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How restorative justice is steering young offenders away from crime

Sep 25, 2014

from the article by Anna Bawden in The Guardian:

In a small workshop on an industrial estate, Jordan Lee Caffyn is putting the finishing touches to a beautifully handcrafted wooden memory box. The box is the culmination of several days' graft that Caffyn, 18, is rightly proud of. 

But Caffyn is not a trainee joiner. He is at the workshop as part of Surrey's restorative justice scheme following his arrest for criminal damage. Rather than prosecute him, Caffyn was given the opportunity by a panel of police and youth support workers to make amends in the community.

Having finished his box, a youth support worker accompanies Caffyn to St Peter's hospital in Chertsey, where he hands it to staff on the neonatal intensive care unit. The memory box will be given to parents whose premature babies died. Staff say these boxes are a massive help to the bereaved families.

"For some families, this is the only thing that they will have of their babies," says Helen Barrington, deputy sister at the neonatal intensive care unit. "It will be the family's most treasured possession."

Lee Caffyn is visibly moved by the experience. "It was upsetting but it's nice to know what we are doing is helping the parents," he says.The memory-box project is part of an innovative approach to youth offending in Surrey that has cut reoffending by 18% across the county. Restorative justice is the process by which offenders make amends to the victims of their crime. This often takes the form of a face to face apology, but where victims do not want to meet the young person, they may stipulate that the perpetrator does something for the community....

Read the whole article.

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shine says:
Sep 26, 2014 06:03 AM

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