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While much of the growth of restorative justice in Europe has been at the initiative of governmental agencies, community groups have also played a role.

'Quick' justice on rise as offenders make amends
from Raymond Brown's article in Cambridge News: A disabled bike thief and a Cambridge University student are among hundreds of offenders to be dealt with by police using “quick” justice. Chief Constable Simon Parr said police were increasingly using restorative justice to deal with low-level crimes, saying some victims preferred it.
Bakker, Inge and Terpstra, Jan. Justice in the Community in The Netherlands: Evaluation and Discussion
In an attempt to find answers to the growing crime and nuisance in multi-problem urban areas, the Dutch Government introduced pilot projects in four cities in 1997 referred to as "Justice in the Community" (JiC) projects. The Ministry of Justice in 1999 stated that the goal of the JiC was the "promotion of ‘objective and subjective safety’ in urban neighborhoods." The program works by uniting criminal justice and other organizations in the fight against urban crime problems and by increasing the visibility of the Public Prosecution within the community. There are three main types of JiC's: settlement of criminal cases, prevention and extra-judicial activities, and contribution to local policy networks. Generally, the JiC scheme creates rapid interventions and settlements of criminal cases by employing the use of integrated and extra-judicial responses to crime and by employing a range of mediation programs. The JiC scheme also incorporates the victims of crimes as integral members of the criminal justice process. Despite the lofty goals of JiC, the evaluation results did not illustrate that the JiC programs resulted in higher levels of "objective and subjective safety" within the neighborhoods where they were employed. Despite the shortcomings of the JiC scheme in terms of levels of safety, the scheme has shown success in forging partnerships and legitimizing information sharing among agencies. It will be instructive to see how the JiC expands its use of the instruments of criminal justice for the sake of effectiveness without the express legal authority to do so. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org
Community Mediation and Community Development In Scotland
Over 3000 community conflicts in Scotland are resolved through Community Mediation each year. The NGO Sacro has developed a series of manuals for developing a Community Mediation service. The final manual addresses the role of community mediation in fostering community development. In this article, Ian McDonough, mediation adviser for Sacro, provides an overview of the manual with a link to the full-text.
Community Restorative Justice Ireland. Standards & values of restorative justice practice
This paper presents minimal benchmarks of practice for community restorative justice. Section I identifies standards of community restorative practice for programs, participants, and communities. Section II identifies fundamental concepts and values of community restorative justice practice: the meaning of crime; obligations and liabilities; and the goals of justice.
Community Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland – An Overview
Community restorative justice programmes developed in Northern Ireland as an alternative to punitive "self-policing" by the IRA and Loyalist groups. In this article, Brian Gormally, a practitioner working in Northern Ireland, provides an overview of the development of community restorative justice initiatives, their importance to the community, and the obstacles they are encountering.
Community justice: The power of the panel
from the article by Emma Kasprzak for BBC News: "I could feel the tension and hatred when they came into the room - but three quarters of an hour later there were buckets of tears." John Gallagher describes a neighbour dispute which had run for seven years and descended into an anti-social behaviour case.
Creating Alternatives in Northern Ireland.
Haunted by a history of violence, Northern Ireland communities have increasingly explored restorative responses to crime as an alternative to punishment violence used by paramilitary groups. In 1998, Greater Shankill Alternatives (Alternatives) was created to help young offenders learn the impact of their behaviour on themselves, their victims, and their community.
Dinsdale, Jennifer. Restorative Justice in HM Prison Holme House: A Research Paper
The International Centre for Prison Studies initiated the Restorative Prison Project to examine the conceptual framework for imprisonment and to work with the Prison Service in Great Britain to apply restorative principles in the prison setting. One site for this work is HM Prison Holme House in northeast England. In 2001 Jennifer Dinsdale, a graduate student unaffiliated with the Restorative Prison Project, conducted research into the feasibility of restorative schemes in Holme House. She looked particularly at prisoners’ perceptions of the impact of their crimes on their victims, the openness of prisoners to engaging in reparative activities, and prisoners’ perspectives on their relationship to the community outside the prison. This paper reports her research findings.
Editor. AGIS project for the development of RJ in Southern Europe: some points on Italy
A recent article in the Newsletter of the European Forum, 'Going South - The first outcomes of work in progress' grouped Italy among the Southern European nations - together with Greece, Malta, Spain, Portugal and Turkey - where "the actual implementation" of restorative justice (RJ) "is characterized by instability and a limited reach in comparison with Western and Northern European countries" (Casado, 2007:2). I will try to explain why the inclusion of Italy in this group is highly questionable on the basis of the comparative research I have conducted in the last decade. My first point is that Italy is some significant steps ahead in comparison with the above mentioned Southern nations...My second point is that the lack of norms cannot be considered as an indicator of a 'gap' for Italy or any other country...A third point is concerned with a common feature which emerged from our Grotius project: the existence in almost all nations of an umbrella agency/organization acting as the promoter of VOM initiatives, providing guidelines or standards, sometimes coordinating and funding local services and groups, and/or providing for the training of mediators etc...In conclusion, the expansion of RJ and VOM in Italy appears strongly affected by cultural and ideological factors. (Excerpt from author)
Face-to-face way to empower victims
from the op-ed by Mark Burns-Williamson in The Yorkshire Post: Burglaries, anti-social behaviour and low level crime including noise nuisance, affect lives and destroy confidence. They mean people live in fear in their own homes, cause untold damage to victims and can also ruin the lives of those committing these offences. Victims can feel devastated and left wondering why they were targeted, while the offenders seldom stop to think about the implications of their actions and can and often do go on to reoffend. This is where restorative justice can come in to present an alternative approach....
Gesko, Sandor. Community mediation in Hungary.
After the political changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hungary experienced such developments that fundamentally transformed the values of certain groups of society and their relationships with other groups. This was a common phenomenon in the region. The well-known and familiar relationships of the past, which had been positive and negative but nevertheless had specifically defined the position of various groups in relation to each other, started to deteriorate. (excerpt)
Gormally, Brian. Community Restorative Justice – a new bridge between state and people?
In Northern Ireland community restorative justice projects have been an important part of the peace process.
Guardian Charity Awards 2013 winner: Yorkshire and Humberside Circles of Support and Accountability
from the article from the Guardian: YHCOSA works to rehabilitate and reintegrate socially isolated sexual offenders, with the aim of making sure they don't reoffend. Trained volunteers form "circles" of four to six members who meet with a "core member" once a week for around a year, discussing their offences, concerns and ideas for the future.
Gyokos, Melinda. "Restorative prison" projects in Hungary.
The Hungarian "restorative prison" projects has nothing to do with the procedure-oriented restorative practices. Instead, these programmes do not involve the party directly injured by the crime but offer a chance to convicts who show remorse to make amends while they serve their prison term. The inmates make reparations to the local community, which is indirectly affected by the crime (due to the violation of the law), and not to the specific and directly injured party, the victim. This means that instead of providing compensation for the specific injury they caused, the criminals improve the local community's life by producing useful and visible results.The common qualities of good practice that enable the prison to be a part of the host town's or area's life are presented below. (excerpt)
Haider, Huma. (Re)Imagining Coexistence: Striving for Sustainable Return, Reintegration and Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Prior to the 1992–1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats shared neighbourhoods and friendships. The war, through its objective and effect, divided these communities and groups. Postconflict, the physical return of displaced persons and refugees was, and remains, insufficient to renew coexistence. Moreover, the weak economy aggravates divisions, further impeding sustainable return and reconciliation. Recognising these difficulties, UNHCR launched ‘Imagine Coexistence,’ a series of activities designed to rebuild trust among ethnic groups in areas of return. Many of the activities involved an income-generating component. The article reviews this and other similar initiatives that aim to promote livelihoods, community development, return and coexistence concurrently. It finds that while such inventive projects receive limited attention and funding, they have achieved successes in repairing social relationships, addressing poverty and strengthening communities in Bosnia. Consequently, they should be given greater prominence in Bosnia and more generally in the design of transitional justice and peace building interventions. (author's abstract)
Lemonne, Anne and Snare, Annika. Restoration and Alternative Solution of Conflicts
This article focuses on the backgrounds of and arguments presented by both the maximalist model and the community empowerment models, within the restorative justice movement. The maximalist model, discussed using the United States’ death row as an example, includes programs designed to establish mediation between offenders and their victims in a prison setting. The community empowerment model demonstrates a shift away from empowering the criminal justice system towards empowering local communities in order to manage conflict resolution. Illustrated by discussing the Norwegian community mediation boards, this article addresses the ways that the divergent models of community empowerment and maximalism coexist within the restorative justice movement.
McEvoy, Kieran and Mika, Harry. Punishment, Policing and Praxis: Restorative Justice and Non-Violent Alternatives to ParaMilitary Punishments in Northern Ireland
During the most recent three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, the linitations of the Royal Ulster Cibstabulary's (RUC) policing of local working class communities has seen the parallel evolution of violent paramilitary systems of 'punishment attacks' and banishments. This paper explores the factors which underpin such punishment. It considers the relationship to the formal justice system and offers a critical analysis of the potential for Restorative Justice Theory and practice to provide non-violent community based alternatives to such violent punishments.
Mirsky, Laura. Hull, UK: Toward a Restorative City.
Hull, UK, led by the Hull Centre for Restorative Practices (HCRP) and the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), is endeavoring to become a “restorative city.” The goal is for everyone who works with children and youth in Hull, one of England’s most economically and socially deprived cities, to employ restorative practices. (excerpt)
Monaghan, R and Knox, Colin. Informal Criminal Justice Systems in Northern Ireland
The so-called ‘informal or alternative criminal justice system’ has evolved since 1969 and is a range of punitive measures against individuals ‘who violate some community norm, as defined by the paramilitary grouping’. The ‘alternative system’ is a graduated scale of sanctions escalating from threats or warnings, through curfew, public humiliation, exile and ‘punishment’ beating, to knee-capping or in exceptional circumstances, 'execution’. These informal systems have different motivations in loyalist and republican areas. In republican areas the prime target for ‘punishment’ is young people involved in ‘anti-social behaviour’ - car theft, joyriding, house-breaking/ burglary and vandalising their communities. Loyalist paramilitaries, on the other hand, tend to engage in ‘punishment’ attacks to maintain internal discipline amongst their own members and to ‘police’ their own areas. They also ‘punish’ members of rival groups in disputes over turf. Within working-class communities there is still strong support for paramilitary ‘punishments’ given the absence of a legitimate or adequate policing service, rising levels of ‘anti-social behaviour’ and petty crime, and the perceived failure of the formal criminal justice system. Government agencies, in particular statutory bodies, currently either minimise or remain indifferent to paramilitary ‘punishments’. The net result is a disjointed response at both inter-sectoral and inter-agency levels. This project interviewed local community members, men and women subjected to paramilitary ‘punishment’, members of political parties as well as voluntary and state agencies. In addition, comparative fieldwork (interviews with individuals and focus groups) was carried out in South Africa. (Abstract from ESDS Qualidata, UK Data Archive, University of Essex, www.qualidata.ac.uk.)
Negrea, Vidia. Restorative practices in Hungary: An ex-prisoner is reintegrated into the community.
As the representative of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, the Hungarian affiliate of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), I participated in a group session of the Hungarian Crime Prevention and Prison Mission Foundation in summer 2009 (Sycamore Tree Project — www.pfi.org/cjr/stp/introduction — or Zacchaeus Program in Hungary). There I met the governor of Balassagyarmat prison, where inmates were working in groups on issues related to their crimes and exploring ways to repair relationships they had damaged. Some inmates began accepting responsibility for what they had done and were motivated to make things right and earn forgiveness of victims and their families. Prisoners made symbolic reparation in the form of community service within the prison, but there was still a lot to do to create opportunities for offenders to make contact with victims and shed the stigma of their offense by means of direct reparation. Also, prison management believed it important to support processes,acceptable to victimized families and communities, to help prisoners regain control of their lives and prevent reoffending.(excerpt)

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