]: 206, 210) allowing a plurality of voices within the discourse. Particularly in the present research, this thread of pluralism is important. Prisoners’ voices have rarely been heard. Yet, if we wish to be true to the principle that restorative justice is discursive, it follows that the discourse is not complete without also accommodating their voices. To date, little research attention has been paid to the inner motivations of imprisoned offenders for willing to participate in restorative justice initiatives, as well as to their perceptions about their relationships with the victim and the community and the impact of religion on them. Hence, the present empirical study, conducted in several prisons across Belgium, endeavours to shed light on these aspects that have been theoretically overlooked, providing valuable information at policy-level about the design of future restorative justice programmes. (author's abstract)
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Peters, Tony and Aertsen, Ivo. "Restorative approaches of crime in Belgium"
In this paper Peters and Aertsen examine recent initiatives in the Belgium criminal justice system to move away from traditional custodial sentences. The framework for these initiatives is restorative justice The focus of the authors is on victim-offender mediation as an alternative, restorative response to crime. They provide statistics and analysis on penal mediation and mediation for redress. They conclude with discussion of additional restorative initiatives beginning in the Belgian system.
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Aertsen, Ivo. "Victim-offender mediation in Belgium."
In describing victim-offender mediation in Belgium, Aertsen starts by tracing its history. In Belgium the first initiatives, oriented around a rehabilitative model and undertaken by nongovernmental organizations within the framework of federal legislation, began in the late 1980s in the area of juvenile justice. Differences existed among the various initiatives, reflecting variations in local conditions and cultures in Belgium, and differences among the NGOS. (Belgium has three cultural Communities – Flemish, French, and German – and three economic Regions – Flemish, Walloon, and the Brussels Region). In general, though, the NGOs implemented juvenile mediation projects. Over time the scope of the efforts included community service, compensation, and other activities oriented around redirection of offenders. Gradually victims were included more and more in the processes, and focus moved from offender-based to fuller incorporation of victims’ needs and rights. However, efforts were mixed in scope and results. More significant development has occurred, particularly in the 1990s, in the extension of mediation to adult criminal justice. Adult mediation took shape in terms of three models: “penal mediationâ€?; “mediation for redressâ€?; and “mediation at the police levelâ€?.
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Verstraete, Anneli and Inge Vandeurzen and Hilde Verhoeven. Introducing restorative justice in Belgian prisons
The authors describe a pilot project in Belgium with restorative purposes: the aim of the project is to enable prisoners to take responsibility for their acts and address the conflict between them and their victims. Hence, the project focuses on changing the prison mentality, or the prevailing prison culture. The authors summarize recent changes in society and in criminological theory and practice that provided the background for the project, and they highlight key characteristics of the project.
Located in articlesdb / articles
RJ Article Vanfraechem, Inge. Implementing Conferencing in a Legalistic Country
When implementing a conferencing project in a legalistic country, some issues arise. First of all, working at the level of the youth court implies trying to motivate judges to refer cases to the project and making them aware of the project. It also entails working out a good referral procedure and taking into account legal issues and safeguards. Having the police present at the conference (not as a facilitator) is not an evident option, since in a legalistic system police do not have power of decision. Looking at these issues and some of the solutions found in practice, can be of use for other projects starting up conferencing. Author's abstract.
Located in articlesdb / articles