New case study in Castlerea; Q&A with playwright of Stronger; annual reports published – August update
24th August 2021

August update – New case study in Castlerea; Q&A with playwright of Stronger; annual reports published

New case study published on peer mediation in Castlerea Prison

We are very grateful to colleagues in Castlerea for producing a fantastic new case study. Documenting work involving staff and people in custody in Castlerea Prison, the ETB and the Traveller Mediation Service, it describes the development and use of peer mediation in the prison, providing three examples of cases in which mediation was sought. You can find the case here. Please let us know if there is some work of yours you’d like us to publish as a case study or a blog!


Tickets available soon for Stronger at Dublin Theatre Festival!

Inspired by true events, Stronger tells the story of a teacher who was raped by her student, and who participates in restorative justice. From midday today (24th August), you can book tickets to see Stronger as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival, from 30th September to 9th October. On October 7th, Tim and I will join a webinar to discuss the restorative justice themes in the play. You can find a fantastic Q&A with the playwright, Geoff Power, and the links to book tickets to the play itself and the webinar, here.


New summaries published of restorative justice research

RJS4C publishes short summaries of international research papers on restorative justice and related topics. This month, we’re delighted to publish excellent summaries written by Maynooth students Jenny Finlay, Katrina Mendham and Andrea Pownall. Their pieces focus on restorative reentry circles, the impact of restorative justice on youth reoffending, and on whether the voluntary nature of restorative justice explains the reduction of reoffending. If there is a study you think we should summarise, or a topic on which you would like us to publish some summaries, please let us know!


Restorative justice and restorative practices cited widely by justice agencies’ reports

Several annual reports and other official sources cited restorative justice and restorative practices in the last month, including:

        • The Probation Service published their annual report for 2020, outlining its RJ work (p.16). In its 2021-23 action plan, the Probation Service also commits to ‘review the implementation of Restorative Justice within the Service and take strengthening measures where possible’ (p.8).
        • In its 2020 annual report, the Irish Prison Service reports its work to embed restorative practices into its training for recruit prison officers, including the development of a new, short module on the subject (p.45 & p.54).
        • The Oberstown 2020 annual report outlines its use of RP to inform its programmes for residents (p.22) and for relational work (p.56). You can listen to a podcast on this work, and find other podcasts, videos and materials on RJ and RP, on our multimedia resources
        • The Department of Justice published a new report from UL, synthesizing the evidence on building relationships in youth justice work.
        • Finally, the Probation Board of Northern Ireland has launched a new Restorative Justice Practice Framework which will lead to the develop of new and existing interventions for both perpetrators and victims of crime.

EU victims’ rights consultation, Aitheantas report and other items of possible interest

        • The EU is evaluating the Victim Rights Directive. If you work with victims or have an interest in victims’ rights, please fill out the survey here.
        • Aitheantas has published a new report on research conducted with adoptees and their families. The report recommends exploring restorative approaches when considering how to enable adoptees to participate in responding to institutional abuse (pp.51-52).
        • Existing restorative justice facilitators can apply to study the part-time, online PG Cert – Advanced Restorative Practitioner at the University of Gloucestershire, starting in September 2021.
        • The BBC has a brilliant new podcast episode (available on Spotify and elsewhere) on restorative justice, featuring Ray and Vi from the Chris Donovan Trust. The episode is very accessible, so please feel free to share on social media and with friends and family who might learn about RJ from it.
        • There is a new book from Sr. Imelda Wickham, an Irish prison chaplain, in which she reflects on her work and on the potential of restorative justice to reform the Irish criminal justice system. You can find more information on the book here.
        • The Brookings Institution has published an analysis piece on the potential to use restorative justice in response to online harm.
        • Why Me? has organised a training event in September on how to make the offer of restorative justice. Find more here.
        • And finally, the Irish Government is asking citizens to propose what ‘researchers in Ireland can do to support a better future’ – some restorative/criminal justice suggestions wouldn’t go amiss!