November update – International Restorative Justice Week events; Mother and Baby Homes reports cite restorative practices
Events for International RJ Week and beyond
This month, there are several events marking International Restorative Justice Week (21-27 November). Firstly, Le Chéíle and the Limerick Restorative Practice Project are collaborating on a series of events, including a seminar about public perceptions of restorative justice (Nov 22nd 13:00-14:00), featuring footage from their fantastic, recently recorded vox pop. To register, click here. To explore their other events, click here.
Secondly, the Probation Service will host two events:
- Learning and Reflections from the film of the stage play Stronger (Nov 24th, 15:30-17:00) – Sign up here to receive access to a recording of Stronger and register for this webinar on restorative justice and sexual violence, the theme of the play.
- Victim-offender meetings – the power of dialogue (Nov 29th, 10:00-11:30) – The Restorative Justice and Victim Services Unit will share anonymised case studies and provide an overview of the VOM process. To register your interest, email here.
The following weeks will see several further online events:
- Why Me? – Working Restoratively with Cases of Domestic and Sexual Abuse (Nov 25th – register here)
- Restorative Practices Ireland – Working Towards a Restorative Society (Nov 26th – register here)
- Building Community Resilience – How to Sustain Momentum (Dec 15th – register here)
- Oxford Centre for Restorative Practice – A Restorative Approach to Disputes in Student Life (Feb 3rd – register here)
Restorative practice cited in new Mother and Baby Homes reports
November saw the launch of the Action Plan for Survivors and Former Residents of Mother and Baby and County Home Institutions. Of interest to this group may be the description of the new Payment Scheme as ‘informed by a comprehensive public consultation process that sought the views of survivors and interested parties’ and as ‘tak[ing] a holistic and non-adversarial approach to ensure that survivors and former residents are not re-traumatised by their engagement with it’. The Government Proposals note (p.1) that the scheme was initially due to be called the Restorative Recognition Scheme, but that ‘feedback from the consultation process signaled that some of those affected objected to the name “Restorative Recognition” and wanted a different name for the scheme’.
The independent consultation references restorative practices several times, noting: ‘it was emphasised by many of the survivors that the administration should be delivered with kindness, respect and sensitivity to their needs. To do everything possible to ensure this, survivors want to see the scheme delivered by staff who are trained in restorative practice and in a way that is trauma informed [and] in a non-adversarial way’ (pp.12-13, see also p.46, pp.50-51). The consultation also stated: ‘Some submissions made reference to the provision of opportunities for survivors to participate in restorative circles or group meetings where peer support could be provided’ (pp.40-41).
European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) publishes paper on the revision of the EU Victims’ Directive, blog on restorative youth justice
Thanks to everyone who completed the EFRJ survey on the implementation of the EU Directive. They have now published their findings on the barriers to restorative justice implementation and their recommendation for the Directive’s revision. You can read the paper and a summary of their survey findings here. The EFRJ also published a recent blog from Tim Chapman, exploring how children’s rights principles can be applied to restorative youth justice.
Contributions sought from you – our Stakeholder Group
We are seeking new contributions to www.restorativejustice.ie, including case studies and blog posts on your work, summaries of important research, or relevant publications of yours. If you organise or attend an event for RJ week, you would be welcome to write it up as a blog for the website.
You may also be interested in contributing to Creating our Future, through which the Government is crowdsourcing research ideas from the public. It only takes a minute, and some submissions on restorative justice wouldn’t go amiss!