Mapping of RJ in 2020 published, RJ features in GBV strategy implementation plan – July 2022 update
19th July 2022

July 2022 update – Mapping exercise of restorative justice in 2022 published, restorative justice features in new gender-based violence Implementation Plan

New research published mapping the use of restorative justice in Ireland in 2020

We are delighted to announce the publication of our second mapping exercise of restorative justice in Ireland. This covers the calendar year 2020 and includes previously unpublished data from six major RJ providers.

Based on these data, we estimate that the number of cases rose to 1056 in 2020 from 853 in 2019, although a steep increase in restorative youth cautions (716 in 2020, up from 125 in 2019) masks a sharp decline in cases reported by the major providers in receipt of court referrals (i.e. RJS and RJC), likely due to COVID-19. We estimate that victims participated in about 65% of cases that had a direct victim, and found that the vast majority of cases in which restorative justice was used were at the lower end of the spectrum of seriousness.

Read an analysis of our findings here. You can find updated service profiles here, a detailed overview of the findings here and summary tables here. Recently, the International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice published an article analysing the 2019 findings – read this here.

Restorative justice features in new gender-based violence strategy’s Implementation Plan

In June, the Government published the Third National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Strategy and an associated Implementation Plan, in a social and political context where preventing and responding effectively to gender-based violence has rightly become imperative. Restorative justice is included in the Implementation Plan, p.37 of which states that the Department of Justice and a new statutory agency for gender-based violence will:

Examine the role and potential of victim/survivor-led restorative justice initiatives as part of a suite of options post-conviction and stage of release into the community. This includes contributing to RJS4C European project for the wider and consistent availability of restorative justice services (including victim offender mediation), ensuring specific provision for vulnerable victims/survivors in accordance with actions identified in Supporting a Victim’s Journey.

We look forward to working with the Department and the new agency on this. You can find a link to this Implementation Plan and more official documents relating to restorative justice in Ireland on our Law, Policy and Reports page.

Creating Our Future results published

July saw the publication of results from Creating Our Future, a project crowdsourcing research topics from the public. This included several entries from Cork, Dublin, Roscommon and Tipperary on restorative justice and restorative practices, including:

  • “Researchers should explore the potential of restorative practices (such as restorative language, conversations, circles, meetings and conferences) to build and maintain healthy relationships, prevent escalation of disputes and repair harm in all aspects of society”
  • “Restorative justice is shown to be an effective way to help victims and reduce reoffending in other countries, but there has been almost no research on it here – we should study the implementation of restorative justice in Ireland”
  • “Ireland should establish itself as a leader in restorative justice”
  • “The outcomes of restorative anti-bullying/antiviolence training for anyone who works with children between the ages of 7-12. The Council of Europe called for this kind of initiative in its member states in 2014 to reduce antisocial behaviour which leads to juvenile crime and many other negative social issues”
  • “An investigation of the effectiveness of a restorative practice intervention on transition year students”

There are many related entries on crime prevention, drug decriminalization, responding to offending and supporting victims. You can search the entries here.

Finally, you can download the new open access book from Gale Burford, John Braithwaite and Valerie Braithwaite, entitled Restorative and Responsive Human Services. You can download individual chapters here.