International Restorative Justice Week 2023 – RJ events, annual reports, podcasts and in the Oireachtas
16th November 2023

International Restorative Justice Week 2023

As International Restorative Justice Week 2023 (19-25 November) is almost upon us, please see below for a pre-RJ Week update from Restorative Justice: Strategies for Change. RJ Week is a great time to raise awareness of restorative justice through the media – please let me know if I can be of any support in this regard.

International Restorative Justice Week – events in Ireland and online

  • Restorative Justice Services (RJS) is hosting a workshop – Reform & Repair – at its offices on the morning of 21 November. You can register here.
  • Le Chéile is organising a one-day event at UL on 24 November – Stories of Restoration – with academic, education and criminal justice speakers. Check it out and register here.
  • Restorative Practices Ireland (RPI) is organising a conference in Newbridge on 25 November – for the range of themes covered and to register, see RPI Chair Kieran O’Dwyer’s blog here.
  • Why Me? (in the UK) is running a number of online events on RJ and domestic abuse, listening skills and youth justice – see here.
  • The European Forum for RJ has a database of RJ Week campaign materials and an international map of events, some of which are online – check it out.

Updates from Ireland’s restorative justice sector

  • The Probation Service published its 2022 annual report. This describes ‘a regional roadshow to raise awareness of restorative justice interventions, models of practice and promote its integration into assessments and client management plans’ (p.22), and notes that Le Chéile and Céim ar Chéim co-facilitated ‘conference training for all probation officers working with young people’ (p.33). The report also reveals that the Probation Service developed a Restorative Justice Action Plan in 2022 (p.61).
  • RJS has published its 2022 annual report, outlining the organisation’s referrals and casework statistics, as well as providing new case studies.
  • RJS is also hiring a caseworker (closes 24 November) and seeking tenders for an independent external review of board and governance effectiveness (closes 20 November).
  • The Athy Alternative Project has published its 2023-2026 strategy, in which it outlines plans to develop a new restorative justice service for Co. Kildare.

Restorative justice in the Oireachtas and Citizens’ Assembly

  • Sinn Féín Justice Spokesperson Pa Daly revealed in the Dáil that the party has a ‘plan to move legislation related to restorative justice soon’ – find the debate on the forthcoming revisions to the EU Victims’ Rights Directive here.
  • The Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use recommended to ‘develop and expand the use of alternative pathways for young people engaged in low-level sale and distribution of drugs’, including that ‘the judiciary adopts the widespread use of restorative justice and diversion initiatives in these cases, with enhanced investment in community-based youth work and community development projects and initiatives’. Find the final report here.

Films, podcasts, plays

  • The IFI is screening All Your Faces, the film about restorative justice that made a serious splash in France in recent months. Hope to see you there on 22 November!
  • ‘I met my brother’s killer’ – in this recent episode of A Bit of a Stretch, we hear Nick Dawson’s story as he went into a prison to meet the person who killed his twin many years prior.
  • ‘Taking back power in domestic abuse’ – hear from Jakina Cartwright, a restorative justice advocate who survived an attempt on her life by her ex-partner, on the Transform Justice Podcast.
  • ‘Time ex – Patrick’ – on this episode of the Loughan House Podcast, we hear about former resident Patrick’s work to desist, reintegrate and make good for past offending.
  • And for something a little different – the Abbey Theatre presents Brendan Behan’s The Quare Fellow, set in Mountjoy, from November to January.