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Hergo: 3 testimonies. Conferencing in Belgium

Jan 05, 2015

from the announcement on European Forum for Restorative Justice:

In Belgium, Judges of the Juvenile Court can propose a Hergo as a response to serious crimes. During such a conference, the underage offender (and his parents) and the victim, both with their personal supporters, look for redress towards victim and society. The minor also plans what he intends to do to prevent recidivism. A police inspector is present at the meeting. A neutral facilitator has preparatory talks with all parties concerned. He chairs the conference. Afterwards, the Judge ratifies the plan for redress during a session of the Juvenile Court.

Every year, about 100 minors and the same amount of victims receive a proposal for a Hergo from one of the Juvenile Judges in Flanders. One in three cases leads to a real conference.

In 2014, the ngo Alba, who organises Hergo in Vlaams-Brabant and Brussels, made a documentary film on Hergo:

Two victims of serious violence testify about the incidents they were involved in, and the consequences these had for them. They reflect on their first encounter with the methods of Hergo and on their participation in the conference. An underage offender testifies (anonymously) about the way he committed a crime of ‘theft and menace’ together with other youngsters. He focuses on his motivation to participate in the Hergo and he tells what it meant to him. A Hergo facilitator provides extra information. In this way the DVD offers a fascinating view on Hergo in Belgium. 

‘Hergo: 3 testimonies’ is produced by the ngo Alba and Dikadoku, with support from Cera Foundation. DVD links:

https://vimeo.com/89397397 (original), https://vimeo.com/108907505 (English subtitles), https://vimeo.com/99833179 (sous-titré en Francais)

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