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One aspect of the development of restorative practices in Europe is the emphasis on evaluation to understand the processes, how they work, and their outcomes.

'Say sorry' scheme helps exclusions fall at Burnley school
from Nafeesa Shan's article in Lancaster Telegraph: Exclusions have dropped by two thirds at an East Lancashire school which has piloted a new scheme where troublemakers say sorry. Burnley super school Sir John Thursby Community College, has been working with the Youth Offending Team over the past year to help improve general pupil behaviour.
RJ in Schools
Hi, The figures are impressive and reflect the experience of other Restorative Schools. They are important in "selling" the seeds of schools looking seriously at [...]
Anne Lemonne. Comparing the Implementation of Restorative Justice in Various Countries: Purpose, Potential and Caveats
The aim of this contribution is to deal with the purposes,benefits and caveats of comparative studies in the field of restorative justice.This consideration is of first importance since more and more international conferences,seminars or 'fora' are dealing with the issue of comparison.The paper will examine the structural conditions for the increasing interest in comparative approach ,especially in Europe,highlight the relevance of undertaking comparative studies in the field of restorative justice;point to the main difficulties in developing comparative evaluative research;present two important methodological positions in developing comparisons between different countries'development;and the conclusion will elaborate upon potential and caveats of both methods and will suggest a framework of implementation for comparative studies in the field of restorative justice.
Attitudes of Victims and Offenders toward Restorative Justice
A June 2007 report from the Ministry of Justice in the UK reports the attitudes of victims and offenders participating in three different restorative justice schemes from 2001-2004. The evaluation shows that the majority of victims and offenders found the restorative justice process satisfactory, with communication being listed as one of the most important elements of the process.
Bala, Merita and Gjoka, Rasim and Paus, Karen Kristin. Building a domestic and international partnership for implementing RJ
In 1999, restorative justice efforts in Albania partnered with efforts in Norway, largely in a financial sense but also in an information-sharing way. The two countries being substantially different, certain accommodations had to be made. There was a need for time and reliable interpreters so information could be presented clearly and understood thoroughly. The two organizations met not as teachers and students but as colleagues, creating an equal give-and-take in observing how the other organization managed restorative justice, primarily mediation. The report includes both the Norwegian and the Albanian perspectives on the partnership. Fundamentally, they both agree that the differences between their countries complemented the work they were doing rather than hindered it.
Balahur, Doina. Romanian juvenile justice system towards its way to restorative practices.
The practice of VOM in Romania has been experimentally undertaken in Bucharest and Craiova. The two experimental centres have been set up in 2002 based on the partnership between the Department of Reintegration from Romanian Ministry of Justice, Centre for Legal Resources and the Foundation Family and Child Care. The technical assistance has been provided by the experts of DFID from UK. According to the aims and objectives of the VOM experiment only those types of crimes have been selected which are based on the criminal complain of the victim (battering, assault and other crimes against the person, insult etc). The persons - victims and young offenders - have been integrated based on their voluntary consent. (excerpt)
Beckett, Helen and Jackson, John and Campbell, Catriona and Doak, Jonathan and O'Mahony, David. Interim Evaluation of the Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Scheme
This bulletin presents the interim findings of an evaluation of the recently introduced Northern Ireland youth conferencing initiative. The findings are based on research conducted by the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Queen's University, Belfast and focus on the functioning of the scheme in the early months of its operation, from its inception on the 1st December 2003 until the 31st August 2004. (excerpt)
Better Outcomes through Victim-Offender Conferencing (Restorative Justice)
by Rebecca Newby for (UK) National Offender Management Service Key points for better outcomes: 1. The term ‘Restorative Justice’ covers a range of approaches, but evidence suggests that models which deliver face to face victim-offender conferencing, often with supporters present, are most likely to bring the desired outcomes of increased victim satisfaction and reduced reconviction.
Bitel, Mark. Preliminary Findings from the Evaluation of Restorative Justice in Schools.
The preliminary evidence from the pupil surveys does not show clear effects between the schools which are in the pilot (programme schools) and the comparator schools (nonprogramme schools). However, when comparing the pre- and post-intervention surveys in schools that have implemented restorative practices to a significant degree, there are clear trends that suggest that restorative practices are having a significant effect. (excerpt)
Blackburn, Maddie. Report on: Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service
The Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service operates across a large county. It is one of the largest youth offending services inspected in the first phase of the inspection program conducted by the Healthcare Commission and other agencies of the national government. The first several years after implementation of the national youth justice reforms in April 2000 have seen significant changes. Youth offending teams (YOT) have been established across England and Wales; new orders and interventions have been introduced; a common assessment system has been developed; and more emphasis has been given to a range of approaches, including prevention, restorative justice, and victim services. This then is the first full inspection in the context of these changes. This report covers the following aspects of the Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service: management and partnership arrangements; children and young people who offend or who are at risk; work with parents and caregivers; and work with victims.
BonafT-Schmitt, J.-P. Alternatives to the Judicial Model
France's states have begun to restructure forums to address routine conflicts. Neighborhood councils is the most advanced social integration model, with mediation between residents being but one aspect of its activities. The most significant projects have focused on victim-offender conflict and reparation. Other experiments in mediation have also occurred, in Valence, Paris, and Strasbourg. These experiments focus on minor criminal conflicts, such as vandalism, petty theft, and family conflicts. The mediation techniques used in these experiments are described.
Botchkovar, Ekaterina V. and Tittle, Charles R.. Crime, Shame, and Reintegration in Russia
The article begins with an extensive examination of shaming theory and prior research relating to it. Braithwaite’s shaming theory posits that reintegrative shaming inhibits future misbehavior and that those who participate in the shaming process are less likely to misbehave in the first place. Based on this examination, the authors hypothesize that: 1) participation in shaming is negatively associated with misbehavior; 2) having been reintegratively shamed is negatively associated with misbehavior; and 3) stigmatizing experience is positively associated with future misconduct. Four subsidiary hypotheses were also examined. Data were collected from interviews conducted in July and August 2002 with 224 Russian citizens, of which 70 percent were women. Dependent variables measured were the chance of personally committing one of four specific offenses; independent variables were participating in gossip, being reintegratively shamed, and being disintegratively shamed. Analyses of the data resulted in mixed evidence about shaming theory. The results suggest that contrary to the contention that reintegrative shaming would have a positive effect while disintegrative shaming would have a negative effect, the results provide evidence that shaming of any kind, whether reintegrative or disintegrative, may have negative consequences. The findings also show that participating in gossip is unrelated to future deviance and that guilt or fear of losing respect for others for potential misbehavior do not seem to be related to past shaming experiences nor do they mediate supposed relationships between past shaming experiences and misconduct. These findings, along with previous research, suggest that shaming theory may need further refinement. Study limitations are discussed. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Call for restorative justice review
from the article on UTV News: Schemes carried out by Community Restorative Justice Ireland need to be reviewed according to an independent report. A Criminal Justice Inspection report has revealed only one case has been referred by the community restorative justice system to police in Northern Ireland since 2007. ....The 19-page report, found despite four recommendations being fully achieved and one partially achieved, several issues remain to be addressed.
Campbell, Catriona and O'Mahony, David. Mainstreaming Restorative Justice for Young Offenders through Youth Conferencing - the experience of Northern Ireland
The youth justice system in Northern Ireland is quite distinct and different to that in the rest of the United Kingdom or Ireland. It has also evolved considerably in the past ten to fifteen years and there have been very significant changes to its whole philosophy and operation as recently as 2003, with the introduction of a Youth Conferencing Service. The Conferencing Service now deals with young offenders using an approach based around the principles of restorative justice and the very process and structure of the system has changed to incorporate this new approach (detailed below). This paper looks at crime and how the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland deals with young people who have offended. It examines what is known about youth offending in general and looks specifically at a number of innovative approaches to criminal justice practice. The police response to youth offending is examined and their specialist teams of officers who deal with young offenders. The courts and sentencing are then looked at with attention being placed on the new arrangements for holding children in custody. The range of measures introduced following the Criminal Justice Review are then examined, and specifically the youth conferencing arrangements, which adopt a restorative justice model to deal with young offenders. The paper draws to a close with a critical overview of the major changes in our system of youth justice and the possible lessons that can be learnt from an international perspective. (excerpt)
Coronas, Clara Casado. The Agis Project 'Going South': A Short Report.
The Agis project 'Restorative justice: an agenda for Europe' has already completed most of its stages. As mentioned in the previous newsletters, this is the 3rd AGIS project awarded to the European Forum and it has the objectives, on the one hand, of realising effective support for the development of restorative justice (RJ) in Southern Europe ('Going South') and, on the other hand, of researching what could be the potential of the European Union in the further development of RJ. The project started in June 2006 and results were presented at the 5th Conference of the European Forum that took place in Verona on 17-19 April 2008. In what follows, the focus will be on the 'Going South' part of the project which includes experts from Turkey, SPain, Portugal, Malta, Italy, Greece, France, and Belgium. (excerpt)
Dale, Geir and Hydle, Ida. Challenging the Evaluation of Norwegian Restorative Justice Experiences"
This article describes the various restorative justice practices in Norway in which we have played significant roles, and then proposes a model for evaluation based upon these. In so doing it makes a case both for restorative justice and for evaluation as critical for assessing the value of restorative justice and for learning and improvement. The paper concludes with a short analysis of an example of evaluatory research applied to a particular restorative justice project. (author's abstract)
Edgar, Kimmett and Bowen, Gillian and Thurlow, Jane and Bitel, Mark. The evaluation of the Lambeth Restorative Justice Conference Pilot Project in Schools.
In May 2000, the Youth Justice Board in England initiated a plan to test, in two schools in Lambeth, restorative justice approaches in response to robbery and bullying in school settings. This was part of the Board’s overall exploration of interventions that might reduce youth crime. The project was devised in partnership with the Metropolitan Police in Lambeth. To evaluate the project, the Youth Justice Board engaged Partners in Evaluation and the Oxford Centre for Criminological Research. The evaluation, reported in this document, reviewed a number of key areas: levels of victimization, bullying, and robbery in the two schools; means for introducing restorative justice approaches in the schools; satisfaction of participants (victims and offenders) in the schools’ restorative justice conferences; short-term and long-term effects of the conferences on participants; and the larger effects of conferences, if any, on the nature and frequency of acts of victimization in the two schools. This paper presents research findings and analysis in these key areas, as well as a number of recommendations to enhance the use of restorative justice conferences in school settings. Additionally, several appendices provide further information on the study methodology, data-gathering, and research instruments.
Encouraging results from restorative justice scheme in Bracknell
from the article in GetReading: Four fifths of all offenders given restorative disposals have not gone on to commit another crime, according to police figures. The figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show since they came into action in 2009 until the end of 2013, 1,121 offenders in Bracknell have been given a restorative disposals, with only 256 (23 per cent) going on to reoffend.
Eriksson, Anna. Researching Community Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland: A cross-cultural challenge.
Northern Ireland is often viewed from the outside as one “country,” and hence not an obvious site for cross-national research. However, Northern Ireland is still a sharply divided society more than a decade on from the 1998 peace agreement. The differences between the two communities when viewed from within, however, are even more significant than first anticipated and there are sharp divisions with regards to culture, politics, history, and social context. Two particular challenges arise from research within such a context: firstly, the legitimacy and validity of findings in a society where there are many fiercely contested versions of “the truth”; and secondly, the consequences of the researcher being viewed as an “outsider.” This article will not suggest absolute answers to the challenges of cross-cultural research in a violently divided society, but rather raise points for consideration and debate. It will conclude that a cross-cultural methodology can address several weaknesses inherent in the often too generalized cross-national studies of divided societies. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice. Victim-offender mediation in Europe: Making restorative justice work
This is a set of papers surveying issues and conditions concerning victim-offender mediation and restorative justice in various countries in Europe. Published by the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, the papers come from a conference hosted by the Forum in Leuven, Belgium, 27-29 October 1999. The first six chapters, dealing with issues, approach victim-offender mediation and restorative justice more from a theoretical perspective. The issues addressed include who benefits from restorative justice, community involvement in mediation, ethics and good practice in restorative justice, legal and procedural safeguards for mediation, policy developments with respect to mediation, and directions for research. The authors of these chapters are the following: Martin Wright; Jacques Faget; Robert E. Mackay; Marc Groenhuijsen; Siri Ilona Kemeny; and Elmar G. M. Weitekamp. The last eight chapters examine conditions concerning the actual practice of victim-offender mediation and restorative justice in eight countries: Austria; Belgium; Finland; France; Germany; Norway; Poland; and the United Kingdom. The authors of these chapters are the following: Christa Pelikan; Ivo Aertsen; Juhani Iivari; Daniel Jullion; Britta Bannenberg; Karen Kristin Paus; Beata Czarnecka-Dzialuk and Drobochna Wojcik; and Marian Liebmann and Guy Masters. Each chapter, focusing on one country, surveys the historical background to victim-offender mediation, the legal context, policy and implementation, the practice of mediation, cases in mediation, evaluation and research, and challenges for the future. The book includes an introduction by Tony Peters, “Victim-offender mediation: reality and challenges.�? It also includes an appendix with this text: “Council of Europe recommendation no. R (99) 19 of the Committee of Ministers to member states concerning mediation in penal matters.�?

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