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Police Station

Welcome: Law enforcement administrators, police officers, citizen advisory groups and others interested in restorative justice and policing.

Police

Some of the early justice system involvement with restorative justice came in police stations, particularly where cautioning is used as a response to crime and juvenile offending. It has the potential not only of responding more effectively to victims and offenders, but also of helping address chronic system problems such as overcrowding.

Restorative justice has been blended with similar movements toward community justice and community or neighbourhood policing.

Some have questioned whether a branch of the justice system that is authorized to use deadly force in appropriate situations can be actively involved with restorative justice programmes, which are supposed to be non-coercive.

For quick information on the use by police of restorative programmes and practices, check the links immediately below. For more detailed information, explore the articles in the sub-topics that come after the links.

Check out these links . . . .

. . . . for a rationale for police use of restorative justice by a UK law enforcement leader . . . .

. . . . for a US Department of Justice guide on restorative justice and community policing . . . .

. . . . for an example of police-facilitated restorative processes and the issues that arise . . . .

. . . . for how restorative justice is being used to deal with gang and other urban problems . . . .

. . . . for using restorative approaches to resolve citizen complaints against the police . . . .

. . . . for advice from the British Home Office on how police can benefit by using restorative justice . . . .

For more in-depth information, take a look at the topics below for many articles and other resources. Also, check out some of the other tabs on the RJ Online home page. Learn how victims benefit from being included in restorative processes in Victim Support, for example, and how restorative justice is employed in prison regimes in Prison Cell.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please contact us and we will do our best to help. Contact us by email at policestation@restorativejustice.org.

Advice for Police and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
From the British Home Office: Some forces have decided to direct resources into RJ work in order to get the benefits it provides for victims, confidence, citizen focus and community engagement. While in some cases it may mean officers spending more time working directly with victims and offenders than they otherwise would do, this creates value for money gains where it effectively resolves what would have become recurrent problems. Where RJ processes are used as a diversion from prosecution, they are likely to save resources both for police and other criminal justice agencies. Time spent on RJ processes can be treated as incident-linked activity and therefore counted as a front-line activity. [From the article]
Restorative Cautioning/Diversion by Police
Formal warnings to offenders with restorative conditions imposed.
Police as Restorative Justice Facilitators
Police not only divert cases to restorative justice programmes, in some they actuallly facilitate the restorative encounters.
Restorative Processes and Police Complaints
Police complaints boards are using restorative processes to resolve community complaints against officers.
Community/Neighbourhood/Problem-Oriented Policing
Sometimes linked to restorative values, these approaches to policing emphasize strong relationships between police officers and community members with an orientation toward helping the community solve problems.
Community Justice
An initiative to build ties between communities and the criminal justice system in order to prevent crime, repair harm and build communities.
Police and Aboriginal Populations
When police use restorative interventions, the strength of their relationships with the community is a key factor in how restorative the experience actually is for the participants. This is particularly true when the community is Aboriginal.
Gangs and Restorative Justice
Restorative approaches have been used to reduce gang violence.
Examples
Four police agencies were early adopters of restorative justice approaches.
Issues
Articles and other resources on issues raised by police involvement in restorative justice practices.

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