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Provides articles discussing restorative justice advancements in Europe. Articles appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.

Violence against women: restorative justice solutions in international perspective.
Author: Fernando Vázquez-Portomeñe Seijas In Austria and Germany specialized intervention programmes have adapted the classic principles of penal mediation in order to work with domestic violence cases. This adaptation means introducing changes in several aspects: the duration of the sessions and intervention times, the support of both parts at the moment of presenting their interests, the incorporation of result controls and of the indirect (shuttle) mediation, the incorporation of probation periods and of balance dialogs… In this article will be presented some aspects of the practical execution of the programs: those related to the proceedings orientated to correct the power imbalances and reinforce the position of the disadvantaged part (empowerment strategies), particularly the incorporation of two mediators (a man and a woman) and the coordination with the institutions and agencies that can offer the “resources” that are necessary to reinforce the social links of the victim inside the community. (author abstract)
My Experience with the Sycamore Tree Project
from the article by a British prison chaplain: I’ve been facilitating the Sycamore Tree courses in my prison now for about eighteen months. Sycamore Tree is the Restorative Justice programme run by Prison Fellowship (http://www.pfi.org/). It is a six week course which runs one afternoon a week. Over such time you would not expect very much to happen. How can you change a person’s outlook on their life in six short afternoons?
Restorative practice: How young can we go?
Streethouse Junior and Infants is a small community school situated within an exmining, rural village in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The children who attend are from the surrounding area that is believed to have a high depravation level and a history of deep rooted problems with drug and alcohol abuse. The school caters for children from 3 years old up to 11 years old when they transfer to either of two local high schools. After practicing SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) for six years the staff and governors decided to adopt a whole school approach to restorative practice to enhance their existing school practices for behaviour management. [from the article]
Hagemann, Otmar. (2010) "Gemeinschaftskonferenzen" in Elmshorn -- the first German family group conferencing project in criminal matters.
This article presents the first German project to use restorative conferencing in criminal matters. First, some terms are defined. Then the legal background in Germany and some shortcomings are outlined before the implementation and the practice of the project is described. Finally initial results are presented and the chalienges which have to be overcome are discussed. (excerpt)
Javed Kahn, Chief Executive, Victim Support (UK)
In this 14 minute video from the Victim and Witnesses: Improving practice and provision conference held in London on 20 October 2010, Javed Kahn outlines the work of Victim Support. He describes the voluntary service to meet the needs of crime victims and calls for some changes to strengthen support to victims. Among these are restorative practices and outcomes.
Crispin Blunt on supporting victims and witnesses
In this 15 minute video from the Victim and Witnesses: Improving practice and provision conference held in London on 20 October 2010, Crispin Blunt outlines the government's plans to provide more support for victims and witnesses. He includes restorative justice services as a part of the recommendations.
Economic analysis of interventions for young adult offenders
from the report for the Barrow Cadbury Trust by Matrix Evidence: This report summarises an economic analysis of alternative interventions for young adult offenders. It concludes that, for all offenders aged 18-24 sentenced in a Magistrate’s court for a non-violent offence1 in a given year: Diversion from community orders to pre-court RJ conferencing schemes (following a police triage service in which police officers make an immediate assessment of the need and likely benefit from a community intervention) is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £275 million (£7,050 per offender). The costs of RJ conferencing are likely to be paid back within the first year of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of over £1 billion. Diversion from custody to community orders via changes in sentencing guidelines is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of more than £12 million (£1,032 per offender). The costs of changing sentencing guidelines are likely to be paid back within three years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £33 million. Diversion from trial under adult law to trial under juvenile law following maturity assessment is likely to produce a lifetime cost saving to society of almost £5 million (£420 per offender). The costs of maturity assessments are likely to be paid back within five years of implementation. During the course of two parliaments (10 years), implementation of such a scheme would be likely to lead to a total net benefit to society during this period of almost £473,000.
Restorative justice and society
The most important core value of Gevangenenzorg Nederland is the concept of merciful justice. This is an exciting concept that, at first, could seem like a contradiction in terms. It is not justice as contained in criminal law. Our judicial system is based on the principles of legitimacy and proportionality. This means that the punisher is working in accordance with the law and that the punishment is proportional to the offence or the crime. This is justice whereby the law may take its course but no restoration or fresh prospects are put forward. On the other hand it is not the intention that merciful justice should be thought to be a denial of the existence of guilt and harm. Not at all! If that were to happen justice would lose all meaning. Without guilt there is no injustice and without harm no need for restoration.
Wilson, D. A. (2009). Platforms for a restorative society in Northern Ireland. University of Ulster.
This text argues that promoting restorative practices – through actions that remedy wrongs, actions that bring people who have been estranged into relationships, new ways of working and new structural arrangements – is a practical way of building platforms of reconciliation practice and a restorative culture in daily life in Northern Ireland.
Wright, Martin. 2000. Restorative justice and Mediation. Paper presented at the conference "Probation Methods in Criminal Policy: Current State and Perspectives" at Popowo, Poland, 20-21 October.
From the early 1980s, victim/offender mediation introduced in a few places, by local probation services or by voluntary organizations. (The first Victim/Offender Reconciliation Programme, in Canada, was started by a probation officer.) In 1998, ACOP and Mediation UK issued a joint statement on Victim/offender mediation, agreeing principles and standards. (excerpt)
Wright, Martin. 2006. Restorative Justice in Europe and Beyond. ‘Co-operation of Eastern and Central European countries for the development of restorative justice and mediation’, Warsaw, 21-22 January 2006‘.
I should like to say something about the European Forum for Restorative Justice; then I will suggest ways in which in which restorative justice could develop in Europe, especially the extension of restorative approaches in schools. Then I will look at three particular ways in which restorative justice can be put into practice. One is through community involvement, including the work of non-governmental organizations, the use of trained volunteers from the community, and the participation of those affected, who are of course also members of the community. Secondly, we have to consider the position of restorative justice in relation to the criminal justice system. Thirdly, how can restorative justice could be linked to crime reduction and social reform? Finally, I should like to look at examples of these restorative approaches in three other parts of the world. (excerpt)
Wright, Martin. 2004. Restorative Justice and the Victim: The English Experiences. Paper to seminar at École Nationale de la Magistrature, Paris, 6-7 May 2004.
The recent history of restorative justice in England and Wales is of small experiments, a renaissance, a takeover by the government, and a struggle by those who believe in the concept to preserve its ideals. I will begin by giving a picture of the most widespread version of restorative justice as it operates in England and Wales at present. I will then say a word about the concept of ‘restorativeness’, and describe the development of restorative justice in England and Wales in the last four decades: compensation, Victim Support, victim/offender mediation, conferencing, and the most recent policy developments. After a word about what restorative justice needs, especially from the victim’s point of view, I will give short case histories to show to how the current version of restorative justice operates for juvenile offenders. Finally I will suggest how it could develop so as to bring the greatest benefits both to victims and to the community. (excerpt)
Carpentieri, Leonardo. Restorative Justice in France: Obstacles for the Application of a Truly Restorative Approach to French Dispute Resolution.
Restorative Justice was (re)discovered in the United States in the late 1970s and has been implemented ever since. Founded partially on ancient conciliation proceedings, Restorative Justice today focuses on dialogue between victims, offenders and communities. Although its development has taken place mostly with respect to the criminal law context, it is conceivable to extend its scope to other legal areas, such as civil law matters. Almost unbeknownst in France until recently, Restorative Justice can be however detected within some of today’s French law ADR practices or criminal procedure rules. Recently, both French and EU legislation incorporated mediation-focused policies leading to a growing increase in Restorative Justice awareness, but great efforts still need to be done in this respect. (author's abstract)
Wright, Martin. 2009. Restorative justice: victims’ needs and rights; experience of building up mediation services in the UK.
Presentation to Regional Forum on ‘Implementing Alternative Measures in Penal Cases: introducing and sharing experiences on restorative justice and victimoffender mediation application for juveniles and beyond’, organized in Tirana by the Albanian Ministry of Justice and others, 25-26 February, 2009.
Balahur, Doina. Multidimensional Restorative Justice for Everyone: Romanian developments.
In this intervention, I have taken into account the fact that comparative analysis, regarding the implementation of restorative justice programs and practices, must be accomplished within the framework of the current general trend that exist in the European States, but, wider, of the developments in other cultural areas. (excerpt)
Wright, Martin. 2005. Can restorative justice reduce the burden on the criminal justice system?Paper presented to conference on ‘Forming a Ukrainian restorative justice model’, organized by Ukrainian Center for Common Ground, Kyiv, 10-11 February 2005.
This paper will consider what are the difficulties faced by the CJS, and why are the difficulties not being resolved? It will then suggest what can be done about them. Firstly, there are conventional responses, and then a different response based on restorative principles will be proposed. Finally the possible effects of such an approach will be explored, including the important role of those who administer the justice system and will be responsible for making sure that the restorative process lives up to the restorative ideal. (excerpt)
Geselev, Oleksii. “Philosophical Legal Aspects of Changing the Dominant Understanding of the Law as a Requirement for Implementing Restorative Justice in Ukraine”
This article discusses the regulatory framework for introducing restorative justice process, especially mediation, into the Ukrainian justice system.
Restorative Justice and Reconviction
The Ministry of Justice (formerly the Home Office) in London released the last in a series of reports on the effectiveness of restorative justice. This report discusses the reconviction rates and cost effectiveness of three restorative justice schemes funded under the Home Office Crime Reduction Programme from mid-2001 through 2004.
Restorative Justice and Reconviction
The Ministry of Justice (formerly the Home Office) in London released the last in a series of reports on the effectiveness of restorative justice. This report discusses the reconviction rates and cost effectiveness of three restorative justice schemes funded under the Home Office Crime Reduction Programme from mid-2001 through 2004.
Ireland Exploring Further Restorative Justice Implementation
The National Commission on Restorative Justice (Commission) in Ireland has released an interim report on its work to develop a policy framework for expanding the use of restorative justice throughout the country. The report suggests possible pilot projects and describes issues still to be studied.

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